I finally did the thing, though not legal yet. Life is so hard and complicated. Waiting for the right time to let go of my married name has been a little like not rushing the letting go of my children's old clothes, toys, or school work they brought home. I couldn't do it until I was good and ready. And when the lump in my throat finally dissolved enough to drop the thing into the giveaway box or the old first-grade homework into the recycle bin, I still held the precious memories, and a glimmer of sadness always lingered that a time was gone that I would never get back.
Raustol will always be a huge part of me because of my three children, because of the decades that I felt part of the Raustol clan, the people - besides my children - who were my family. Now I guess in letting Raustol go, I hope to reclaim that young woman who too easily shed her identity, who thought she needed another name - another country even - to be whole and worthy. But that being said, I will always love Norway and resonate more with the Norwegian way of life and government...and I love speaking Norwegian with my daughter and the occasional convo with my former mother-in-law. And now I'm ready to explore what it's like to be Anne Turnbow again.The grown-up version.
Now I'm off to the name good-will. 2024, the year I decided to marry myself? The year, I hope to god when someone asks me, do you have a book published, I can say yes or almost. And I am finally certain what name will go on the cover.
Certainty is a sweet and rare mercy for me.