A Jane by Any Other Name…


Last week…I impulsively did something that I’ve been wanting to do for almost twenty years…I legally changed my name…

My name is now…Jane Carroll…and you may have thought that was already my name…and technically it is…it is my birth name…my maiden name…the name that I essentially gave up over 35 years ago…

I considered a name change after the divorce from husband number two…but I would have wanted to go back to my first married name because that was my daughters’ name…but that didn’t seem exactly right…so I just kept it like it was…but I never like it…it bugged me when people would ask me if I were related to someone with the same last name…it just kind of bugged me in general…but I kept it…

Until…I started writing…I knew that I couldn’t put anyone else’s name on…Bertha…it had to be all me…that’s when the inklings to legally change my name started…and…yet…I didn’t do anything about it…I told myself that it would be too expensive…it would be too much trouble…it would just be…too

So…what was it about last week that made me do what I’ve thought about for so long but hadn’t taken action…first of all…it’s almost time to renew my nursing license…and I thought…I should really change my name before I do that…it’ll be so much simpler if I do…and I called a lawyer…he didn’t return my call…

The next push came from work…I found out on Wednesday that I will be covering an after school program…and won’t get off until 5:00 pm…which would make the arrangements much more difficult…I went by the lawyer’s office without an appointment…

It’s a small town…he saw me…

Thursday…I picked up the forms and had them notarized…Friday…I went to the Probate Judge’s office…and in 45 minutes…my name was changed…my driver’s license was changed…and…my bank account was changed…and I was home…ordering take-out as…Jane Carroll…

Sometimes you gotta love living in a small town…

But…while these external factors pushed me into action…I know that they weren’t the real reason…I’ve had several nursing license and driver’s license renewals since I first thought about a name change…

None of the aggravating factors were gone…I am going to have to change my name in a bunch of places…people at work…including the kids…are going to have to get used to my new name…I’m going to have to explain to people who never knew me by my maiden name…that no…I didn’t get married…no…I didn’t recently get divorced…

So…why now…why September 7, 2012…

Bertha…says it’s because…it was just time for me to claim who I am…not to be someone’s wife…someone’s ex-wife…not even someone’s daughter…or mother…although those pieces never go away…they don’t define me…

She says…it’s a huge step…in living my truth…and…I know it’s true…I find myself asking…what would Jane Carroll like to do…and…some of the answers are surprising me…

But…we’ll talk about them on another day…

Jane

16 thoughts on “A Jane by Any Other Name…

    • Smart move! I realize that ‘way back then’ we girls just automatically changed our names when we married without thinking twice about it. I am not even sure some of us young brides knew we had a choice. What I don’t understand is why so many girls (most?) are still changing their names when they marry-without even thinking through other options. If I were young and doing it all over again (thank goodness I’m not), I would not change my name when I got married.

      • Jan…I know what you mean…my oldest daughter kept her name…my youngest didn’t…but they each chose what has worked best for them…I think the key is…choice…I like that we have more choices today. Thanks for stopping by…I appreciate your comment and support…have a great day!

  1. Congratulations! I know you feel FREE from those names (2?) that weren’t yours hanging around. What a gift to your blessed Mother who gave (or approved) Jane Carroll. I like it! I might be biased. hehe

  2. I’m proud of you! You’ve always been Jane Carroll to me though. Just wondering where you might have found take-out in this small town of ours. Did they actually deliver it? If so, please share your source.

    • Yes…I am just Jane Carroll! Unfortunately, they didn’t deliver…I went to the Steak House and picked it up…but it was still yummy! Thanks for visiting!

  3. I love it too, Jane. Once upon a time I had to use an alias and it really messes with the mind and sense of self. I guess married names might be similar. Hugs

    • Hella, isn’t it interesting how much of our core identity is connected to our name…I suppose that’s why some people change theirs to something totally different…it just doesn’t feel like who they are. You’ve certainly had an interesting life…filled with some adventures. Perhaps you should write a book?????

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