I have a secret!! But then if you have known me longer than 20 years, its not a secret at all. Many many moons ago, I legally changed my name… for professional reasons. I don’t tell a lot of people because I just don’t like all the questions and accusations.
- What made you change your name?
- Are you wanted by the police?
- What does it take to get your name changed, can I do it?
- How much does that cost?
- Can just ANYONE do that?
- And my favorite: I’ve never known a ‘regular’ person to change their name, only celebrities…you must be famous??!!
It’s enough to piss off a saint if you ask me. But I usually say something cheeky like “it was my stripper name and it just caught on”! Sue me, I like to shake things up!
Incidentally I did not legally change my first name, only my middle and last name, which is what I go by (Jai Stone). I only allow immediate family and old friends to use my first name, but only in private. I have sufficiently threatened them all not tell a soul! When I visit my home town people remark about how they had been looking for me on Facebook, but could not find me. The truth is, I really didn’t WANT to be found. I didn’t realize it at first, but my old name was attached to an old life that I hated and people that I didn’t like. I had horrible memories and experiences that I would simply wanted to forget. I also didn’t like the old me nearly as much as I like this Jai Stone chick. So when it comes to being found by someone from my past, I will admit to hiding in plain sight.
Once in a while, someone I know blurts out my birth name in public and people around me look at me confused and bewildered. With a sigh, I reluctantly offer a limited explanation without detail. Usually say something like “oh, that’s my first name”. I found that offering a simple explanation often doused the fires of curiosity and then folks ceased to care.
We often hide our secrets from those around us. We are afraid of hurt, judgements or even memories. Other times we simply don’t want to explain our decisions. But the truth doesn’t go away because we hide it. We just need to find a place where the truth can reside in peace. It doesn’t matter if I didn’t want people to know my secret, many found out anyway, I couldn’t always control the narrative. I learned the hard way that sometimes the best secret is an UNKEPT secret. People won’t share if they don’t care.
Lesson 1: The truth will find its way to the light, with or without our help. It’s always best if you control the narrative when possible.
Lesson 2: A secret is only a big deal because you decide not to tell it.