When I moved over to this blog, a friend asked why the domain is my full name when, in a year, I’ll have a new name. The answer, in short, is that I won’t. Well, not completely at least.
As a child, I was a bit embarrassed by my last name. I was called “bald” or “baldy,” which was quite ironic, considering my hair was so large it rivaled the state of Texas. I awaited the day i’d be married and have the opportunity to have a different name.
And then, slowly, I started to like it. I liked it because it has deep roots built in Italy and New York. My name has a history, a past that some text books mention, and some relatives still nervously avoid. It sounds so Italian that when booking a hotel in Italy, the concierge assumed I was native. Somehow, the name became me.
So although I’m thrilled to be accepting Samir into my life, I’ve been a bit hesitant to give it up. Thankfully, Samir is understanding and we came up with a compromise (because that’s what couples do).
Upon getting married next year, I am changing my name. I’m going to take his last name not because it’s the thing to do, but because I want to do it. I want to be his family. But, I’m not giving up my last name. While I won’t go by it anymore, I’m keeping it as my pen name. I’ve built a life around it, and more importantly, a writing resume. I don’t want to change that. Whatever I have published in the future will be under my original last name.
And I think that’s the right thing to do. It’s a way to embrace my future, but not forget my past. A memento left over from an exciting journey. A piece to remind myself of who I was whenever I forget.