The following weeks after our wedding, there were several things that needed to be accomplished. One of those things included changing my name from Stine to Smith. To be honest, it’s a very conflicting experience. I have always been Kaley Stine. There was a time in middle school I didn’t like my last name but, other than that, I have grown quite fond of it. It’s who I am. And although I am extremely excited to be married to Joel and start the adventure with him, I had a bit of anxiety about changing my name.
It’s a long process: I had to get our marriage certificate, then I had to go to the social security office, and then I had to go to the DMV. It has to be done in this order. Then after that, I had to change my name EVERYWHERE ELSE: the bank, school, work, any medical offices, Facebook/all social media, literally anywhere that has your name – which is everywhere! It can be overwhelming.
I often get anxiety with unknown interactions. I build it up to be something really scary because WHAT IF they are mean to me or WHAT IF I don’t know how to respond? Writing it down makes me feel really dumb but it really is how I feel sometimes.
So, needless to say, changing my name was full of unknown interactions causing me anxiety.
I waited until January to legally change my name – nearly 6 months after our wedding.
Now that I am officially Mrs. Smith, there’s kind of this disconnect in my identity. For my whole life, I was Miss Stine. Now, being Mrs. Smith, I can’t help but feel like that’s my Mother-In-Law. My MIL is really great. I feel like I lucked out as far as MIL’s go. She is kind, and generous, loving, and she’s got this infectious laugh that makes you want to laugh with her. During the wedding process, she was supportive. She was always on my side. Whatever I wanted, she fought with me. She has always made me feel a part of her family.
(my beautiful mother-in-law)
SO, being Mrs. Smith isn’t a bad thing. It just doesn’t fully feel like my identity…yet.
I’m sure I’m not the only newlywed who has experienced this. I would even venture to say almost every newly married woman, who has changed their name, has felt this way.
This blog will capture my journey as I become Mrs. Smith telling stories, sharing recipes Joel and I try, and how we are making our house our home. I hope you’ll come with me.