i am not kahla adele evans.
not yet anyways.
but this week i came one step closer to what i will be *officially* known as for the rest of my life.
i was actually born kahla adele buchanan & lived that way for most of my life. when i got married, i became kahla shea. two different names for two very different phases in my life.
but once i found myself entering into this new stage, neither name felt right.
i love my dad but he was never the main parent throughout my childhood & i don’t feel a strong connection to buchanan – even if it is our ‘family’ name.
and i certainly didn’t want to stay shea.
after everything i went through, i was someone completely different & new & to be honest – kind of a stranger.
so, i decided that i would choose a new last name altogether. it seemed like the best option but it was one of the toughest decisions i’ve ever made.
i had a list of about six last names that i liked but didn’t love.
then one day while taking my makeup off, i looked at my reflection in the mirror & it hit me.
evans was a name that i always loved & had kept in the back of my mind for the day i had a daughter. i wanted to name her evans. as a first name. but i also now loved it as my new last name. my new identity.
so, kahla adele evans it was.
all that stood in my path was a mountain of paperwork, getting certificates & licenses notarized & getting fingerprinted at the police station. all which filled my week up & has left me feeling like a real adult.
the hardest part though of this whole journey? not actually choosing the name. or filling out 16 pages of government forms. it’s been explaining to people why i’m doing it.
why i’m not just keeping my name as it is. or why i’m not simply going back to my maiden name.
at first i used my standard ‘it’s my life & it’s what i want to do’ response. short & sweet.
but when i started giving the long form answer – this one here – people started reacting in a way that i didn’t expect.
they opened up to me & shared the things they wanted to do but felt too scared to. worried they would be judged. or ridiculed. or that others wouldn’t understand.
and i get that. i really do. but at the end of the day – you have to do what makes you happy.
easier said than done, i know. but maybe start with something kind of small.
getting the haircut you saved on your phone months ago. or buying that floor length faux fur coat you’ve had your eye on. changing your career. it could be anything!
you can truly do whatever you want, as long as you’re not hurting others. or yourself. and if you think about it – not doing or going after what you want, is kind of hurting yourself in a way.
so here i am – happy with my decision to do what makes me happiest & patiently waiting for my new name documents to arrive in the mail.
and in the meantime… thinking up another name for my future daughter.