38 years ago, my parents named me Crystal Rae Nelson. It’s a designation I’ve changed three times in the past two decades, each time inspired by a shift in my marital status.
This year, as a belated birthday gift to myself, I’m changing my name one last and lifelong time. But this time (for the first time), I’m NOT changing my name in direct response to gaining or losing a husband (that part is purely coincidental)—instead, I’m changing it to represent my own personality, my own values, and my own vision for my own life.
Which brings me to today, when after literally YEARS of dreaming, debating and deciding my way through a myriad of options, I finally filed paperwork to legally change my name to GAELYN RAE EMERSON.
Together, my three new names mean stillness (Gaelic), grace (Scottish), bravery and empowerment (German).
It will take a few months to transition all of my personal and professional documents, but thanks to California’s historic “usage” clause, I can now begin implementing my new name universally.
I’ll be changing my name here on FB within the next few days… then to tackle the other mountains of paperwork this process will generate.
HAPPY (BELATED) BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!
Onward and upward,
PS: You’re all welcome to continue calling me Crys, Crystal, Crystal Rae, Auntie Crys or whatever other name you’re accustomed to using. You’re under NO obligation to make this change along with me.
PPS: I’m grateful to those who’ve played pivotal roles in this process: my parents (Lynn and Barbara Nelson) who’ve warmly supported my idea from the moment I first mentioned it to them in 2015; to my longtime family friend (Soni Cido), the only woman I’ve ever known to change her name in this unconventional fashion; to my southern angel-turned-telephone-friend (Jacque Borland) who, more than two years ago, gave me the courage to advance this idea beyond dreaming toward doing—and to Canadian author and life coach Heather Plett, whose material, The Spiral Path: A Woman’s Journey to Herself, brought Jacque and I together; to my awesome coaching colleague (Kim Hess Laurence) who guided me toward an unforgettable, irrefutable and tangible “aha!” moment; to my beloved BFF (Amy Kate Davio) who patiently read my constant barrage of exploratory text messages, every single time I made up my mind, then changed my mind, then changed it back again; and last but not least, to my partner-in-providence (Esther Kifer Elmer)—the first person I texted after filing the papers today, and the only other human being who knows how badly I needed THIS courthouse encounter to end on a positive note!