This post was written while at the MVA this morning. Thanks for helping me work through my shit, people of the internet!
Melissa Clark Lucas.
That’s me. And that’s weird. And it made me cry.
Well to be fair, it’s possible (highly likely) that PMS made me cry. But I still cried. Not a happy cry, btw.
I’m not sure what it is about the change that sparked my leaky eyeballs. Sitting here at the MVA, waiting for my new license, I’m trying to figure it out.
Interestingly, when I was married before I couldn’t wait to change my name. I didn’t have the best relationship with my father, so I felt no tie to the name for that reason. If I’m being honest, I was probably rejecting it at the time because of the strained relationship with him. My mom had been remarried for years, so I had no tie to Clark because of her. And truly at that point in my life I think I just identified myself as the partner to my ex more than I did anything else. Looking back, this last one is so sad to me.
You guys, I’ve worked really fucking hard to become a person I like. It wasn’t until after my divorce (and a shit-ton of introspection) that I actually, objectively, liked Melissa Clark. I can’t think of anything I’ve accomplished in my life that I’m more proud of.
My name, specifically the Clark part of it, represents how far I’ve come. It represents the pain I was going through when I changed it back from my ex’s name. It represents the incredible amount of work I’ve put into myself. It represents the fact that I came out on the other side really loving myself for the first time ever.
In a way, taking someone else’s name feels like I’m rejecting myself. As in – Am I saying MY OWN DAMN NAME isnt good enough? And of course there’s the small part of me that likes to give the middle finger to the idea of doing what I “should” do. So there’s that, too.
I’m sure you’re wondering why the hell I’m sitting at the MVA right now if I feel this way. Trust me. I asked myself the same question. And the answer is this:
Almost as much as I love who I am, I love who WE are. As proud as I am of who I am, I’m also incredibly proud of who WE are.
I love how much work we have put into our relationship. I love how far we have come. (Boy could I tell you some stories from where we started!) I love the life we have built together. What’s more, I’m so super-pumped for what I know we will accomplish as a team in the future.
So yes, saying goodbye to Melissa Ann Clark was a little bit emotional. Okay, still is, since I’m tearing up, again, in this moment. But Melissa Clark Lucas is just as awesome, just as capable, just as strong. And she has a kick-ass husband to share her new name with.
And this is why I love him.