Regrets. I've had a few, and this is one of them.
What's in a Facebook name change? Plenty! Far too much! It's driving me insane.
Shakespeare was wrong, wrong, wrong, just plain wrong. A rose by any other name does not smell as sweet. In fact it may be as rank as any pond scum.
Facebook won't let you change your name for more than 60 days so beware before you make that considered impulsive name change - you have to live with it for a 60 day prison sentence or stay off social media for that period of time. I'd be happy to pay them $50 to change the thing back again!
Twitter will let me change my name, but my Twitter tag retains my maiden and married name, simply because there are so many versions of twitter tags out there that at least this combination is unique, and I can live with that as a legacy to my dear old dad who passed away a week ago today.
I really thought that I knew what I was doing. Curating my academic brand as Dr Tara Brabazon of Flinder's University so beautifully puts it. My father had wanted me to gain a PhD in my maiden name and I had thought that this was a noble idea, but I'm here to tell you something strange and profound about the journey of a woman's identity.
I'm a 63 year old Baby Boomer. Back in the day when I was a member of Women's Electoral Lobby meeting with Eva Cox et al in the Common Room at the Women's College at Sydney University, and marching on International Women's Day marches and soaking up Betty Friedan's 'Feminine Mystique', I still changed my name when I married at 22.
So, I was one name for 22 years and for 41 years of my adult psyche, the psyche that has shaped and hammered out the iron in my soul, I have labored under another name.
I had the inspired idea to hyphenate the two names - my birth name and my married name, but I hate it. I feel as if I have totally lost my identity. I don't know WHO that person is. I look at that name and I can't grow into it. I recognise the bits, but the whole simply cannot come together. It does not knit itself together for me.
I also have the added complication of having been born overseas so to apply to have my name changed back to my maiden name would have involved applying as some kind of alien!
A curious thing happened when I made that Facebook name change. Suddenly my Outlook emails started coming to me in the hyphenated name as well.
I don't know how many days I have left to go, but I'm counting them down.
Then I'll have the added problem. Will I be 'Steph' or 'Stephanie'? Will be casual or formal? What persona do I want to present?
No wonder my PhD field is auto/biography - a combination of English and anthropology! The perfect academic puddle to find myself tottering towards death in.