Over the Mountain: So What Does It Feel Like to Change Your Name?

Lori D Ariz's picture

This being Day One of the rest of my life, I've asked myself and have been asked by a couple of people, "So what does it feel like now that you've changed your name legally?'

I'll jump backwards to yesterday in my next blog, but I wanted to explain what today feels like.
First thing this morning, I prepped my kids for and took them to school. They started classes yesterday when my wife and I appeared at the school together to walk them into class and introduce them (and me) to their teachers. This morning it was just me as I walked my son and daughter through the open court yard on campus. I mentioned to a friend that this time the feeling was unique. It was a moment of bliss as I walked my daughter, her small hand in mine and bright smile beaming, up to her classroom door. Everyone around me knew that I was her parent, though I'm sure they thought I was the mother. (I'm Maddie, by the way. I'll never try to co-opt the "Mommy" title again, even unintentionally.)
As that hot morning sun began to heat up my face, I absorbed the moment, the humid breeze, the sounds of children laughing and playing on the playground, the hugs of praise from parents all around.
And I honestly felt like I made it over that mountain. Not THE mountain. I don't think there is one single pinnacle in our lives. I've certainly climbed many mountains, and I've yet to climb more.
It felt wonderful simply BEING Lauren. As I said to my friend this morning, "It's not LIKE it's me. It's just ME."
Her reply will resonate with me throughout the remainder of the day: "You're starting to feel what the sunlight at the end of the tunnel feels like on your skin."
How fitting a response, and how cool that she seemed to almost picture the moment, though I hadn't shared how the walk was outside and not in the school hallways.
I'm not going to worry about next week quite yet. I'll deal with Step 3 of going full time when the time comes. So far I've already received early reports that that is going well too. I'll get into that at another time.
For now, I hope I've enlightened you enough that it is evident I stand humbled to be here today, having climbed that mountain, often times being carried up it or supported by so many wonderful friends and family. I slipped many times, even slid back a time or two, but something, someone, kept me going forward.
The little engine that could today is the little engine that did.
I knew I could, I knew I could, I knew I could.
And now it's time to soak up the sun. But this is Arizona... where's my sunscreen?
Oh, and yes, I was an 80's headbanger. This dang song has been stuck in my head all morning.
Over the mountains take me across the sky
Something in my visions, something deep inside
Where did I wander, where d'ya think I wander to
I've seen life's magic astral plane I travel through

I heard them tell me that this land of dreams was now
I told them I had ridden shooting stars
And said I'd show them how

Over and over always tried to get away
Living in a daydream only place I had to stay
Fever of a breakout, burning in me miles wide
People around me, talking to the walls inside

Don't need no astrology it's inside of you and me
You don't need a ticket to fly with me--I'm free--yeah

Over and under in between the ups and downs
Mind on a carpet magic ride goes round and round
Over the mountain kissing silver inlaid clouds
Watching my body disappear into the crowd

Don't need no astrology it's inside of you and me
You don't need a ticket to fly with me--I'm free--yeah


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