George Carter
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31 Days With A New Name

| Tuesday 7th November, 2023

So a month has passed since I walked away from my friend’s house with a spring in my step—him having witnessed my deed poll—and headed down to the post office to send my driving licence off.

How have the first thirty-one days of my new name been?

Interesting.

How It Feels

For a while I was planning to go by my old name (which I’ve placed as a 2nd middle name). But a couple of people started using the new name and it kinda started to sit well – even though it still feels a little odd, and I still forget it’s referring to me.

I’ve been having second thoughts, second guessing myself… did I even need to change it really? (Well, no… nobody needs to change their name unless they’re in some kind of witness protection or are evading capture).

But then I realised that forty-eight years of Name A is not going to undo itself in a mere thirty-one days (that’s a ratio of 31 to over 71,700 – or 99.96% of my life spent with the old name).

What’s interesting is that while my new name doesn’t quite feel natural yet, my FULL name does… if I take first name, both middle names and surname, that absolutely feels like me. So there’s definitely something right in there!

Updating Details

Getting my details updated has been interesting… to make it easier I basically made a project plan with the Big List™ of all the places I had to change it, as well as progress and any notes. I also scored them from ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ to 💣 in terms of ease. Some of the highlights were:

The less good experiences have been:

Friends, Family and Others

I told my closest friends and family and they’ve been very accepting (except I haven’t told my dad yet… I told him I was going to, but he was quite negative about doing so while I have a divorce and house sale in progress… well, I did it anyway… need to stand tall while I tell him and don’t allow him to trigger a regression to the scared child).

A couple of my friends have really adopted the new name and use it a lot. That’s good. It reminds me what I’m called!

Others forget often, but I’m not upset… in fact, even if someone would refuse to use the new name, I don’t think I’ll be upset. I will certainly consider how important they are to me (or how important I am to them). When some people refer to me by my old name I quickly respond “Who?” which is interesting because it means I’m starting to feel odd being called it.

But even better than all that: I met a new person at a business network the other day… I introduced myself and one of the other people there said “It must be so nice… having someone who never knew you as your old name!” She was right.

Conclusion

So far, so good. A lot of work updating countless records – I didn’t realise my details were in so many places!

I feel the new name sits well (in its entirety, at least) and I’m beginning to feel like the new name is me.

Friends and family are on board and I’m looking forward to moving forward with life…

My therapist asked who I was leaving behind with the change, and that has been a bit of inner work… but very valuable inner work.

In conclusion, if you are thinking of changing your name, I say go for it. The obstacles are not insurmountable and the work is worth it to finally do justice to the identity you have worked hard to discover.


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