Tuesday, April 24, 2018

What's in a name?

I'm still here!  I'm still reading along for the few that still post on the regular.  :-)  Everyone has seemed to drop off significantly in the last year or so, which makes me sad, but I can't criticize since I've done the same.

I'm getting married in 23 days, guys! I leave for the beach in 19 days.  My last day of work pre-wedding is in 17 days.  I will be off work for 11 days!

Everything is pretty much done.  I'm picking up my dress from alterations on Saturday.  I'm compiling an informational email for our guests to send out this week.  I want to make a wedding reception playlist, all while noting that our "reception" will legitimately be tacos, margaritas and cupcakes in the backyard of the beach house.  :-)  I need to gameplan my makeup since I'm just doing it myself.  That about sums it up!

It's an exciting time, and I'm glad I have so much to look forward to.  In the meantime, I have baseball games, hair appts, movies, acupuncture, and a variety of other self-care and leisure activities to fill the time.  Things are good!  

In light of these impending nuptials, I've been doing a lot of reflection, and it's hard to avoid considering how different this is than my first marriage.  My eyes are open.  Everything was an informed choice.  This wedding will be what we want it to be without the outside influence of anyone else.  That's glorious in and of itself!  The one thing that I'm dealing with differently this time is the name issue.

When I got married at 23, I was so happy to ditch my maiden name.  I have zero relationship with my father and hadn't for years and years by then.  I have almost no connection with that side of the family at all, and some of them were flat out mean to me over the years.  So I was thrilled to wash my hands of my name and start anew.  The new name was more appealing to me in general.  It sounded better.  It was still short and comprised of a single syllable.  Sure, people misspelled it, but someone will find a way to misspell anything, so nothing new there.

When we got divorced, I considered changing my name back.  But I felt like Bluemoon Marriedname.  I didn't identify remotely with Bluemoon Maidenname.  I'd started my adult job life almost immediately with the married name, and it felt like me.  Ex-H and I generally had a good-ish relationship, so I ultimately decided to keep his name.  He was fine with it, it felt right, and I decided that if and when I ever got remarried, I would change it then.

I got married in 2002.  I got separated in 2007 and divorced in 2008.  I will be getting married May 18, 2018.  I spent ten more years as Bluemoon Marriedname, and in those ten years a lot of life happened.  Most importantly, I made the move to a new job that was a move up for me.  I took a brand new position and made it my own.  I established contacts and networked with that name.  I grew used to some folks at work calling me by just my last name and I liked it.  It felt like I'd earned it.

In the fall of this year I went to our CFO and lobbied for a new position for myself.  I put forth my well-researched, well-thought out case.  I was heard and got the promotion I wanted.  I got to decide my own title.  I took on so much more responsibility and gained so much professional independence.  I finally felt like I was truly in the midst of a career and not just a job.

So here we are.  Three and a half weeks until my wedding - and three and a half weeks until my name change process begins.  I can't keep my ex-husband's name once I get remarried.  I still have no desire to take my maiden name back.  I do not love my new married name.  It is not pretty or flowy and I will 1000% be spelling it out for the rest of my life.  But I'm taking it.  I'm just trying to figure out how I feel about it.

If I had it to do all over again, I probably would have never taken ex-H's name in the first place.  But I did, and doing so took me on an even further path away from my maiden name.  It's not me.  

Beyond this, I really want to be sensitive to BF about the name issue.  It has always made him sad that J's mom gave her her own last name instead of his.  It bothers him and I get it, though J prefers her mom's last name because it's easier.  Anyway, this definitely contributed to my considerations about what to do about my name after marriage.  A name is just a name, but it will mean a lot to BF.  I know this.  That makes me happy.

Also?  Over the years I've become more and more OK with leaving behind ex-H's name in general.  We both work in the legal industry, though he's in another aspect of it than me.  However, there's occasional crossover.  I've had instances where people hear his last name and ask if I'm connected to him, and it's not always been a flattering representation for him.  No thanks!

