I finally got a new drivers license today, one with my married name. I've been married over 7 years, it was about time! It needed to be done anyways, the address had changed, and it was one of those older affairs where my social was my drivers license number. Totally needed to get a new one, should have a long time ago. But I didn't. I couldn't. I continually put it off, and couldn't even tell you why... but now I know.
Filling out the forms for my new ID I realized I had been holding on to that piece of identification with the embarrassing mug shot, with a completely obsolete address, with potentially dangerous personal info... because that ID had my maiden name on it. It had been my form of rebellion against changing my name. Having been unable during my engagement to express to others (or even myself) what it meant to me to take on a 'married name' I instead held on to a piece of plastic. Now, seven years after marrying, as I finally went into the DMV and got my much needed new drivers license, I felt the letting go of it all as I wrote my (by now so familiar) married name in the blanks of the required paperwork. A little sadness, a little resignation. A little relief (this had been an awkward double life that rose it's head anytime I needed to proffer identification). I mentioned it to my lover afterwards, and his response was "you can change your name back if you like. It won't hurt my feelings." And I know it won't. But I doubt I will.