21 Days Until the Rest of My Life
What does 3 weeks look like to you? Does it look like 21 days? Does it look like 504 hours? 30240 minutes? Or maybe you prefer 1,814,400 seconds?
In 1.8 million seconds my life will change forever. I will be his wife. I will have a husband. And it will be time to start the grueling process of changing my name everywhere and anywhere – inside every system that I have ever existed in.
I’m not worried about married life. To me that is going to be the easy part. James and I committed to forever and each other a long time ago. We have already lived together for two years and we truly know the good and bad sides of each other.
For me, the name thing is going to take the most getting used to. ..giving my name in a store, on the phone, or even for a simple introduction.
I’ve been alongside James enough to know that he has to spell that out 100% of the time.
What a mouthful.
I don’t really get why people don’t change their names or when they do…they hyphenate them into a long chain of syllables. Usually it is a story about independence, identity or honouring roots.
I have a hard time understanding the independence stance. To me the act of getting married and signing up for a lifetime with a single person makes you a part of a team.
As for identity – I will always be “me”. But by getting married, I’m also agreeing to “us”. I’ll still have all my same opinions, biases and passions but I am also signing up for babies and a house with minivans out front. I’m 100% okay with my identity being “me” and “us” all at the same time.
And don’t get me wrong I’m all for honouring one’s roots as well. Having moved across the country I get my fair share of poorly reasoned East vs. West arguments from both sides. Enough to last a lifetime. I find myself defending my upbringing to people out here and I find myself defending my future to people on the other side of the country. The hubris and ignorance can be alarming. You can honour where you come from and where you are going with your actions, not with how you sign your name. If you want to honour your family make them proud of the person you’ve become, make them honoured to be in your life. Show them love, kindness, support and kick them in the ass when it is called for. Because that is family. By changing your name you aren’t saying that you are no longer part of that family or that you don’t care about where you came from. It’s the actions you take before and after that mean something, that mean anything.
Have you ever met someone at a party or at work or even on vacation that you just really hit it off with? Lots in common, similiar senses of humour, jiving personalities. They may have turned into your best friend, or a bridesmaid at your wedding, or even the love of your life. I bet you didn’t know their last name then and I bet that it didn’t matter one bit.
In 1.8 million seconds, I will be Shannon Bearzatto and I can’t wait.