The Identity Crisis Post Marriage
What’s in a name, or surname?
Ihad always thought I’d want to hold onto my maiden surname after marriage. But, somehow, when the time came, without much thought, I made the choice to change it willingly.
In a matter of two-three months post the wedding, I was ready to let go of my maiden surname, and start the name change process.
Perhaps, I considered only the functional angle — It makes travel for two easier, it makes legal and financial aspects for a couple simpler, it makes invitations shorter — Mr & Mrs Lalwani…so on and so forth.
How then does a name change impact the psychology and emotions of a married woman?
Prior to marriage you were part of one unit or group — called ‘family’ — and after marriage you move into the next group, also called ‘family’.
At a very basic level, an analogy could be made to your professional life. When you change jobs, you move from one organisation to another. In that move, it is only the externals that change, while your core remains intact.
To your new job, you bring the same approach to life and work, your same value system and all the prior knowledge you had.
You may have moved to a new workplace, but you continue to be who you are, with a different role to play.
And, just like the workplace, in your marriage too, you take all your past experiences, even those of managing group dynamics, and bring them to the new group…more often than not improvising on that skillset or upskilling to manage new projects.
In all this, you as a person still remain the same… What changes is probably only your designation and job description.
What you continue to carry with you is your personality.
No matter what role, title or surname you give yourself, your essence remains the same. You simply add one more layer to it and enrich it… like an artist adding a few more brushstrokes to a painting.
Our life then is a play of different strokes and colours, each going on to make one large canvas or piece of art!
The trick is to find what colour schemes go together, what empty spaces need to be filled, or what colours need another layer on them.
The emotional drama is created from this mix and match…from being able to see what once was, and envision what the future could be.
From the subtle art of holding on to the past, still embracing the new… From letting go of who you were, to gradually becoming who you will be.
In that transition lies every woman’s real strength — to balance two lives, and still create one true whole existence.
The name change is merely symbolic of the process, a formality that hardly does justice to the process of transformation that marriage unfolds.
Every time I sign my new signature, I pause a little to think of what to sign; simply because I’m not habituated to it yet. But, in that act, I’m reminded of my new identity, my new home, new family and new set of responsibilities.
Am I still a Bajaj? Of course! Am I also a Lalwani? Definitely!
But before anything else, I’m Ritika — an entity that is beyond any nomenclatures… An entity that continues to grow and evolve, absorbing one layer of colour after another, hoping that the canvas will eventually become a masterpiece.
With this approach in mind, my husband and I consciously chose to have a nameplate with only our names on it. It helps focus on the ‘us’, and the present moment — with no pressure to look back at the past or create a different future...to just be and enjoy our togetherness.
To celebrate our individual identities, as we come together in complete awareness, bringing to each other what we have, still consciously creating something new!
I started Pink Pinjra as an effort to help women voice their views on anything that mattered to them, but, when I spoke about the idea to friends, they said — “Guys may like to contribute to!” And so it evolved into a platform for expression.
I believe that all of life’s issues impact both man and woman equally, they just have different ways of expressing them. Pink Pinjra is thus a platform that embraces all forms of expression, and how expression per se can transform one’s life for the better.
This transformation leads to one stepping out of the pink cage — a cage created only by the limitations of our mind…a cage whose door was always open. Moments of realisation, and their consequent expression, help us step out of that metaphoric cage and explore vast skies.
Pink Pinjra would like to capture your moments of revelation, and how you gave wings to them. To help us help you capture your story in words, DM us, or post a comment below, and we will get back to you.
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