Why I Decided to Change My Name

From left to right: Lisa, my dog Buddy and my sister Katie

I didn’t do it to spite you mother. I didn’t do it because I hate who I am. I didn’t do it because I want a second chance; a chance to change my entire life. Although to be fair, who doesn’t wish they could have the occasional redo sometimes. No, I didn’t do it to hurt anyone. I changed my name to make myself happy.

I changed my name a few months back. I started with the smaller things like asking people at work to call me Tazi, a derivative of Tasiann, the middle name I was graced with for the first few months of my life. I moved up from there. I did not know about this part of me for a long time, but once I did, the more I ran my fingers through it and looked at it, the more I felt it become a part of me.I have always been proud to be adopted and I always will be. But one of the many things that used to keep me up at night was why and how my adoptive name came to be and how it represented me in some form. I was once Lisa, that I will admit proudly, but the young woman you see standing before you today is not her anymore. I didn’t do this because I wanted to change my identity, this is my identity.

There are many reasons why I love the name Tazi or Tasiann. It’s unique and unheard of. I also love the way it rolls off the tongue and is nowhere near as harsh sounding as Lisa. I love it because the uniqueness of the name captures my own uniqueness. It captures who I am and who I wish to be all at once, a task that the name Lisa never fulfilled. I love it because it isn’t too masculine or too feminine and that’s what I feel like I am. I am the happy medium (ha I made a pun) between both sides of the spectrum.

These things are all things I have been too afraid to say out loud in fear of judgement or sounding stupid but as I write this, it feels as though the largest weight is lifted from my shoulders. I am not trying to hide myself in order to fit what people expect from me anymore. Time and time again you hear people reference William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet asking “what’s in a name?” However this is no reference for me, this is a question. Your name is the first thing people know about you , it’s something you should wear with pride. As unconventional as my change may be to some, should I not be allowed to feel that same pride that everyone else does?

I used to cringe when people called me Lisa. I felt as though I was stuck inside someone else’s body. It may seem like something small or stupid but to feel like yourself in a world that tries to tell you to be everything but, is pretty damn special in my opinion. It’s a simple change that makes me feel like myself again. So if you know me as Lisa, I hope you understand me now and let me be Tazi.