I have, for as long as I can remember, wanted to change my name. While my last name, Peralty, is fairly unique, I have never really felt like I was a “David”. Maybe that sounds weird to you and you’ve always thought of me as a “David”, but I’ve long wanted to be Malcolm Alexander Xavier.
I know other people that have changed their name, but I haven’t really ever discussed it with them. I don’t know what their motivations were, how difficult it was to do, or if they are glad that they made the change, and so I constantly wonder if it is something that I should do.
Here are some things I’ve been thinking about:
Most of my online brand is focused around my name. So if I change it, it could become difficult for some people to find me. I have gained work through asking people to search my name on Google. I do own the domain MalcolmX.ca and could easily move Peralty.com to that domain, which would mitigate some of that issue over time. Unfortunately, all of the articles posted by David Peralty on other sites would remain, but I could explain the change to potential employers.
My wife changed her last name to match mine only two years ago. Wouldn’t it be weird for her to be Peralty, and for me to be Xavier? Would I ask her to change her name again to match my own? We’ve never really talked about it, but she has been supportive in the past of me changing my name.
There would be so much paperwork. I’ll admit it, I’m horrible about paperwork. I really dislike contacting organizations to update personal information every time I move, so why would I do something that adds another round of contacting organizations to all of the other things I need to get done? Even just changing government information is a pain because the different groups don’t communicate with each other effectively. I can’t just change my name and have all the other agencies understand that they need to send me new identification. That would be too easy… (that’s a rant for another day)
Does it really matter? I think this is the biggest sticking point of this whole thing for me. I have been David Peralty for 33 years and as far as I know, it hasn’t been a detriment to me in any way. My name is a label that people use to identify me and while it sometimes makes me cringe to hear it, I don’t know that it is reason enough to go through everything to change it.
Will it make me happier? Are there people that have changed their name to something they prefer and are better for it? It won’t make me smarter, more productive, wealthier or healthier, as far as I know, so can I really justify spending the time, money and potential frustration to make this kind of change at this point in my life?
What if shortly after I change my name, I realize that it doesn’t suit me? Would I change it back to the one my parents gave me? Stick with it, even if it doesn’t feel right? Change it to something else that I think will work better?
The amusing thing for me is that everything, except what my wife would do, are questions I’ve been asking myself now for over fifteen years. I spent less time deciding on my three tattoos that are near-permanently etched into my skin.
So, if you find this post and have considered changing your name, or actually gone ahead and done it. Why did or didn’t you and what are your thoughts on someone changing their name? Let me know!