I have been debating something quite big for the last year or two. First, I kept it quiet, and then eventually spoke to G about it. With his full support, I decided to mull it over. I felt there were other things of more importance at the time. However, with our first child coming in November, along with the legal paperwork that entails, I've had to think long and hard about a choice that needs to be made.
I have never liked my name. As in, even in middle school, I can distinctly remember when we moved and I had to introduce myself and someone might comment that they liked my name....my response was always, "I hate it." But I suppose I assumed it was what I was stuck with. It felt unnatural to me, far too cute and modern, but it was what it was.
Except as I've come into my own, my hate for it has grown exponentially. I don't like the sound of it, and even seeing it in an e-mail annoys me. It feels so off from my personality that it's as if I was given the wrong identity. Still, I've had so many fears about what people would think if I were to legally change it that it sort of paralyzed me.
But things have changed with the expectation of a child. The names that G and I are discussing are all older names that have stood the test of time, and have to meet criteria: the name has to be able to have at least one nickname/shortened version and we have to like all possible ones of those. In realizing that we're trying so hard to make sure that the name will be one we like, while also giving them a choice, it hit home that I need to do the same for myself.
I have always liked older names. G will tell you this is because I'm an old soul. And I really like the name Katherine, shortened to Kate (and Katie, for my niece who already knows how to say Kalee). G actually thinks it suits me perfectly. And other friends I have spoken to have mentioned they can totally see me as a Kate. Most of all, it feels right to me.
I understand that some people will think I'm being dramatic. And that others may have a hard time with the change. But what it comes down to is that I have to live with my name. I have spent years telling myself that I'll eventually grow to at least be ambivalent. But I've realized that after 27 years, with the annoyance I feel only growing, that perhaps it's time to change it. I'm working on putting my happiness a little higher on the list, and this will be a huge burden lifted. We're looking into how to file the paperwork to change it, but I'm going to be going by Kate from now on (G's been calling me Kate off and on for about a year, and consistently for the last few weeks). It's a decision that I'm extremely happy with, and should be legal by the end of summer.