When I was a little kid, I used to collect names. My favorite part of MASH (the hilarious game in which you embarrass yourself no matter what because there is no way that you actually like that guy that MASH says that you're going to marry while secretly being thrilled at the idea of having Johnny Whatsisface father your six children) was picking out the names for my hypothetical offspring. I named teddy bears and dolls and was aghast at the number of Catherines in Wuthering Heights. Even now, I name my electronics (Fluffy, Azrael, Arcturus, Cai, Kael, Agrippa, and Heremon).
Along with this, I thought about the names I wished that I would have had. When I was eight, I would have given anything to be named Lisa (yes, after the Simpsons). At thirteen, it was Arianna. By the time I went to college, I had grown to enjoy my name. In fact, I really love my name now. And of course, I'm realizing this because I'm not going to have my name much longer.
My last name, which I have reviled as having too many vowels and thus being unspellable will be changing in a matter of months. It's a symbolic transformation, but one that has many ramifications. If I meet any friends from grade school, they won't immediately recognize my name. Anything else I publish won't be grouped with my previous papers. I'll have to stand in a different line when registering for things. I'll need a new signature, new checks, and a new driver's license. I'll be leaving behind the tangible connection to my parents and my siblings, and in effect, taking on a new identity.
Jane Eyre mentions something similar before her wedding to Rochester (badly quoted because I don't have my book with me) "The tags were waiting to be fixed to the luggage. Jane Rochester was a person foreign to me. She would not exist until tomorrow afternoon."
I know that I won't magically turn into a new person. I'll still love microwave popcorn, get my groove on to early twenty-first century pop, and save games of MASH from sixth grade. And since I hate hyphenated names, I'll gladly become a Jones when the time comes. Until then, I'm going to enjoy my last few months with my current name.