Should you change your name?

Blog · Your Self

As you know, I’ve been taking a breather from talking about wedding stuff and the Breathtaking Bride in order to put my full attention on Live More Weigh Less.  I think part of me also needed a break from all the white dress hullabaloo after being immersed in it for 2 years because of my own wedding.

But it’s wedding season, love is in the air and I’m finding my mind drift to visions of signature cocktails and cake-pops again.  Two of my clients got married this month, my bestie, Ashley is tying the knot in 3 weeks, and we just celebrated our 1 year anniversary!

Being that wedding is on the brain, I decided to do a little wedding series for the next few weeks.  Expect the topics to be snippets of helpful advice for the bride-to-be preparing for her walk down that aisle and marriage.

Even if you’re not an engaged gal, you’re probably either married, and have some advice to offer in the comments on the blog, or you’re going to be married some day, and you can never be too prepared!  So I hope you’ll tune in.

Before I jump into today’s topic, I just had to share this amazing moment we had over the weekend.  Even though our official anniversary was on Monday, we were hosting dinner club on Saturday night so used the opportunity to celebrate our anniversary with our new SF friends who weren’t at the wedding.  It’s always been my dream to have a rooftop dinner, so I just had to share the pics with you.  It was magical!

So, you may have noticed that my email address changed…

When I was growing up, I had always planned on changing my name.  Moms with last names that were different than my friends was hella confusing for me.  Of course I always assumed it would be something normal yet interesting like Damon or Pitt.

But when it came time to actually change my name, I was like “hell to the NO!”.

First of all, “Brajtbord” isn’t exactly in the same category as “Pitt” in the area of ease to pronounce and spell.  It’s pronounced “bright-board” in case you were wondering.  I have no idea how the “j” snuck in there, supposedly it’s Polish…

Anywho, imagining a lifetime of spelling my name for dinner reservations wasn’t getting me super pumped, but most importantly, I felt like that changing my name was like giving up who I truly am, and a part of me felt like I was giving the Jenks a kick in balls.

When I first got married, I felt very bonded and connected to Jonathan, but a big part of me felt like I needed to hold on to my individual identity tightly.  In hindsight, being in a new marriage, moving across the country, and my parents selling my childhood home left me feeling vulnerable and a little unstable, so I held onto my name, my identity as a safety and defense mechanism.

But over the past year, even though Jonathan has always felt like my husband, he started to really become my family.  We’re a unit, and I started to feel like our unit needed a team name.

So in secret, I applied for a new social security card as Sarah Jenks Brajtbord and presented it to Jonathan as an anniversary present.  Though he never put any pressure on me to change my name, he was incredibly moved.

Here’s the thing… I’ve never been one to want to change everything all at once, this is probably why extreme juice cleansing and detoxes don’t sit well with me.  I like change to be organic, slow and integrative.  For me, marriage wasn’t something that just happened as soon as we said “I do”, marriage is a process of growing together and slowly fusing into a family.  Letting myself marinate in my marriage allowed changing my name to feel like a no brainer, it just feels right now.

I also needed to focus on what I was gaining, not what I was losing.  Sure, if I let myself go there, having a new last name is heavy shit.  It’s my history and my lineage… but I’m not gonna go there.  Just like I encourage you to not focus on removing bread, cheese and chocolate from your diet, but instead to add in fun, kale and more sex, I too am focusing on what being Sarah Jenks Brajtbord is going to add to my life.

Plus, I legally own Sarah Jenks as my business name and will continue to be Sarah Jenks in internet-land.  Sarah Brajtbord is kind of a branding nightmare anyways;).

In the comments below I am dying to hear how you feel about changing your name.  What are you reasons for keeping it?  What are you reasons for changing it?  This is a hot topic and I’d love for you to weigh in (ha ha).

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