“I am not done changing
Out on the run, changing
I may be old and I may be young
But I am not done changing”
– Changing by John Mayer 2017
In the last week I have started to phase in my new surname, O’Leary, as I move away from Green. I spent a lot of time over the past 2 years (from when I agreed to marry my husband) thinking about what I was going to do about my name – because I love both of them and what each of them mean to me.
Kate Green has been my identity since birth and has really become my brand through my adult life. People call me KG and ‘Kate Green’ instead of only addressing me as Kate. I really liked this name and as I’ve gotten older I’ve really grown to understand what being a ‘Green’ in my family means. So when the time came that my husband and I first talked about what I would do when we got married, I felt really torn.
Double barrelling our surnames didn’t feel right to either of us. But having two separate names didn’t feel right either. We even discussed him changing his name to Green. Eventually I decided that I would legally change my name and then keep Green professionally.
Over the months leading up to marriage and since, I realised how inconvenient it will be looking after two names. Thinking about job applications, visas, flights and banking etc. So, I started to research both of the names online. Turns out Kate Green is far more common (especially in academia) and actually changing my name entirely might be a good tactical move for me.
I’m in a moment of limbo in my career where I haven’t published a lot, nor my PhD and I’m in a phase of also deciding whether or not I will stay in academia at all. It’s a good time to give birth to my name and get used to it for a few months before big career decisions happen. I can start my post-PhD life under my new identity.
I feels wierd to scrub out Green. Most of all, I’m not looking forward to changing my Twitter handle – that well and truly feels like it’s mine. But even though on paper I am now an O’Leary, I’m also still a Green and nothing is going ot change that!
I feel happy and ready for the transition now. 🙂 Bring it.