Ah…names…are we our names? I’ve been going through what a philosopher of language might call an “identity crisis.” I’m trying to figure out what my name should be. That might seem funny to many people, but here’s the problem: I started my business as one name, changed that name after getting married, and now after divorce have been hoovering between split names. For many people, going back to the maiden name wouldn’t be a big issue but for me…it is. Here’s why:
Roberts, the name I started my business under, doesn’t come up much when it refers to me in search engines. That’s because when I got serious about marketing, and my business was growing, I became Levine. I’m cited in syllabi for courses as Levine. Many people know me as “Levine.”
I’ve been straddling the two since the divorce. It was generally accepted that I’d just go back to Roberts once everything was final. I mean, that makes some sense since my degrees are for “Ronda Lee Roberts” and not “Ronda Lee Levine.” So, all my social media, my book, and many articles are under “Roberts” though I still have to go through some hoops to make that official. And here’s where the problem lies:
I don’t feel like either of the names describe me. I am so different and so much more mature than the person I was when I was Ronda Roberts that it doesn’t feel like my name anymore. By the same token, when people call me Ronda Levine, that’s not really my name either, since it was a name received in a marriage that wound up not working out. What then, is a person to do when they don’t feel like their old name and they don’t feel like the newer name? Legally, there are many more hoops to jump through when going with an entirely new name – AND talk about issues with my branding!
And most likely, I will go back to being “Roberts” because that’s who I was born…but…it doesn’t account for all the emotional and spiritual growth I have gone through in the past four years of my life. My other thought was to publish my novels and personal projects under Roberts and business stuff under Levine…but that makes it more complicated.
Ach…what’s in a name anyway? Perhaps I should just go with Ronda – like Madonna and Cher.