I wasn’t born Sally Donovan. In fact, my given first name, of Italian descent, only holds a place on legal documents. But shortly after I got married I became a Donovan. I have been asked several times after my divorce, why I don’t take the steps to change back to my maiden name? There are those of course, who also ponder why I changed my name in the first place.
Well, shortly after marriage I had contemplated not changing my surname for many obvious reasons, and the first one being, it’s really kind of a pain in the butt! But I did make the legal leap knowing my husband and I wanted to have children together one day. In my opinion that meant we would be drafting a new member to our “team”. If nothing else, a team looks better with a great uniform, and rocking a unifying team logo, right?
For me, having the same name on my jersey as my all-star teammates, my children, was important. In the “sport” of raising kids into independent, functional members of society (man, there should be a Stanley Cup of sorts for that final win) I’m still, along with their father, co-captain. But who’s kidding who, I do have days when I want to trade a teammate or two, but I digress.
“But it’s HIS name.” I’ve been told.
My name is not the property of anyone else.
It does not belong to “him”, it is mine and has been established, carried, written and identified as me for the majority of my adult life. Quite sure that falls in the possession is 9/10th of the law category. It is MY name.
Now, this is the part that will make some people wrinkle their foreheads in question. The connection I have with my last name and his will always be positive, regardless of what transpired and resulted in the end of my marriage. That connection equates to the unequivocally best part of my life, my children. Yeah, rationality does odd things to your mindset sometimes.
My life took another twist when I decided to go public with spewing my unsolicited thoughts, oh, I mean writing and publishing blogs and books. I contemplated changing my surname again as this would be the time to do it before I establish myself as an Author.
After some thought, I realized to go back to my maiden name was a regression in a way. I have grown and turned into someone else since my childhood years. I will forever be grateful and proud to be an Arcuri. That is my foundation and was my initiation to sarcasm and “thick skin” way of life by the way. However, I’m not that little girl anymore, so it did not feel right going back.
Divorce is a MAJOR life transition. With transition comes change, which may or may not include, in name, on top of everything else (sigh). It is a personal choice, and like everything else that comes with divorce, more complicated as a Mom because of that darn affinity with those kids. Regardless of what you do, your identity is just that, yours. Don’t be swayed by others, perception, or short-lived thinking. Just be YOU.
In discussing my nom de plume at the breakfast counter with my oldest daughter, Thing 1, she provided a view that came from sheer simplicity. (Adults, let us learn from this approach). She blatantly said, “What do you mean. You are Sally Donovan – what other name would you use?”
So despite the changes and challenges divorce brought me, my name stuck. And if I am being totally honest here, I also kind of think it’s a kick-ass last name. I guess if the shoe fits….this gal, Sally Donovan, has no issues wearing it.