I went out to eat with a friend last weekend. Two young gentlemen came up to us and asked where I went to high school:
“Durham School of the Arts? Why?”
“You look like somebody that went to our school.”
“Well where’d you go?”
“Oh it’s small, Rivermill.”
“Oh yeah, that’s cause I taught there, what’s your name?”
Turns out I taught one of their little sisters, actually saw her cheer quite a few times too. So then they asked my last name….I told them what it was then and they said they would tell Samantha hi for me. My friend didn’t say anything.
Well then that week I changed my name on Facebook to a grouping of my friends last names. I did it, in part, to show my support “against” Amendment One. (I do not believe that the government has any right to define anyone’s family as being “more real” than anyone elses, no matter the orientation-but that's not what this post is about.) Well let’s just say the friend from dinner was slightly more confused. I was asked what was up with all the different last names, so I explained the last couple of years. Does that ever get easier?? I hope so. Right now it makes me feel like a failure and embarrassed with too much baggage-I hope I don’t have to pay for all of it to ship to Bahrain or I’m screwed.
So the crazy last name on Facebook was my transition away from an old name. A name I don’t want to forget, but one that I need to move past. However, don’t go looking for the return of another name. Legally, yes, internet-ly, no. I follow several Bahrain news agencies and reporters online and I have seen people post that they were not allowed in, or kicked out, because of comments they had made regarding the country. While I am not a political activist, nor would I ever say things to defame a country, I don’t necessarily want them to have full access to me. My twitter handle is the same but all my names will change to my first and middle name.
I love my first name because I think, it may be the only thing my parents agreed on, besides the fact that I was and am the best daughter ever (well one of three). My middle name is a tie to both my mom and dad’s family. I love my middle name because it is my grandmother’s name. I grew up staying with Grandma during days in the summer and our trips to Minnehaha Falls, board games, and puzzles were awesome. My middle name is also my Godmother/Great Aunt’s name. We spent family reunions at her place and she is amazing. My mom also loved her so much.
My name change is mostly to keep me protected, but it’s secondly to start fresh. Everyone remember the song Laura Bartholomay Childs sang for Spotlight?
“I am Rosemary’s granddaughter,
the spitting image of my father,
and when the day is done, my momma’s still my biggest fan.
I am foolish and I’m clumsy,
But I have friends that love me,
And they know exactly where I stand.
They’re all apart of me,
That’s who I am.”
I don’t know why but it feels right, right now.