Help! I woke up this morning and don’t know who I am. This is something that has been puzzling me for quite some time. I’m only talking about my name, right now anyway.
I’ve just finished my book, plus a few essays and what not, and I’m starting to put my work out into the big wide world, but I have a dilemma. Do I go by the name that’s on my birth cerificate – Hollye Fisher? That’s the name my mother told me I must never tell anyone about nor admit to (since my father was in prison) but I want to finally say it out loud and proud. I mean, it’s the real me. I think? One of the many things I hate about being a girl (and that’s an issue I’ll save for another blog) is that we just drift from one man's family name to another, with no true roots as to who we are. My mother had her father’s name, I had my father’s name, then my stepfather’s name, then my first husbands’ name, now my husband’s name which is his father’s name….AAAAAAGH….who am I? I mean, who am I really? I find the whole marital, name-taking thing really odd. I remember the first time I started getting cards addressed to Mrs. Troy Dexter. I couldn’t breathe. I felt like I had become chattle, like some Victorian woman destined to a life of needlepoint and etiquette lessons. So why did I take that name? I’m not a Dexter. I’m a Fisher. But take that theory a step further, why only my fathers name? I mean, my maternal grandmother was a Kindred. I came from two people, a blending of two family lines…so WHO AM I?
I talked to my husband about it. I said, maybe its not about who I am, because look at all the family names involved in the making of each of us. Maybe it’s more about….who do I WANT to be?
And he said, “Oh go ahead. Be Hollye Baldwin.”
Of course I cracked up. Yes, I am innocently obsessed with Alec Baldwin, but there is no one I’m more obsessed with than Troy, and I love being his partner for life. And he loves me absolutely, but that doesn’t mean he carries my name (whatever my name is). So why do we, as women, have to keep changing who we are, dropping our own identity and heritage in lieu of our husbands and fathers?And more importantly, WHO AM I? I have to put a book out, and those people expect you to have a name. Ugh!