Me with a Z

I started therapy in early November, after having spent about a solid month either crying or doing nothing. My son has a therapist and my daughter has had one in the past, one she still sees occasionally when she feels the need for help working through something particular. I’ve recommended it for others plenty of times, but I was coming to the realization that I was avoiding it for myself because I, as the emotional caretaker of the household, wasn’t allowed to need professional caretaking. Or so I thought, somewhere down in my psyche’s bowels, where epiphanies move slowly.

I went to a therapist whose office was almost walkable from my house and who took my insurance, and spent an hour crying and laying out all the things that had just piled on top of me and wouldn’t budge: deaths, surgeries, pain, loss of work, loss of friends, menopause, my son’s transition. Trump, for fuck’s sake. It was hard to pack into an hour. I told her that I just felt blurry—like I couldn’t even see myself clearly anymore, and she said, “Well, of course not. After all that loss, it’s not surprising you’ve come out the other side a different person. The question is: who are you now? And who do you want to be?”

She ultimately recommended a different therapist for me, one who specialized more in grief and loss, and that’s who I’ve been seeing for two months, but her words keep coming back to me. I am a different person. Maybe that’s not so surprising, but I am surprised by how resistant to that notion I was until somebody pointed out that it was A) understandable, B) permissible, and C) governable. With so much of what had informed my identity wiped away, I have a certain amount of control over what that identity now becomes. I am still someone’s wife, still a couple someones’ mother, and those roles still shape me but as my kids grow and gain more and more independence, I am freer to explore who I am beyond them.

But I’ve also just found myself fascinated with the notion that there are times in life where we go into something one person, and come out someone else—and how we embrace some of those transformations but not all of them. Think about the ritual of a wedding, particularly a traditional wedding, for women. Even though you probably have not been a virgin for a very long time, you still put on the symbols of virginity: a white dress, a veil. Because these signify that you are transforming—ostensibly from a pure and untouched maiden to a married woman who’s gonna be gettin’ it on all legit from now on. And even if you aren’t a virgin and you can be pretty sure most people are aware of that, and even if you are a card-carrying feminist, you may very well even change your last name—because that’s an even better symbol of personal transformation. You are establishing a new partnership, a new household—a new identity. And everybody pretty much gets behind that.

And then, let’s say, you get pregnant, and you have your first child. Your body changes in myriad ways both obvious and subtle for nine months, and then, whether vaginal or caesarean, the birth is an hours-long struggle with blood and sweat and pain. And with no time to heal from the labor and birth process—boom!—you are now someone’s mother. I don’t know how it was for you, but for me, becoming a mother to a newborn was just a throw-her-into-the-deep-end-and-she’ll-have-to-learn-to-swim process. Meanwhile, my husband was horny, my job wanted me back full time, my old friends wanted me to be as available for counseling them through their dating lives as I had been before. The world wanted me to look, think, feel, and act just like I had before my baby, and no one wanted to acknowledge that I was now a different person. So, I couldn’t acknowledge it either, couldn’t even see it for what it was, and I struggled.

When my son transitioned last year, he got to choose a new name, and we celebrated that change with him, so that he would know deep in his soul that his family embraced him and the change he had to make for his well-being. But while he got used to his new moniker, and we spent time explaining the change to friends and family, I felt myself changing as well. I was now the mother of a son, a transgender son, and this was only the beginning of a lifetime of worry and fear that I was frankly unprepared for. I no longer felt capable of maintaining my quilting humor blog because, honestly, who the hell was that woman who could write funny stuff? I remember her, but was she actually ever me? Something inside me had shifted, hard, and no matter how much love and acceptance I had (and have) for my child (infinite), I was now carrying new weights so heavy and so alien they changed the very shape of my bones.

