Changing my name?
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05-06-2015, 04:06 AM
Changing my name?
I'm a newer atheist and my family doesn't know (except for my sister and fiance, who are also atheists). I've been growing and rediscovering myself for the last few months and I think I've come to a realization about myself. My first name is very religious and sounds meek even to my ears. I've never felt comfortable in my own skin and I feel that psychologically my name may play a role in how I hold myself--like it's a symbol that doesn't suit who I really am. If anything, that person is gone--with her old religion, her old ideas, old perspective on life. She was so scared, and I don't want to be her anymore.
I know a person can start a new path for themselves without changing something so fundamental as their birth name, but I can't help thinking that I want something that better represents who I am now and who I'm trying so desperately to become--who I want to be. Names are powerful symbols to our own subconscious and I feel that mine wears on me, keeping me down. Like all her faults and things she lacks in will continue if I don't try to change.
I don't plan on telling my family anytime soon that I'm an atheist, so I don't really know how I would explain changing my name to them... or how they would even react. It's scary. I'm not close to them personally, but they think they are close to me--to who I used to be. I don't want to hurt them, but I want to live my life as the person I feel that I am.
I don't think I would change my name until I'm done with school and move states, so I'll be considering this for a long time to come. I want to make SURE this what I want before I do it.
I guess I'm just looking for opinions or thoughts on the subject. Anyone go through something similar? Have any tips or ideas you feel like sharing?
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05-06-2015, 04:16 AM
RE: Changing my name?
I've thought about changing my last name (too emotionally attached to my first name -which was my grandmother's- to change it).

There was a time I was really disappointed in my dad and I'm still not proud of him, so I don't feel very comfortable carrying his name around. I feel like it defines me, that I'm X's daughter, and that's not what I want to be defined as. So I guess I understand where you're coming from.

I may change it in the future, I don't seem to have the balls right now. It does need a lot of thinking, especially if you're that young, but in the end it's your choice.

"Behind every great pirate, there is a great butt."
-Guybrush Threepwood-
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05-06-2015, 04:17 AM
RE: Changing my name?
Tell your family you are an atheist first. Otherwise you remain that scared girl in your past.

That is my opinion anyway based on my complete ignorance of who you are, your family and history.

Good luck.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
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05-06-2015, 04:44 AM
RE: Changing my name?
Examples in my own family of name changing that stuck and didn't go both ways. My sister changed her name to a variation of her middle name while in college. It didn't work for her, and she soon reverted to her first name. My mother changed her first and last names after she got a divorce to something more reflective of her ethnic heritage (her father had his surname changed for him at Ellis Island), and in her case that has stuck for about 30 years. A name change alone is no a panacea, but it would certainly give you a conversational in with your family to discuss the reasons for your change, so it might be a good way to tell them about losing your religion.
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05-06-2015, 06:41 AM
RE: Changing my name?
I'm an advocate of making your own path in life. You could always change your first name and then move your current first name into middle name status. In other words if your legal name is Mary Magdalene and you wanted to change your name to Laura, you could change it to Laura Mary-Magdalene etc. This type of name change may be a way to satisfy your family as well, while still allowing you to carve your own path. It's also kind of a cool way to be symbolic for you--to show how far you've come (new name) and where you have been (former legal name).
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05-06-2015, 07:14 AM
RE: Changing my name?
I'm going to be doing a name change in the next few months, when my spendable funds are more accessible. I'm changing my last name, because I feel it's unnecessary to carry the title of my ancestors slave owner. My family didn't react negatively, but even if they had, its not their decision to make. It's not meant to be disrespectful, its symbolic of my self love.

My first name was given to me by my mother, and my middle name by my father, who named me after his father. I love and value their name choices, hence why they won't be changing.

In your situation, I'd advise you to continue taking time to feel out your thoughts. If you continue to feel strongly about it, you should take the necessary steps to have it done (when you're ready). Though it is important to be open with others about who you are, the order you choose to do it in, is entirely up to you (atheist, name change, etc). No matter what path you take, if you're comfortable with the decision and happy, that's all that matters.
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05-06-2015, 07:41 AM
RE: Changing my name?
If you aren't comfortable with coming out maybe a first step might be expressing some independence while trying out a name you like.

Advise friends that you are uncomfortable with your name and request they refer to you by the 'nickname' _______ . You don't even have to tell your family, your friends will be the lead your family can follow. If your family questions it, say it's how you and your friends identify.

The decision on a name can be tricky ... who do you feel like?

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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05-06-2015, 08:07 AM
RE: Changing my name?
I'm atheist, raised in a secular home, my daughters name is Eden.
while my husband is a believer, its a name I picked and had to talk him into. My mother and I both had a love of flower gardening. Although I don't do much now that she has passed on. I wanted a name that would give some imagery of calm and peacefulness. One atheist family we know asked about it. That was it.



My SIL changed to her middle name. I don't know if she dropped the first or flip flopped the first/middle, but I would have too if I was named Alice.


There has been much research into names and employment, many times you can guess roughly how old someone is based on their name, especially women. Some people like unique names, others like more common ones.

watch for potential nicknames and how it will be abbreviated, had a former manager with the initials FEW. he was a short balding man with Napoleon complex, lol. And monogramming changes the order.

also, people are horrendous with spelling and pronounciation, keep that in mind, you will be spelling it out constantly.

which leads to, use the rules of spelling properly!! Nothing gives me a bad first impression of someone that doesnt follow spelling rules. For example, Michelle is (mish-schell). not (mish-ah-lay). fucking people.


I agree with Banjo, come clean then start your new name with a new you.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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05-06-2015, 08:15 AM
RE: Changing my name?
I agree with Kim!

I would ask friends to call you whatever you wish. Much easier...then if later you want to make it legal you can...but you also might find that you don't need to.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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