For the first time yesterday, I called myself Cheryl Chen instead of my maiden name, Cheryl Wong. We were talking about voting over dinner and how I thought I could simply change my voter registration information when I changed the information on my driver's license, but then I learned you had to go to the voter registration people in addition and tell them, "Hey, I moved and changed my name."
The verbal mistake was probably understandable. I said, "So, I had to go tell the voter registration people, 'My name is Cheryl Chen and I moved and I need to change my name.'" Then, I quickly corrected myself. "I mean, Cheryl Wong."
My natural response to the statement, "My name is..." ended with "Cheryl Chen."
I've spent approximately 96% of my life as a Wong. It's taken me about 3.5% of my life getting used to changing my last name. I didn't change my name just because it was the "normal" thing for a woman to do when she gets married; I liked the symbolism of a name change.
How many times we pass over these little moments that reveal so much. It may sound melodramatic to some, but in lives of transition (which defines most of our's), these pivotal instances make the biggest of differences.