Since beginning to blog, I've added a new item to my bucket list. Number #57 Legally change name from Anja Marie Horman to Anya Horman. Maybe you think it's silly, why waste $400 on a name that is going to sound exactly the same when pronounced? The same reason A-n-n is not as distinguished as Anne with an e, says Anne Shirley of Green Gables. As red hair was her lifelong sorrow, a J was mine. Each time I meet
someone new and they ask me my name and I tell them Anja, their third question after asking me how I got my name, is to ask how it's spelled, then I cringe. You would be amazed at the amount of people who have already heard my name pronounced correctly, who mispronounce it after hearing the spelling. Worse, if they've already seen the spelling prior to meeting me, I'll cringe when they say it wrong, and as I correct them.
For this blog, I didn't want to see A-n-j-a plastered all over my profile and header. I wanted this blog to be something I was proud to show the world. I also began using A-n-y-a in my email signatures, handwritten signature, and when I ordered food. I realized something the day that I ordered lunch from Jimmy Johns and typed my name on the order A-n-y-a. When I went there to pick up my food, and told them my name was Anya, in the back of my mind I thought they've already seen my name spelled with a Y, and I'm proud of that name, and I said it with pride that came instantaneously.
Part of the need to change my name also comes from a new desire to be me, and stop worrying what everyone else thinks of me. When I got married and went to the social security office to take my husbands last name, I handed over the sheet with my new name Anja Marie Horman and the lady behind the glass asked if I wanted to make any more changes to my name.
"It's a lot easier to get it all done now, than filing a change of name request when you aren't getting married."
I wanted so much do it right then, to add the Y and get rid of my middle name, but I was too afraid that my Mom would be offended and it would be disrespectful to her on my part.
With a heavy release of breath I told the clerk, "no, just change the last name."
I've regretted this every day since.
Ironically, my mom saw the blog's title and asked me why I didn't spell my name with a J. I explained to her how I wanted to be my own person and have a name I could be proud of. Then I told her I was going to have it legally changed someday, and would she be mad at me?
"Oh I don't care" she said.
"Really!?" I yelped, "you don't mind at all?"
"It's your name" and that was that. Even though I didn't need her permission to do it, it's still nice to have the blessing of the woman who chose your original name in the first place.Christmas is coming soon, if you'd like to give the gift of inspiring personal identity please donate to the Name Change for Cause at Zions Bank.
Ok. . . . I made that last part up, but still a worthy cause don't you think?