So, here I sit, a new person without a new name or a ceremony to celebrate my changes and usher me towards my new life. I am at the confluence of family changes, menopause, the end of my career, and the looming specter of my 50th birthday. I struggle to stay afloat, but float on I do, because there is no choice in the matter, really. It is what we do, as women, as caregivers—we float on, even as our boats and paddles drift away. But I want to fashion new ones. The therapist asked, “Who do you want to be?” And I don’t know the answer to that yet, but I do know that I want one.

When I started The Bitchy Stitcher blog back in 2008, it was an experiment of sorts. I wanted to write freely, without the pressure of being A Great Writer Saying Something Weighty and Important, and to do that at that time of my life I needed to be anonymous. Learning to quilt gave me a framework, and not telling a soul about it gave me liberty. But then I started to gather an audience, and many of you reading this now are a part of that audience. I began to publish, and I kissed that anonymity good-bye. In other words, I made a name for myself.

Though I never legally took it when we married, I used my husband’s name as my professional name and became Megan Dougherty. I didn’t realize at the time how important this was for me symbolically, how it represented my break from the expectations that had been placed on me, and how I was finally doing the thing I had always longed to do: write humor. Not because it was my husband’s name, but because it wasn’t my old one.

When I decided to start blogging and writing again, I thought seriously about doing so under a completely new name, once more using anonymity as my permission to myself to say whatever I want to say however I want to say it. But I realized that even though I feel so changed and even though I am searching for who I am now, Megan Dougherty is still a core part of me and I still want her with me as I go forward. I mean, when she’s not wracked with self-doubt and guilt, she’s damn funny. When I changed my Instagram handle from @thebitchystitcher, I couldn’t use @megandougherty (just as I couldn’t when I joined Twitter) because there is a photographer with that name who has taken it, so instead of adding a string of numbers or using something cutesy, I just added a Z and became Megan Z Dougherty. At the time, it was just a way to keep the Megan and the Dougherty, but when I started setting up this blog and playing around with names (Confabulations was the name I was going with at first), I kept coming back around to the name I made for myself ten years ago, now with its jaunty little initial in the middle. It’s still me, but with a Z. What does the Z stand for? Zesty? Zelda? Zoltar? Zigazig-ah? It’s an open question, and so there’s no period after it. It gets to float on with me, while I decide what it means—what I mean—now.

I hope to make this a space where I can do some of that exploration, where I can talk about writing and art and creation and life and find my joy in words again. I hope too that some of you who joined me before will do so again, for you have all been so dear to me. Perhaps we’ll find some new friends along the way. Maybe, if we’re lucky, I will occasionally remember how to be funny.

But beyond me pontificating on my identity issues, I’d also like this to be a conversation. So, we’ll give the new blog and comment system (WordPress is new to me!) a test drive by throwing out a question: If you could give yourself a new name—even if just a new middle initial—would you? And what would it be? Would it be something to reflect the changes you’ve been through, or just something better than Bertha McFartsnot? (Not that there’s anything wrong with Bertha McFartsnot.)

And hey, if you’re looking for something ahead of you, but not ready to leave yourself behind, you can always just add a Z.

42 thoughts on “Me with a Z

  1. Your post has given me so much to think about. Honestly, I can’t even begin to answer your question because that thinking has to happen first…
    Thank you for sharing and I tremendously look forward to your future posts!

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  2. Hey, Lady — welcome back! How about Z is for Zeitgeist, the Spirit of the Age — whatever that age may be? I am reminded of my favorite quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel “Tender Is the Night”: “Think how you love me. I don’t ask you to love me always this way, but I ask you to remember. Somewhere inside me will always be the person I am tonight.” Now, the character who spoke that line was totally losing her grip on reality and headed to an asylum, if memory serves, but that line gives me the image that our selves are like those Russian nesting dolls, gaining new layers, new identities as life continues throwing us curveballs that make us stretch and grow (or shrink and wither). Somewhere inside of you is the Bitchy Stitcher, and somewhere inside of you is the pre-marriage Megan, and even though you feel like a different person now because of what you’ve lived through and are living through, all of these different layers still belong to who you are and what you have to offer to the world. None of your readers are the same as they were back when we first stumbled across your blog, either. Therapy is an awesome lifeline and I’m glad you finally gave yourself permission to get that help, and I’m really, REALLY glad that you’re writing again.

