From Maiden to Married, Back to Maiden Again

I went back to my maiden name, but I don’t think I will ever be a maiden again.

I went back to my maiden name, but I don’t think I will ever be a maiden again. The phrase maiden is such a strange one. The definitions of maiden provided by Merriam-Webster that were most relevant include: unmarried or a virgin or the first or earliest. True, I am now unmarried and I returned to my first last name, but the word “maiden” just doesn’t seem to fit. It doesn’t feel right.

The last time I carried my fathers last name, I was 23. I am now 34. So much has changed in those ten, going on eleven years. I am not the same maiden. I am not married, but I’ve been married. I’ve had a big ring. I’ve changed. I am not the same; cue Alabama Shakes I ain’t the same.
While I now have the same last name I had when I graduated college, I am not that girl anymore. I’m not as timid, not as shy as I was at 23. I’m much more confident, much more sure of myself. I’m ok with the extra weight I carry now. I was embarrassed by it back then. I embrace my quirkiness and all the ways I might be weird.

I don’t handle stress, specifically financial stress the same way I did when I was 23. At 23, when my account was in the negative I basically had a panic attack. I would experience heart palpitations, have stomach issues and a host of other stress induced ailments. Now, I don’t miss a beat. It is, what it is and I’m taking steps to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

I’m unapologetically me. I am no longer sorry for everything, although I still apologize too much. I’m not sorry I’m divorced. I listened to my spirit and did what was best for me.

I am not at all the same person I was ten years ago, but now it seems as if I’ve returned to the same position. I’m really surprised we haven’t come up with an alternative word for “maiden.”

What’s funny is that I never wanted to give up my last name. I remember my ex and I having a big argument about me wanting to keep my name. Now, I have the name back and it doesn’t feel authentically mine. My cousin had a brilliant idea and I hate I did not consult her before returning to my former last name. She is recently divorced, and she dropped her married name. But she did not return to her maiden name. She has no last name. She now goes by just her first and middle name. I like that.

This post was previously published on and is republished here with permission from the author.

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