So in summary....

I don't want my maiden name.  That's not me, hasn't been since I was 23.  

While I have a nostalgic fondness for my current married name, I'm less connected to it on a personal level and am really just at a point where I like the reputation I have professionally with that name and I appreciate it's ease.

I love BF and am ultimately OK with taking his name.  Here's how I know where I really stand on this:

If the new married last name was easy or pretty or nice sounding, I'd be ditching this old name without a second thought.  It's only the fact that it's not that is making me struggle.  People will learn the new last name.  I will still be the same professional adult, and I will knowingly roll my eyes inside every time someone misspells it.  It will be OK.  And I forgive myself for this internal (or blog published only) dialogue because it's a big change.  It's the last name change I hope to ever have.  It will become a part of my identity.  Also, I'm almost 40 (!!!) and I'm thinking about things in all of these deeper, bigger picture ways and it's so interesting and cool and introspective, and I love it a little.

Can we believe I'm turning 40 in June?  Wedding in May.  J's graduation June 8th.  My 40th birthday June 24th.  BF's 39th birthday July 11 and J's 18th b-day July 22.  Then J goes to college in mid-August.  Life.... it is a changing!

If you made it to the end of this, congratulations and thank you for being part of today's therapeutic session.  ;-)

Monday, February 12, 2018

94 Days

Guys, I'm getting married in 94 days!  It's crazy to think that I got engaged over five months ago and am now nearing the three month mark until my wedding day.  We're getting married on Friday, May 18th in Duck, North Carolina.  It is going to be a super small affair - just 14 people including us, and two are small kids.  We've rented a beach house for the week and will arrive the Sunday before the wedding.  We'll have the house to ourselves until Wednesday when our guests start to arrive.  Ceremony will be on the beach, weather allowing, with the celebration continuing back at the house. The beach house has a big, fenced yard, a pool, hot tub, swing set for the little one, a grill, all that jazz. 

Our wedding will involve tacos and margaritas for dinner, cupcakes and donuts for dessert and me in a tea-length, strapless ivory dress.  BF's daughter, J is going to be our "Ring Maiden" (her request, ha!) and will be in charge of the rings and will also be doing a reading and saying something at the ceremony.  Ceremony will be short and sweet! 

We're excited for our families to meet and spend a few days together.  It will probably be a little chaotic, but I think we can handle it.  ;-)  We will be honeymooning later in the year, probably around our normal OBX trip time in Sept. since we'll already be taking a week at the beach in May.  We're still deciding on the honeymoon destination!

Everything is pretty much done.  Officiant, photographer, baker, florist all booked.  We've got my entire ensemble decided on (dress, shoes, jewelry) and we got J's dress already.  We'll be going for alterations in March or April.  Good times!

Beyond that, everything is really good, too.  I got a hard earned promotion in October that I personally lobbied for and made happen.  Got a manager title, a nice salary bump and out from under the supervision of my former boss.  Report directly to the CFO now, which is much better.  I have a lot more responsibility, but I love it even though it can be overwhelming at times. 

Right now I'm getting through these last few months of anticipation (and WINTER) by looking forward to small goals.  This coming weekend I have a really fun girls day planned on Saturday with my friend, A.  We're getting blowouts at Drybar, doing lunch, shopping for a dress for the wedding for her to wear and then going to see Sarah Colonna's comedy show that night. 

The following weekend BF and I are making a little weekend escape to a cabin about 1-1.5 hours away from us.  I'm really looking forward to the break from reality and the chance to focus on each other without the distraction of cats, house obligations or anything else.  We're really getting into a busy time that will not stop for several months soon.  After these next couple weeks we'll begin waiting for J to hear about college admissions for next year, then we have the wedding, then J graduates, then my birthday, then BF's birthday, then J's birthday, then J goes to college, then the honeymoon.....  It's a LOT!

Life is good, though.  Lots to look forward to.  Lots to do!