Changing Your Name Won't Help

Changing Your Name Won't Help

Change yourself instead.

College is a huge identity crisis to begin with. You start to realize things that never crossed your mind before. You start to become your own person. You're able to stand back and see those people from your past who have never fit in right. You go through a lot of self discovery. You might even start to become uncomfortable in your own shoes, or in this case, your own name.

For the past two years, I've been playing around with the idea of changing my last name. I didn't know where to begin, so after a self-discovery and a quick Google search, I changed all of my social media to a different last name, got a new email address, and made sure that my friends and family all used this different name. I thought this was the first step: the first step to a new life away from the name that, in my mind, has been holding me back my entire life. This would be how I ran away from him once and for all. I was wrong.

Until the legal part came around, I felt free. I felt like I was finally starting over with the name that I should have been given at birth. I used to blame everyone else for giving me that wrong last name that belonged to a group of people who didn't care too much about my existence. I grew up and realized that this was never anyone's intention and no one is a future teller.

Changing your last name is not only expensive, but it's confusing to everyone. Especially if this change is happening when you're already an adult, already go to college, and have already made a new name for yourself. A new name that doesn't care about what your last one is.

After realizing the cost of the process, feeling the confusion on everyone's faces, and mixing my own last name up on some important documents; something clicked in my mind. This wasn't the answer. Changing my last name wasn't going to help run away. I began to think to myself: What was I even running from?

I was starting to feel like this turned into a game, an unspoken game between myself and him. This game was starting to control my life, much more than he ever had. I started feeling like if I would change my name that he would win. It would be a forfeit on my side that I couldn't handle the stress he's put on me, and I was giving in. I couldn't have that. I wasn't going to lose, especially to him.

I now have turned this sick game into motivation for me to be who I really am. This is my motivation to not be like him. This is my motivation to be a good person, to wake up every morning with a smile on my face and know that I am different. I know that my last name doesn't define who I am. I know that as long as I've made a stronger, better, newer name for myself then the legal one won't hold me back.

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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The yearning for a place and people beyond the reach of my fingertips.


For those born and raised outside the borders of the United States, have you ever found yourself going about your daily life and thinking back to your home-county? With all of your favorite and most vivid memories rushing in without much warning, sending you on a rollercoaster of emotion. The ups, the downs, the everything in-between. The life you used to live is now playing itself back in front of your very eyes, and I can't help but feel homesick.

No matter how many years are now separating me from the time I lived in my home country, I will always feel saddened knowing I no longer live there. Yes, I have lived in the United States for more than half of my life, occasionally flying back home to visit family, and yet I always feel as if a small part of me remains on the other side of the world. That small part is what makes me yearn to fly back home-and stay there-, to be reunited with all of my family, and to be surrounded by the language of my people. I miss the way the food tastes; how tap water is better than any bottled water I've had in the states. How the mountains surrounding the city always make for a beautiful view no matter where I'm standing. I miss the guitar players and dancers who light up the city streets with culture and character. Most of all, I miss how much joy I find around me, and within me, when I am back home. There is something indescribable, almost magical, in the way my soul reacts when I step foot off that plane and back into my roots. It's as if the Earth itself grabs hold of me, and brings me close into a tight embrace. As if my home missed me just as much as I missed it. Whether I've been gone for eight years, or two, the unfamiliar quickly becomes familiar, and it feels like I never left. Like I can ask for a refund on my roundtrip flight because I have no desire to fly back to the states.

I feel homesick at the most random times. I could be out with my friends or buried deep in homework, but the memories of home will always find themselves back to me. I get sad for a little while, and it sucks that I cannot snap my fingers and find myself back home in an instant. Nevertheless, I reminisce on the good times and send a prayer up into the skies so I can go back home once more.

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