    I almost forgot your question!! I guess I already DID give myself a different name, several times. My parents named me Rebecca but then called me Becky all the time. When I found out I had a “real name” with three syllables instead of two, I refused to answer to Becky anymore and made everyone call me Rebecca instead. And then, when I started blogging, I used my middle name (named after my awesome favorite grandmother who made a fuss over me and called me her “namesake” instead of either my maiden/father’s last name or my husband’s last name. Partly this was so I could write about my kids without embarrassing them (this did not work — their middle school friends found my blog anyway) but it was also a little about choosing my own name for this thing I was doing all on my own. 🙂

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  3. Welcome back – we’ve missed you. I’m struggling with the new me as a new widow after 57 years of marriage and now no longer a half of a pair. Different from your struggle, I know, but we’ll get there as new women!

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  4. You write very well, first of all. This article stuck a chord with me. I was adopted when I was five years old and they changed my first and middle names as well as my last name. I never liked my name, for various reasons. In my early twenties, a friend gave me a nickname, a shortened version of my adopted middle name and it felt so much more like me, I have used it ever since. Eventually, I was reunited with part of my biological family, who of course knew me by a different name. It didn’t feel like me, though, so they learned to call me by my nickname. A name can mean so much, internally. You have to be yourself when you learn who that is.

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  5. I am definitely all in. I can’t wait to read more from you here. I get the ideas you’re talking about here and I am trying to work through them, too. I slowly talk these things over with my family and sometimes new ideas come to us. But, I force myself to do activities I have traditionally loved to do, even when I don’t really want to and I keep sharing. I am slowly choosing to create new life every day. I see a change.

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  6. Hi,! Welcome back:) I’ve never replied to one of your blogs before but have read them all and loved you from afar. I recognize your struggles and they resound within me. From being given a child or 4, all different and with not a single damn instruction manual in sight, to losing my grandpa, my dad, my mom and grandma over a period of 13 years that felt like minutes.. I’ve been incredibly blessed along the way also so have learned to focus on that as much as I can.
    Now to your question,I changed my name once when I got married and haven’t considered changing my real name since then, but I do have an alter ego. She goes by the name starduster and she holds some practical stuff such as my email, but also the name of the business I dream of creating, my online personna, a bunch hopes and plans:)
    I hope you find all the joy and love that you can ask for and imagine!
    Rhonda

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  7. Welcome back! I’m definitely looking forward to sharing this journey together. A big lifestyle move is planned for next year, so I’ll be making some big changes too. Not my name, it is what it is and I’m fine with it, but I love my alter ego name, The Colorful Fabriholic. I wish you all the best on your journey to finding the new you.

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  8. I like my name – I thought my husbands name was cool before I even met him, so changing it when we got married wasn’t an issue, and I was just starting my career so a name change didn’t affect that either. I did officially change my middle name to be my maiden name because I didn’t want to give it up totally, though.

    Interesting fact – my son was never too fond of his middle name, so when he got married, he wanted to take his wife’s last name as his middle name. But unlike a woman, who just has to fill out a form, he would have to petition the court to change his name…

    The way I like to look at life transitions, is to look back on stages that I’ve gone through – whether different careers, child rearing vs empty nest, etc, and think ‘I did that for X years’, and it seemed such a loooong time when I was doing it, and that it would never end, but eventually it did, and transitioned into something different. How many people can expect to do the same exact thing and be the same exact person for decade after decade? And would they even want to??

