A Rose By Any Other Name

Last Wednesday, upon the encouragement of my friend, and having made a decision regarding my finances, so I could pay the fee, I went to the Pima County Superior Court in Tucson, AZ and changed my name.

When I was born my three ‘birth’ names had the meanings, “Graceful Lily”, “Child of Grace”, and “God is Gracious”-son (Grace, Grace, Grace).  When I was 22 years old I married and took the name of my husband.  We had two children, a boy and a girl.  Several years ago, our daughter changed her name, dropping her ‘birth’ surname, and taking her middle name as a surname.

Now, it’s also helpful to know that the name has taken on slang, and many jokes made over it.  Another reason for me to change it.  Even with all the changes required for bank accounts, credit cards, insurance, not to mention that I’m a retired senior with who-knows-how-many-years-left, it is something that I needed to do.

When I was divorced over 20 years ago I was asked if I wanted my maiden name back, and I said, “No”.  It was my father’s name, and he was adopted, so it really wasn’t his name.  In addition, I didn’t want such a ‘plain’ name – one that was also associated with a painful family history.  So I kept my married name…until last Wednesday.

Why did it take me so long to enter this very easy process?  First, I didn’t know what name I wanted to take on.  Names I liked were OTHER peoples’ names.  I would go to sleep, requesting information from my dreams about a new name.  I tried my mother’s maiden name, and in a dream was advised that I couldn’t ‘connect’ with it.  Once I woke up in the morning with a couple of words relating to a name the elders of a Native American teaching lodge gave me.  It didn’t feel right.

Twice – when I lived in Charlottesville, VA and Denver, CO I obtained the paperwork for the court petition, but could not decide on a name.  Then, three years ago, as I read the description of Swan in the Medicine Cards, with the keynote “Grace” I knew that that is what I needed to call myself.

In part of the story about Swan, she is advised that she must, “be willing to accept whatever the future holds as it is presented, without trying to change Great Spirit’s plan.”  Well, is that ever the challenge!

In addition, I always resonated with the story of the Ugly Duckling because as a child I never felt that I belonged anywhere, and boy, did I try to change myself so I would finally belong!  Over time I’ve discovered that I really DON’T ‘belong’ except to myself.  I have been investigating the ‘science of differentiation’ known as Human Design for several years.  I was not surprised to learn that of the four types of humans, according to this knowledge, I am rare – only 8% of the world’s population is the same type as I am. And we are meant to act on our own, and be willing to ‘go it alone’.  It isn’t comfortable; it’s downright painful sometimes; and it’s about having been conditioned to believe that I was supposed to be like everyone else.

Now I have my own name, one of my choosing, based on my self-knowledge and understanding.  Yet, I am still who I was when I received my first name – Grace, Grace, Grace.  And, by-the-way, the order was entered very near my former marriage date – full circle!

3 thoughts on “A Rose By Any Other Name”

  1. As Bobbie says, Outstanding. You are such an amazingly gifted writer. I love reading your blog. And, as always, I come away from it with substantial food for thought. Happy “birth” day. Blessings. You are such a gift.

  2. I have two friends who did this – both chose the name of the town in which they were born…lovely names! I ran through initials on my art for a while TT (maiden) (TTD) married TT(divorced)….finally I just switched to Tam, which is what my mother always called me, and my longest friend (63 years now!)….at the time no one else called me Tam but of course it *would* catch on once I started signing things that way. I love the process of naming one’s self!

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