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George McCandless is not my birth name. In fact, at the time of writing it isn’t even my real name.
You see, not so long ago I decided to remove my grandfather’s name from my middle name. He was not a nice person. Like, he should have been jailed for what he did to minors. Interestingly, my parents knew about his activities when they ‘honoured’ him with my middle name, but I guess everyone was in denial.
In any case, while I was messing with my middle name, it occurred to me that I could honour my ‘inner child’. I’d been doing a lot of work with him over the years and it was time to give him some prominence.
But I didn’t want to bury him in the middle of my name, so I figured he should come first. There are plenty of people known by a middle name, so the plan was set… I would go from:
OldFirst OldMiddle OldLast
NewFirst NewMiddle OldFirst OldLast
That meant that my old given name still existed in full in my new name.
But after officially changing, my new first name started to grow on me. People started using it and I liked it.
I had already toyed with changing my whole name but I think fear held me back. I’m known ‘professionally’ as OldFirst OldLast and I thought it would be detrimental to my business to change that.
So I’ve decided to simply take a two-stage approach to introducing the new name. If I knew a month ago what I know now, I’d have done it all in one go. But I didn’t. That’s what life is about… thinking about things, taking our best guess, trying it out, then refining.
And so the next stage, to be implemented when I don’t have a record at the UK Land Registry (now that’s an expensive change!) will be to drop OldFirst and OldLast and substitute in NewLast… or McCandless as you see here.
We’ll end up with:
NewFirst NewMiddle NewLast
And the transformation will be complete.
Although it’s a bit of a faff to do it in two stages, I do truly feel like I’m in metamorphosis right now… the transformation to my new identity isn’t a done deal… I’m still living with my soon-to-be-ex wife. I’m still in the house I’ve lived in for eighteen years.
I didn’t want to take my old name into my new life, and that has been achieved.
Maybe this is a good strategy if you’re considering a name change. Step one is to introduce the new identity to the world. Step two is to remove the old identity. It’s less of a wrench than doing it all in one go.
When the new life is properly under way, and all—or most—of the current crap is cleared, then I make the final change.
But for now, I will slip into that identity through this slightly prematurely-named website.
I can recommend a name change. It’s never too late to start over, and the name change has really helped me to recognise just how much I’ve been holding onto that I didn’t need to.
Tags: Name Change
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Happy to discuss anything you read here by email: firstname.lastname@example.org