    I like to think that being in my 50’s, I can hopefully look forward to several more ‘stages’, but there’s no rule that I have to figure them all out now. And there’s no rule that, being something yesterday, or being something different today, you can’t be something different again tomorrow.

    ps you are still going to swear a lot, aren’t you? please?

    pps I really wanted to sign this Bertha McFartsnot, but I thought that would detract from the serious introspective subject matter of my post.

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  9. Yayyyyy you are back! Best wishes for your son’s new beginnings. I want to return to my maiden name – because I feel that’s who I really am. But then I usually answer to most names including the rude ones!

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  10. My parents gave me #thenamethatnoonecanpronounceorspell and I absolutely and utterly hated it the older I got and the more people I met that couldn’t pronounce it, spell it, or keep themselves from commenting on how weird it was. Even worse, they refused to shorten the 8 letter, 4 syllable, Gaelic horror, but then got pissed off when various school friends did, because really, who in hell has time to say that kind of mouthful?! Then when I was 16 I moved to Canada for a year as a high school exchange student, and suddenly there I was, all on my own, with no-one that knew my past and I could call myself whatever the f*ck I pleased! It was amazingly liberating! I still use the full Sunday best horror on official paperwork – bank, mortgage etc, but it struck me the other day as I completed an official form for something that I really and truly don’t recognise that name as being me, and strangely not even the time in my life when I was that person.

    Now I’m in an odd place. I’ve never married, never had a long term relationship, never had a proper boyfriend since I was in my teens, have never, and at 41 I think I’m probably safe in saying will never, had kids, and I too feel like I’m floating. Friends from school and uni all moved on a did the married/kids thing and I was left behind because I didn’t do that (my first job out of uni I got paid so little, that after all my student debt payments, plus living expenses for the month was paid, including a £60 ration for groceries, I had £10 left for ‘fun’, and that did not allow for nights out on the town with all of them that got much better paying jobs). Friends now are mostly older, and many live solely in my phone. I feel like the people I interact with face to face on a daily basis know a very different me than the phone people who I meet at most monthly, (for the most part never), because the online people seem to perceive totally different personality traits to the face to face people. I struggle to reconcile the person that most of my colleagues would describe as a woman with balls of steel who takes no shit off nobody with the person that online friends have called so sweet and lovely (I manage a team that is entirely male, and one of them nearly fell off his seat laughing when he caught sight of that description on an IG photo once) In person maybe I used to be sweeter and lovelier before I spent 23 years in a male dominated industry? Maybe I’ve always been a bitch and I write a cover story better than I portray one? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Huh, now I’ve written that all out, I think I’m having a midlife crisis, have you ever considered becoming a counsellor? ;o)

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    1. You know, I think one of the reasons I never could make myself do the whole lecturing/teaching thing was that I knew the online persona, while completely genuine, was and is not my whole personality. I can be funny in person, but only when I am completely at ease with someone and that can take YEARS. So, I was and am always keenly aware that the “real” me would never match up with the online me. And it drove me crazy, because I wanted to be that person all the time, not just when I’m typing, but I know better, so I elected to avoid meeting people in any capacity so that no one would ever have to be disappointed.

