Monday, February 4th, 2013
After 13 married years (and many more non-married years) of exclusively being Jill Cordes, I am partially changing my name. I am going to use Phil’s last name for personal travel with my kids.
I have always been proud of my Cordes name. I have more than 90 people in my extended family, 25 of them first cousins. My father came from a long line of ranchers in Western South Dakota. Most of them still ranch there and it is a place I really feel connected to. And somehow my last name is part of that connection.
So why I am changing it? Because I feel like a partial outsider when we travel as a family. My kids and Phil all have the name Johnston. I am the odd-woman out. One time when I was traveling with Fia, we didn’t have seats next to each other at time of booking. So when I got to the gate the agent said, “Shoot. I saw that you weren’t sitting next to each other in the reservation and was about to give you the bulk heads, but then I thought maybe your daughter’s father was also on the plane and she was sitting with him.” Obviously she still managed to find a way for us to sit together, since Fia was only 18 months old, but it was the most concrete example of why I want the same last name. It just feels more cohesive.
However, I have to confess another hesitation in doing this. It’s the vain side of me. I don’t like the way “Jill Johnston” sounds. My initials would be JJ. It feels campy.
I also keep trying to picture myself typing in credit card charges, etc, under Jill Johnston. It just doesn’t feel totally right to me. Basically it doesn’t feel like me. But hyphenating would make it a really long name. I could use Cordes as my middle name, but then I either give up my middle name or have 2 middle names. And since middle names are kind of pointless, why have two of them? Especially one that is a former last name?
For now, I’m only changing the bare minimum for travel. So no one really even needs to know. I will still introduce myself as Jill Cordes. I’m hoping all my credit cards, etc can just remain as is. I will continue to act like nothing has changed until I hear differently.
Who out there has done this? Are you glad you did? Did you feel hesitant?
It’s a big step, but I’ve sat on the paperwork for a year, and decided it’s time.
I remain, as always on my blog and in my professional life, including mommy-blogger life, yours truly, Jill Cordes/Fearless Feisty Mama.
Name Change pic via Shutterstock