Change your name, change your life

The other night, Aaron and I watched Dances with Wolves. (It was my first time seeing the film. SO SAD! ARG! They killed the wolf AND the horse. WTF!? But anyway, I digress…) In the movie, Kevin Costner’s character John Dunbar says,

“I had never really known who John Dunbar was. Perhaps because the name itself had no meaning. But as I heard my Sioux name being called over and over, I knew for the first time who I really was.”

And that quote sums up exactly how I feel about my name change. Megan Tharpe never really knew who she was, and “Megan Tharpe” never really felt like my name. It’s like I just knew it wasn’t me from the beginning. And then there was Megan Finley! That name just sounded like me. It sounds happy and spirited and it ends with a smile when you say it. And from the moment I took that name, I finally became who I was supposed to be. It’s like it enabled me to succeed. And it’s just a name! But it changed everything.

Ariel shared a Broke Ass Bride article recently entitled Your wedding can be a launch pad for your life and before I read the article itself, just the title really resonated with me. My wedding really was a launch pad for my life. Because of our wedding…

  • I signed that paper that changed my name to something that felt more “me.”
  • I wouldn’t have applied for the Offbeat Bride internship that
  • I discovered Offbeat Bride and all the awesome freaky, nerdy, weirdos that made me feel like I didn’t have to be a freaky, nerdy, weirdo all alone.
  • I applied for the Offbeat Bride internship that gave me my most favorite job.
  • I had to deal with the WORST wedding photographer which then inspired me to become a professional wedding photographer myself.

And all those things have changed my life so much! All of those things have changed Megan Tharpe into Megan Finley and created the the seedling that grew into my wonderful life now.

I’m not saying that marriage and a wedding is the key to happiness or anything. But what I’m saying is that I definitely believe that things come into your life to change it up and allow you to become what you need to become — like John Dunbar in Dances with Wolves. He would have never become the man he was destined to be if the Indians hadn’t adopted him, the same way that I wouldn’t be the woman I am becoming today if I hadn’t gotten married.

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3 thoughts on “Change your name, change your life

  1. Names have power. I believe that. Changing one’s name, whether because of a wedding or some other transition, is not a small undertaking. Nor should it be. (Witness the ever popular “should I change my name” debate in the wedding planning world!)

    But yes. Names have power. I had this whole point to make in response to your post, but I’ve lost it. That was the bottom line, anyway. Names have power. :)

  2. On a whim today, I googled my name, because I believe that everyone reaches that state of boredom at one point or another where they feel like doing nothing but peruse the internet to see if they show up on it. Because my name happens to be your name too, it didn’t take too long to find my way over here. And perhaps because of the fact that we, two strangers, are tied together by the same name, I felt compelled to take a peek into the mind of someone with my name yet is in no way *me*. So I think it’s only natural that this particular entry stood out to me, since it discusses your own feelings for and connection to a name that you took on by choice. Mine is the one I was born with, and it’s always felt like mine and mine alone. For a moment there, I felt a somewhat foolish jealousy and protectiveness of my name, to see someone else claim it and cherish it as their identity.

    But I think, on the other hand, that it is really awesome to see how you’ve embraced your name. My father died about half a year ago, so the name “Finley” has taken on new significance to me since then, because it’s his gift to me I suppose. It’s warming to read about another Megan Finley who loves her name as much as I do. It really is a beautiful combination.

    • Aw, thanks for taking the time to comment. Seriously, I really appreciate that. Yes, Megan Finley is an amazing name and I’m jealous that you’ve had it from day one! ;) Thanks for sharing it with me and thanks for sharing your story.

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