I changed my name. I had thought about it for many years, my old name never felt right for me. I changed my name for my first marriage, but that name felt awkward too. When we divorced I changed my name back, but again it still didn’t feel right. That was about 13 years ago.
I’ve had a lot of changes over the past year, with bigger layers of healing to process. I’ve also had some good changes, after 10 years together, my boyfriend proposed and we married this summer. It was a beautiful warm day and a great location; we were joined by my sons, and a few close friends and family. No, I will not be changing my name to my spouse’s name (maybe he could change his name to mine). It’s time for me to have my own name, not any names passed down from grumpy old men.
At the rehearsal, the wedding officiant asked me who would be giving me away. I emphatically responded, “NO ONE, I AM NOT CHATTEL!” She was quite surprised by my response, she was used to the old tradition of “giving away the bride”, not really considering the meaning of it. My son would be walking in with me, but no one was transferring ownership of me.
Earlier this year, I was thinking of changing my name to my maternal grandmother’s birth name. But I saw an image of her grandfather shaking his head, ‘No, it’s not for you.’ A few weeks later, my new last name came to me as I was doing something mundane, it popped into my head along with the spelling… Wilde. As I wrote out my new full name, it felt better, but still not quite right. I consulted a friend and one of my sisters with options that I was considering, they were very supportive and encouraging with my pending name change. My sister made different suggestions, but it still didn’t feel right for me. I was grateful for her input because it helped me open up to different options, and made me realize that this was a decision that I had to make completely on my own. And finally, my new name came together. It felt light and exciting, a bit scary to make the change, but a bright new door was opening for me.
I submitted my name change application, and in a few weeks my documents arrived with my new name. It was official. Then I had to change my name everywhere else… at my age, it’s a long list of places and a time consuming process, but definitely worth the hassle for me.
I had left my first name as it was, but when I received my official name change documents, I felt my first name drop off. The real me is Violet Wilde, a wildflower. I get a little giddy when I hear someone call me by my new name; and when I receive my coffee order with ‘Violet’ on the cup, it makes me smile and brightens my day, I giggle like a little kid.
Hearts Like Wildflowers
I hope you are blessed
with a heart like a wildflower.
Strong enough to rise again
after being trampled upon,
tough enough to weather
the worst of the summer storms,
and able to grow and flourish
even in the most broken places.
Reflecting on the past few years, this name was whispering to me for quite a while, those words/names had been showing up in my life in different ways, like little sparkles showing me the way. I just had to get quieter and listen more intently for those gentle nudges to get through to me; and I am so grateful that I live in a time and place where I can choose my own name.
Last week, I was still feeling in between the old name and the new name. I can see myself on a bridge crossing a deep valley, the bridge is being built as I slowly cross, I’m almost to the other side with only a few more bricks needed. I asked for guidance on letting go of the old, and saw the old name as a wispy image of my old self being helped by angels to pass on, so that the real me can be rebirthed.
I recently purchased a new set of oracle cards, and started using them this week. One of the first cards that came up was… Wild Violet. I am about to step off the bridge to the next part of my life. I felt lost for so many years, like I was wandering aimlessly, but now I’m moving forward on a path that feels good for me. I’m still not sure what is ahead, but each step I take reveals a little bit more.
I’m not suggesting to change your name to find your way. Just feel what changes in your life can brighten your day, big or small. Listen to the guidance of your soft and gentle inner voice. That’s your soul, lighting sparkles on your path each little step of the way.
Fairy Wisdom Oracle
Illustrated by: Amy Brown
Written by: Nancy Brown