Memories are irreversible. Accomplishments should not be hidden by an alternative name, different than the one I used when I was learning to become who I really was. I am a woman who has worked for my own successes, with my own full name beautifully displayed across the shiny diploma paper. I am a woman who has spent hours typing, editing, deleting, and thinking, in order to experience the pride of seeing my own published name on the articles and stories. I am a woman gazes at the name displayed on my passport, thinking of the places I've seen while using the only name that I have known for the entirety of my life.
I am also a woman who is getting married.
When explaining to a group of friends that I have decided not to change my last name, despite marrying the man who will be my partner forever, I was hit with questioning arguments of disagreement.
"Isn't that the whole point of getting married?!"
My last name is everything that I have grown to remember from the time I could comprehend what a happy moment really was. It is the smell of campfire, which is more satisfying to me than others would imagine because it reminds me of my summers spent up north with my cousins.
My last name is the smell of brut, which gave me the comfort during my childhood, reminding me that my dad knowing my dad was home from work.
My last name is the years of school, listening to teachers mispronounce it over and over again. Yet, that is me, and it has become a piece of my identity-similar to my hazel eyes; a part me that is cannot be changed.
When I get married, my husband will become my partner who I will encourage to remain unique to himself.
For me, "The whole point" of getting married is to adopt every characteristic of the person I love, even if it's different from everything I embody. This includes last names, an age-old marital tradition that can be accepted or modified. Regardless, my husband and I will love each other the same no matter the title.