I have had many names in my life; Erin Heather Wade, Erin Wade-Vasquez, Erin W. Vasquez, Erin Heather Trombley are just some of the incarnations. I’m in an identity crisis I guess. I haven’t been Erin Wade since 1992 (I was 20). I was Erin Wade-Vasquez and then Erin W. Vasquez between 1992 and 2006. And unfortunately I re-married in 2006 and took the name Trombley.
When my kids were small nobody questioned why I didn’t change my name because it matched my kids’ names. But when I divorced the 2nd time in 2012 (2013 legally, finally), I began getting the question on a semi-regular basis.
First of all, changing your name is a huge pain in the ASS! The title to my house, my car, insurance, employers, IRS, Social Security, DMV, credit cards, banks, websites, etc. etc. etc… all have to be changed. I decided it wasn’t worth it, at least not until I sell my house. I’m hoping to sell after June 2018 (keep that in mind, potential homebuyers!).
Even then, though… what should my name be?
At 45 it would feel strange to go back to my maiden name. I don’t want to go back to my first husband’s name either, for obvious reasons. I could just make up a name – a friend of mine was at an Indian restaurant and saw the definition of Vindaloo. It was something like spicy and exciting. We joked that we should take Vindaloo as a last name. But then, out of context, it would be weird.
I could go flashy, and pick something like Golden. I have relatives with that last name so that might be confusing. And I don’t want to sound like a stripper or show girl with a stage name like Erin Jaboody or Erin Sails or silly stuff like that. I could pick a famous name. I could be Erin Grant or Erin Crawford, Erin Hepburn, Erin Clooney, Erin Hamm, Erin Jackman, Erin Momoa (I can dream, right?!?).
But I think, adopting a random family name is like attaching yourself to a story you’re not in, with characters you don’t know. Do I want to attach myself to that? Do I like what I am bringing on myself? If you believe in Numerology, you may or may not believe that changing your name changes your path, and that could be a good thing or a bad thing.
The reason this has come to a head right now, tonight, is that I am trying to make a new digital portfolio. My first attempt was clunky and difficult to move through. The second was straight-forward, but isn’t what I would call a showcase of my best work. It’s almost more of a journal for a bunch of random-looking pieces of my work. Step one of a new site is a domain. Domain = name. Name = brand. What is my brand?
Best practices say to use your name so people can find your site by googling your name. It won’t become dated or passe’, just clean and functional. Except my current name is a placeholder… a formality until something better comes along. So do I just focus on my first name? It could end up sounding like a high school class project. I’m stuck on this. HELP!