I’m not making any resolutions this year. Because I don’t know enough about my future to know what goals to set. I know so little about the details from here that I can’t fathom trying to impose that kind of order on them.
Here’s one example.
I’ve been thinking about names a lot. About mine, specifically, and what I’m going to do about it.
Raised in a conservative, religious household, waiting to get married and have children, I always planned to take my husband’s name. I gave it little thought until I got older and started my career while still single. In the end, though, I opted to change my name for two reasons: to make my husband and I into a recognizable family to everyone, and to eventually identify myself as my children’s mother.
Now, though, half of those reasons are gone. Keeping the name for my kids sounds like a nice sentiment, but it’s not one that tugs at my heartstrings. I feel more connected to my maiden name, it doesn’t have the same baggage as my married one.
But then I start looking to the future. If I go back to my maiden name, jump through all the hoops it will take to change it, re-brand myself to all the people who’ve met me in the last 6 years, then that’s great but what if I get married again? Would I stick with my maiden name, only to be in a household with three last names: mine, my spouse’s and my kids’?
Do I have the guts to change my name again if I did get married? Do I want to have a different name than my kids at all? But wouldn’t it be better than keeping my ex’s name when I’m with someone new?
I have no answers to these questions. I don’t know what the future brings. I’ve never had so little control over my life and I still don’t know what to do with it and how to manage it.
When I do have the power to make a choice, there’s no easy answer.
I may not have resolutions, but I do have hope. I hope that in 2014 things get easier. I hope they get more stable. I hope I can get my footing financially and logistically. I hope for less big questions with complicated answers. I hope I can read more books and see more movies. I hope that Listen to Your Mother Boston is a fantastic success. I hope I get to write enough. I hope I can get the money to go to more conferences and visit more friends. And I hope you’ll all be here with me.