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  11. Hi Megan. If I was to give myself a new name by adding a middle initial of my own, it would be JohannaF#Simpson. Without going into details, what you have described above is what i have been experiencing in the last couple of years – I turned 52 this year. It has felt like I am an F# (F sharp) without a composition. Before this, even if it was a discordant or shitty composition, I knew my role within it, my place in the score, the other notes that I supported, whether I was in harmony with the other elements/individual notes of the composition, or not – and, most of all, I clearly knew I was an F#. Now it feels like I am just a sound with no composition to define me or validate my existance nor to give me the sense of security that comes from being a part of it. It has been like being a witness to my own ‘death’ while being alive. The grief crept up on me as each bit of the composition fell away, until I found myself with nothing left to grab onto – I wasn’t even sure if I was an F# anymore. It was one of the emptiest, quietest, deepest feelings of sacred loss that I have to date experienced. The words, ‘Dead in the water’, was how I described the feeling when a friend asked me what was going on for me. And that was the odd thing for me – it was like whatever it was that had previously motivated me or inspired me wasn’t there anymore – I was still getting up and participating in my life but it was like walking through a landscape that was somebody else’s and I was just allowed to watch it – I guess like sitting in the audience listening to a composition being played rather than being a part of the composition I was listening to? Anyway, by putting the F# in the centre of my name I acknowledge what I have come to realise as I have moved through this ‘right of passage’ – that the ‘note’ I thought I was, is just a part of the ‘composition’ that is me – I am the compostion, the notes and the composer. This is where I am at right now, sitting with this realisation and yet not quite knowing what to ‘do’ with it – it’s sort of odd to feel so empty, like you have nothing left that previously defined you, and yet ‘everything’ is available to you with which to define yourself. It feels like a huge ‘responsibility’ which raises a new set of fears and doubts. Do I have the courage to write my own score, the skill, the resources even? What if I am totally ‘f*%#ed’ at it. And, more importantly, ‘what’ am I going to compose and ‘what’ is going to inform that composition? The only ‘clue’ that is presenting itself at present is the invitation to rest in the emptiness and allow the ‘composition’ to come to me in the only thing that has remained, as all things have fallen away – awareness. With a deep gratitude for your sharing and revealing. JohannaF#Simpson

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  12. Welcome back! I’ve loved your writing from the first post I saw to this one, and every one in between. I enjoy your edifications, gripes, humor, idiosyncrasies, musing, philosophizing, pontification, quilting, sharing, swearing, teaching, and wordsmithing in general. And will welcome whatever else you write, ever. You’re always interesting, at the very least.

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  13. I’m so thrilled to hear your voice again.
    My real name needs some serious thought before it finds me.

    ❤ (it was either that or the cow next to it).

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  14. Life truly has been hard on you for the past couple of years. Please take care. I love the transformation explanation, spot on. Names are powerful and I love your choice of the “Z”. And you don’t need any stupid period! Seeing how you aren’t having any anyway.

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  15. I always wanted to be Zenobia and go by Zen. It was my grandmother’s middle name. If they were gonna name me after all the elders, couldn’t they pick a cool name? But no. Kathy. Ugh. So there’s your Z.

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  16. Enjoyed this very much. And she persisted…
    Name change? Anonymity? Yes please! I had a bad diagnosis five years ago and was fortunate enough to go live in another state to recuperate. Fully fucking anonymous. Outrageously wonderful! Luxurious even. After decades of misnaming and bad pronunciations I began using my childhood nickname of Lisa and shed more baggage than even I thought I carried. Simple name for simpler days. While it seems so very close to Alesia (a-LEE-sa) alas it isn’t so simple for those not in the know. Not so simple for my MIL who spelled it Elisha and pronounced it E-lee-sha…for 30 years. No, nothing simple about that at all. And in my last work iteration I became known as The Queen of Weird due to me attracting the weirdest real estate transactions in our entire brokerage…can you say stuffed dog I named Fluffy? And so I began as Alesia which was always too complicated for a small child and I so became Lisa through high school, only to become Alesia again as a grown up. Alesia has run some gauntlets but she survived. Now I’m ready to go back. Back to simple.
    So glad you are writing again and I look forward to the next installment.
    Best regards,
    Lisa
    The Queen of Weird

