Saturday, November 24, 2012

Identity Crisis

Well...The divorce is final. All the chocolate in the advent calendar has been eaten. And instead of being relieved, or even sad, I'm just kind of....lost.

I've always been "Erin Hawke". I'd say my name at the bank or for a mailing list or at school and people look up and go, "Oh, are you you Julie and David's daughter?" or "Hawke, as in John?" or "Oh yeah, Shannon's sister right?"

At times it was eye-roll worthy and embarrassing, but then there started to be a sense of pride surrounding it. People knew who I was, or at the very least, that I existed.

And then when I got married I was torn between changing my name or keeping my maiden name. I had always said I'd change it, just when it actually came time I felt like I was giving up part of myself. I decided to wait until after college graduation so I had 'my' name on my diploma, and then I'd change it.
Then I got a job right away and all my paperwork had been processed with my maiden name on it. So ok fine, I'll wait until I'm settled here before I do.
Then when we got pregnant I knew it had to be done. I wanted the same last name as my kids. I had been putting it off for two years.
I changed all my documents... I even sacrificed my red and white health card.

And two months later we broke up.

I felt disconnected from everything. I had this name on all these cards that didn't look like mine. I was growing a baby that I suddenly just wanted to run away from.

Eventually I perfected my new signature and didn't have to pause and think every time someone asked my name. Eventually I came to terms with it being "Toby's" last name and not "Luke's" last name.

Then a few weeks ago while initialing my time sheet at work I wrote 'EH' instead of 'ES'. I had closed the book and moved on before I thought to take a second look. My absent minded brain had written E H after years of not even thinking about it.

And now it comes down to the fact that I COULD change my name back.... but should I?

My reason for changing my name to begin with was mostly to have the same last name as my kids. But now if I were to get married and have another kid, it would be weird to keep my ex's name, but changing it would mean being different again.
I still have this strong desire for Toby and I to be the same... but now I also feel like I'm hanging on to something that isn't mine anymore. I'm living with my parents but don't really feel like I 'belong' to them...but now that things are official I also don't feel like I 'belong' with my in-laws either... I'm in this awkward limbo where I don't feel like either choice is better...

So what do I do?
Who do I be?
Where do I really go from here?

I'm not really sure yet...