What's in a Name

I did not change my name when Shawn and I got married. I didn't want to give up my name. I loved my last name. I still love my last name. But my passport needs to be renewed this year and I had to decide whether to renew in my current name (and commit to 10 more years with a different last name than Shawn and Grady) or change my name now and get a passport in my new name. Passports are expensive and I'm too cheap, erm, frugal to pay $160 for a passport now and another $160 if I decide I want to change my name in a year or two.

I was adamantly against changing my last name when I got married. It upset Shawn but he accepted that it was my choice. I'm glad I wasn't swayed by anyone then because it's allowed me to make the decision for myself now. I want to change my name now. I want to have the same last name as Shawn and Grady. Part of the reason I didn't want to change my name when we got married was that it felt like I was giving up my name to take Shawn's name. I felt like I would be losing my name. I don't know if it's because we've been married for over five years, or if it's because we have a child but my intense feelings have mellowed somewhat. I don't feel like I'm losing my name. Or, rather, dropping my name feels like less of a loss.

I honestly don't have any judgment or opinions about if people should or should not change their name. I don't give a hoot if you change your name. I care that you're doing what makes you happy and feels right for you. I reject the argument that taking my husband's last name makes me a bad feminist. Feminism (to me) means being free and able to make the choice whether or not to change my last name to match my husband's (or hyphenate my last name with his last name, or change both our last names to a brand! new! last name!) This is my choice to make and I'm so grateful to be able to make it.

So! In the next month or so I will change my last name to Shawn and Grady's last name. I considered legally hyphenating our two last names but then we'll end up with a 5-syllable last name and I just cannot be arsed. What was once SO important to me is now a non-issue. I love how fluid and ever-changing life can be.

I'm curious - have you changed your name? Did you take your partner's name or did you do something else?