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  17. I changed my name when I marred at 18 because not taking it was not even a thought that came to me. Then changed back again when I separated because I wanted to be me again and not the shell that his abuse had created. It felt liberating. 10 years later when I married again I was happy to take my current husbands name, still use it. I am different to the girl who married at 18, I am wiser., more compassionate, less tolerant of bullshit., more aware of who I am and what I need. I don’t particularly like my first name but my mum loved it and I love the memory of my parents calling me by it so it’s staying. . I have experienced abuse, love, grief, loss, cancer, multiple medical issues and multiple surgeries, great friendship, love as a parent for 4 children and now as a grandparent. I have been lied to, cheated on, blessed, betrayed, loved, hated, forgiven and forgiving, a church goer and not, a city dweller and a country bumpkin, unbelievably full of joy and cried so hard I have been unable to move for hours from exhaustion. I don’t believe we are “never given more than we can handle” . Or that prayer changes everything. But if it helps you get through the day and gives you comfort that’s fine with me..
    I applaud your acceptance of your sons changes. Not everyone is as accepting which is sad. I’m signing up to your blog, regardless of what you call it.
    Long answer given….short answer is my name can make me feel like it is representing who I am but ultimately who I am doesn’t change because of it.

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  18. So good to hear from you again! I look forward to more of your writing, whatever topic. And I love the added Z. I like saying it all run together – meganzeedougherty – very rhythmic!

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  19. I’m so glad you will be writing a blog again. I love your writing style and your sense of humor.
    I changed my name when I was 25. My parents saddled me with the name Judy (my middle name is Judith) and I hated it. My whole life I hated my name. It never felt like it fit. And don’t get me started on my last name. I married and liked my new last name but still was stuck with that awful first name. (apologies to all of the Judy’s out there who love their name). We moved to a new town and I had to change banks and order new cheques. My full name was on my new cheques and the local merchants started calling my by my first name – Dianne. I decided that was my chance to change my first name and so I became Dianne. It was amazing to me the metamorphosis that occurred. I became more confident, dressed differently, was more outgoing and happier. All because I changed my name. Who would have thought?
    There have been lots of other changes in my life, when my husband committed suicide and I became a widow – that was a changing time let me tell you! When my mother died my world shifted in ways I never expected and it changed me. And now, adjusting to a terminal cancer diagnosis, here I go changing again.
    But what are you going to do? Shit happens in life and it changes you. Full stop.
    We adjust and carry on.
    I look forward to you carrying on writing and sharing your journey with us.
    Dianne

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  20. I invented a new name for myself several years ago. My first name would be my mother’s middle name. My last name would be Branch. I liked how Branch made me think of a family tree. I still think of this name as the Secret Me.

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  21. Welcome back Z! I’ve missed your writing and I can feel your growing pains. Going through menopause, myself and just hate how it makes me feel (hot flashes, extra weight, horrible sex and the mood swings that go from 0 to 170mph in a second) but love the fact that that monthly horror is gone! Dipping my toe into retirement, as I’m trying to work just 3 days per week; moved into a new home last summer and putting my dream sewing studio into the walk up attic space as we speak. In addition, we recently found out we have a 5 year old grand daughter in addition to my incredible grand son! (Maurey says “You ARE the father!”) We women seem to go through so many changes in our lifetimes. Hormones are a bitch! I wouldn’t change my name as it was given to me by one of THE most amazing women I’ve ever known. She inspires me still today, even though she has been gone for 6 years. If I could be half the woman she was I would be a happy girl. Followed by the loss of my father to suicide; he died of loneliness. It’s all a bit much to take, but we perservere, because that’s what women do. Hang in there, friend and welcome back!

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  22. I am so very happy you are writing again! I have missed your words! I feel like every word you wrote struck my heart…life is throwing me a bit more than I think I process, but I am processing and I will continue just as we as women do! A new name! I love it! I want to be a kick ass distributor of starshine and moon dust and i want my name to reflect that! I’ll get back to you on that, and in the mean time I look forward to your posts! HUGS!!

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  23. Welcome back -I have missed you and been rereading some of your past blogs that I saved cause I needed to hear your “Bitchy Stitcher” sass and snark as you used to say! So happy to know you are back and will give us lots to laugh and think and think about.

