As the divorce proceedings wind down, I had to make a BIG decision—one that I had been thinking about for a long, long time. I needed to figure out who the heck I was going to be.
When I got married, I changed my last name. At that time, it was unnerving to think that Pam Brashear, newbie (but published) writer would just evaporate. The girl once that pounded the pavement and got herself a job on Capitol Hill would be gone. Forever.
I’m from a close-knit nuclear family. It made me sad to let go of my maiden name. I love my family. But he felt strongly about it, so I changed my middle name to my maiden name. Done and done.
Now that we’ve split, the answer seems simple right? Just go back to the maiden name. But nothing is ever that easy. Many things swirled through my head as I weighed the options.
For example, I have primary custody of the girls. Will it be weird for them if mommy has a different last name? Will it make us all feel like less of a family if our names are different? Will it cause confusion for them and/or school administrators/doctors/Girl Scout Troops if we aren’t all De Jongs?
Also, it’s natural for a woman to announce a name change at work when she gets married. But I can’t remember ONE woman that did a name change because of a divorce. What would I do then, announce at every meeting that I am once again a Brashear? And have to face the tilted head and unwanted pity for months? And all the related issues of people not remembering what the new name was or how to email or find me?
And what if I remarry someday? Yes, even after all this drama I’m hopeful that “the one” is out there somewhere. So what then? Someday I might change my name to match his. Especially if it’s Mrs. Bradley Cooper. But I digress. What if I keep it and he remarries and then there are two, wait, THREE Mrs. De Jongs if you count his mom? What is this? Big Love?
I was trapped. With a bad case of analysis paralysis.
I’ve worked REALLY hard at my career as Pam De Jong. For more than 10 years in heathcare communications, and as a freelance writer, and blogger here at OC Family. Several months ago, I was offered an AMAZING opportunity with OC Family. And all of the sudden it was crystal clear to me that there was only one woman for the job: Pam Brashear.
In fact, when April’s OC Family and Inland Empire Magazines hit the stands tomorrow, you’ll see what Pam Brashear had up her sleeve. She wrote the COVER STORY. For both magazines.
Pammie Sue is back, baby.