Monday, August 28, 2006

What's in a Name?

One of my hobbies is genealogy. I spend a lot of time trying to trace my family tree and I can get quite obsessive about it. As a consequence, one of the things that I think about often is the way that women disappear into history because very often we don't have and keep our own names.

I married in 1988 and lost my name. It didn't occur to me that I could keep the name I had been given at birth. It certainly didn't occur to me that my birth name obscured the existence of hundreds of women in my ancestry. When I took my degree I reverted to using my original surname. I wanted my degree to have MY name on it and not the name of my father-in-law and that family who wanted to so wholly own and control me.

Now I am ready to find another name. I have reached such a point in my feminist journey that it no longer seems acceptable to have this name that has been passed down through the male line, laying waste to the sacrifice, hardship and determination of so many women who go on to be forgotten or unidentifiable. But how do I make this enormous choice? I would love to hear your suggestions!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

I've Been Away

And now I'm back! I had a fast depressive slump; it crept up on me and caught me. The GREAT news though, is that I was able to work through it on my own and I'm on the way up in record time. Yay me! It's my first crisis since I finished therapy and I was really caught out by it. I drew on my coping strategies and even though I'm not 100% I feel that I can manage my anxiety. I don't expect things will always go this well, but it's promising isn't it?