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  24. I’m so glad to have the privilege of reading your writing again! I was just thinking about you this past week, wondering what you were up to (I’m not on Instagram, or I might have had somewhat of an idea). Happy to see you back! So much of what you write resonates (menopause has done a number on me in so many ways during the past couple of years; grief, for another). Anyway, names: In college, I wanted a different name, Jane Morgan. It sounded strong, simple, and normal. Maybe I was feeling weak, complicated, and oddball? To think about it now is laughable! Glad I didn’t change anything then. I ultimately married someone with a basic, four-letter surname, so maybe that appeased me.

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  25. Welcome back, Megan! I have missed you, and so enjoyed seeing your new blog. I feel for your recent struggles – please know that you aren’t alone and can always talk to us out here in the blogosphere. Now for names – I don’t know that I would change my name now, but when I was a kid in elementary school, I wanted to change my name as a way to fit in. I was Sarah with an H – and no one, including my teachers, could figure out where that H went. All the other girls with the same name were just Sara. I had a teacher who spelled my name Sahara for an entire year! I also thought about how nice it would be to change it to Beth – because Beths were all cute, blonde, sweet little things – and I wasn’t any of those things. So I guess I thought by changing my name I would change myself. Now I’m old enough to know better! But just occasionally, I’d like to be known as Zena, Warrior Princess!

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  26. Welcome back…You added a spark of joy to my day 🙂 I enjoy your ruminations, and will look forward to more. I like your view of the world! and appreciate your sharing of it with me.
    (my name I go by, is not my birth certificate name….and the state of Calif. (Real ID) is going to be forcing me to either return to my birth name…or pay a bundle to change it *legally*…. grrrr…. names are pretty personal, aren’t they?! Name changing, currently, is on my grumpy list! HA!)

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  27. So glad to see you back. As I approach 60 I have become much more politically outspoken and a louder feminist than ever before. I think my middle name should be feisty as that is how I want to move into the next stage of my life.

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  28. SO delighted to see you my birthday twin!!! I LOVE the Z. In my circle, we’ve joked for years that, “The Z makes it more metal.” followed by a Bill and Ted worthy air guitar. So, basically, this just makes you even more metal in my mind, and you were already pretty bad ass to start with. Since I got married, a mere 6 years ago, my husband and I started hyphenating our names in reverse, on anything we send out to family, cards, emails, anything of that persuasion…**ECHO ON** Welcome to…Christainsenland!!! Come frolic with Jabba and friends in our entertainment room. Snap some photos, have some Disney worthy popcorn and beverages, and enjoy some table top gaming, while watching your fave sci-fi flick. **ECHO OFF** Also known as, our living room. LOL. We were amused that our last names reversed, sounded like an amusement park, so we decided to roll with it…full tilt, lol. THAT’s what I would change my last name to, an amusement park mash up of our names. It’s me, it’s him, it’s us, and fully represents our relationship, and our fantastic sense of humor, lol. lolol or so WE think, lol.

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  29. Your post made me think so much. When I was 42 I started getting sick and a couple years later was diagnosed with systemic lupus. I have often said that the old Tricia is dead and now I have to be the new Tricia. The sick Tricia who can’t always go out to eat with friends or my sister. The sick Tricia who sometimes spends all day in bed and in pain. And in addition, in the past 4 years, my father died and then a year ago my mother. This brought my sister back into my life – she hadn’t been for 15plus years (that was my choice). With both parents dead, it gaves us the right to talk, talk about our childhood and our adulthood. The years we missed together and the way we feel now.
    I’m 52 now. And I’ve been in limbo. Trying to accept my new life. Trying to accept my body’s limitations. Trying to accept my living with chronic pain and trying to educate those around me as to why my body won’t let me do something today even though I was able to do it yesterday.
    I never thought of changing my name. I wish so much that I could go back and be the old Tricia. The healthy Tricia who could do yoga and walk for miles and stand to cook. But I’ll never be her again.

    Maybe I need to change my name.

    Like

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