Make Like a Wren Bird and Fly Free
Some of you know me as Carrie Wren. Others of you may know me by a previous name or two. Why the name change? Well…have you ever felt stuck in a life or identity that didn’t fit, and yearn to create your own? That’s how I felt. Here is the story:
A couple years ago, when my former partner and I concluded our marriage (otherwise known as Got Divorced), I had the option of keeping my married name, or resuming my “maiden” name. First, “maiden:” such an antiquated term, yes? Second, how could there be only two options? While I had no interest in keeping the name associated with a part of me that had come to an end when my marriage did, I also didn’t connect with the idea of resuming the name associated with the identity of my childhood self. Quite simply, it felt akin to regressing.
Not satisfied with the options presented to me, I decided to create my own. I chose to change my name to reflect having evolved into my own, distinct, individual self.
Why Wren? Wren was my middle name. Wren is my mother’s middle name. I was affectionately called Carrie Wren by close family friends growing up, and I associate it with a sense of sweetness and home. And, because when I think of birds, I think of flight, movement, independence, grace. In yogic mythology, birds are symbolic of transformation, liberation, deliverance. All qualities which resonate with me as I consider where I’ve been and where I’m going.
Ever tried to seek a legal name change? If not, let me say that you must really, reallllly want it. I thought it might be as simple as dropping my last name. Nope. Because I had never been known before as simply Carrie Wren, there was a whole Process. To make a year-long story short, The Process began with getting fingerprinted down at the county courthouse, obtaining criminal background checks from the county, state, and federal governments, and obtaining affidavits from others affirming that I am “a person of good character.” The Process continued with presenting all of that to the court. Upon issuance of the court order condoning my name change request, the next step was requesting an amended birth certificate, which is necessary for requesting a social security card with my new name, which is necessary for requesting a new driver’s license and passport (no more boarding a plane to some far away adventure and being addressed as the Old/Wrong/No Longer Me name by the airline staff. Over the course of the year, it was as if little bits of myself were falling into place, as government issued documents trickled in through the mail one by one, each new arrival further validation of Who I Am.
I share all of this with you from a spirit of transparency, with the intention of allowing you to see me. And more importantly, so that perhaps you may be emboldened that if you don’t like the options given to you, create your own. Where you see closed doors, open a window and crawl, wiggle, or leap through to the other side. Where you feel stuck, call upon your resourcefulness, tenacity, and creativity to get unstuck. When you feel weighed down by the heaviness of past lives and old circumstances, make like a Wren bird, and fly free.