Thursday, May 19, 2011

a rose by any other name would smell as sweet

What's in a name? If you care to explore this topic philosophically, I found this article that will make your head spin. I didn't leave it feeling any more or less confident about my current state (and now I might suggest to Dan that we both change our names to "Maluma"), but it was interesting if you like that kind of thing. But I digress.

I Became Julie Griffin
Today, the last pieces fell into place and I officially fulfilled the title of my blog in all functional areas of my life.

If you have ambitions to follow my path to changing your name, here's how:

Changing Your Name After The Wedding: Ten Steps
Step One: Get married. time: one year.
Step Two: Wait for Maricopa county to mail your certified "Record of Marriage". time: four weeks. When it comes, fix it and mail it back because the date of your marriage was illegible on the original and they need it re-submitted. tip: make sure you and your officiant print legibly on your marriage license the first time around.
Step Three: Wait for Maricopa county to mail your (legible) certified "Record of Marriage". time: three (more) weeks.

Step Four: Print out a name change form off the U.S. government's Social Security website and prepare/collect all supporting documents. time: two days.
Step Five: Go to the Social Security Office and submit the form and tell them how you want your new name to read on your social security card, which will be mailed to you within two
weeks. time: one hour. (while not thrilling [see photo], it was actually pretty painless, I think they've really improved their process!)
Step Six: Wait two days for the state computer system to update. time: two days.
Step Seven: Go to the MVD for a new driver's license. time: thirty minutes (also fairly painless, I guess I got lucky, I did not have to wait long at all. And my photo turned out pretty cute too :). Make sure you hold onto your old driver's license even though they hole-punch it because all your credit cards still have your old name on them.
Step Eight: Wait for your new Social Security Card.
Step Nine: Provide a copy of your new Social Security Card, Driver's License, and Marriage License to your employer and all financial institutions. time: this could take days, depending.
Step Ten: start using your new name and email address at work and for all other grown-up things. :)

Bitter Sweet
I felt a twinge of sadness as I turned in my old badge to the security office at work to receive my new one. My badge was my last photo I.D. that daily identified me as the person I was for the first twenty-seven years of my life; a proud carrier of my father's family name, the name on my old volleyball jerseys, diplomas, the signature I perfected when I first learned cursive. So many memories.

I shed no tears, but I did stop and reflect. 

I have a new NAME. I am having a hard time letting go of my old one. Dan understands, he said he would feel nostalgic too if he changed his last name... it's kind of a big part of who you are, it's your NAME. It feels so weird to say "oh, that's my maiden name. Now my name's...." I can kind of see why so many women hyphenate, although I have always felt conviction to take my husband's name, I think it's symbolic.

I don't want it to seem like I felt obligated, or that I'm not excited; I didn't, and I am. I just am being realistic about the mixed emotions that come with such a significant life change. It's one of many transitions that I'm experiencing right now, and they are all great, but great does not always equal easy.

Anyway, my new signature is kind of awesome. I love the symmetry of the "iffi" in the middle of Griffin, and I like how all the letters balance out. I am kind of a nerd about it. I practiced a lot before I got my driver's license. Typical.

Today also marks our second monthiversary. Have we really been married for two months?!?!? Last weekend we went to the first wedding we've ever attended as a married couple, it was a little surreal but very cool!
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