It’s been four whole years since I took the *giant* step of changing my name by deed poll. Not my surname or middle name, I went all out and changed my first and middle name. It’s always a great fact during those ‘introduce yourself’ exercises at new jobs. A lot of the time, people don’t believe it is something that I’ve actually done and if they do, they want to know why. The honest truth? I changed my name because I wanted to. Some people outgrow their job, friends and even their relationship and I felt like that was the same for me with my name. Things happened during the time of me having my old name and to me, it felt like the best way to start over. Obviously, this didn’t happen overnight as much as I’d of liked it too.
If only there was a way to start over like The Sims, right? But it did feel like I had another chance to create who I was going to be.
When it came making the decision regarding a name change for me, it was something that had been in my mind for years, but I never actually knew how simple it would be. I’d heard it was about going to the court and spending £1000s on this process when really it is as simple as finding a company who do this online. I searched reviews on the internet until I found a site I was happy with and then it came to choosing the name. I wrote a list of names I liked on a piece of paper, then separated them into two columns. Ones which would work as a first name and then also a middle name. I wanted to keep a middle name but at first considered double barreling it. I considered so many names and combinations and kept saying the names out loud and looking at myself in the mirror. As weird as that sounds, I feel like it helped me to decide which one I wanted for myself.
There were so many names which I wanted but they weren’t me. I liked Daisy, Poppy and Jade. I felt like I wasn’t ‘cool enough’ to go with the names Daisy or Poppy, as they felt so different from my name. I loved Jade but not as a first name, for some reason I wanted it as my middle name. So I decided Jade was going to be my new middle name. But finding the first name to match proved even more difficult. The first name had to be something I could shorten or just a short name in general. I decided I liked Liv, however, I decided I needed to go down the lines of Olivia, as it went with my middle name better than Liv Jade, which doesn’t go imo.
Once my deeds came through, it was such a surreal feeling. I was waiting for around 9 days for them to arrive, every day even though I knew they wouldn’t have arrived yet, I kept checking and hoping. I wanted to keep the name thing on the ‘down-low’ until the deeds arrived, in case the site was dodgy or I changed my mind. When they came I knew I’d made the right choice. Being a millennial, I took to Facebook to share my news, so I didn’t have to explain it over and over to people. I was greeted with questions of why, how and then why some more which is to be expected. I know that some people who commented were curious about the change and how it works, others were just shocked by it and didn’t understand why I would do that when I already had a name which was ‘fine’. Then there was the group of people who I appreciate the most who didn’t question why they just accepted it and tried their hardest to remember my new name.
It’s taken almost four years, but I hardly ever get called the wrong name anymore by my family or friends. It’s bizarre sitting here four years later and knowing that I made the right choice. It gave me a sense of power which I felt like I lacked previously. With my mental illnesses, I felt like I didn’t have a lot of control over who I was as a person, but this change gave me some of that power back. I am yet to decide if it makes me brave to change the name you’ve always known or if it was just a weird thing I decided to one day. I feel like it has taken my family a while adjust as it feels like such a rebellious thing to do. Especially when talking to your friends, for my mum and grandma I guess they found it hard when their friends were talking about their children’s achievements and my mum got to share what I’d done. It felt like when she was telling them about me dying my hair or that I had gotten a tattoo but this somehow seemed more permanent.
Four years on, I don’t regret my choice, in fact, I often forget I was even born with/ had a different name for 20 years. For those of you who are considering changing any part of your name, I’d recommend doing so, especially if is the process and the money behind it which is a huge part as to why it hasn’t been done yet. I believe in total mine cost me £40 and if I’d of known this, I would have done it sooner. Since my first post, I’ve had more people than I could have imagined asking me about the process, and it’s great to be able to tell my story about it with you guys and beyond. Thanks for listening to my ramble and if you’d like to read my first post about me changing my name, feel free to check it out here. *It’s pretty cringe though* so prepare yourselves for that!