The Smith Project

name change

From Ms. to Mrs.

MarriageAndrea SmithComment

How come no one walks you through the process of getting your name changed? I mean you go to pre-martial counseling, you talk to your parents and people you look up to. But I’ve come to the conclusion that when I had to change my last name. I was devastated. Don't get me wrong I love my husband, and I was excited to start a new life with him, but letting go of my name was like letting go the part of me that I've known all my life.

From the moment I was born I had a name. I was a “Roe girl” I had special powers and extremely awesome curly hair! I lived in a world where no one shared my last name in school and it was glorious, and everyone knew who I was. I was proud of my name, cause I stood out from the rest. My mother and uncles decided to have all girls (except my brother) so our family name would die out once we all married. But that would never happen... would it?

In the midst of planning the wedding and trying not to be a brideszilla, it started to hit me that I was going to be Mrs. Smith. The most generic name in the world, and of course I will join the sea of Smiths, never to stand out again. Yes, I am being dramatic, but let's be real here, I was sad about it!

When we returned from our honeymoon, there's a procedure you have to go through to make everything legal. The marriage license, social security card, drivers license, bank accounts, credit cards, mailing address, email addresses etc. You start to realize that everything requires your name. That's when reality sinks in. Oh, wow, I got married and I have to change my name, the only name I've ever known, and now I'm freaking out because I have an identity issue and I don't know who I am and OMG my world is crumbling. Okay, maybe your experience wasn't like that. But you get the idea.

Anyways, it hit me one day when I was talking to Jared about... whatever and I started to cry. I was so wrapped up between the wedding, moving and everything that I never processed that my life was literally going to change. That I was actually stepping into a new chapter of my life, that consist of ACTUAL change in my day to day life. Everyone always says, “oh a new chapter in your life” but now that I think about it, you're really starting a new book. Yes it can be a sequel, but it's a NEW book. Let the reader hear. You are starting fresh, with new characters, new storyline, everything is different, including your name.

I thought I was the only crazy one who actually grieved over leaving my name behind. But after a Facebook status and about 12 comments later, I realized I wasn't. That's why I'm writing this blog. I want you to know that you are not alone. People sometimes make you think that you are, but they've probably gone through the same thing and they just forgot, or don't want to talk about it.

The truth is, when you get married, when you sign those legal documents of marriage, your driver's license etc. You just need to take a step back, breathe deep, talk to your husband and cry a little. The truth is, this is a HUGE life changing event for you. It's ok to be sad about it, but I promise you, the sadness will go away and you will be so happy that you get to share your husband's name. Because it's now your name, and maybe even your future children's name. You get to start with a fresh slate and move forward with your life. You get to form your own family, in your own way, with your best friend.

I love being Mrs. Smith, because it doesn't change who I am, it shows people who I am. My name is Mrs. Smith and I like being me.