But I'm keeping my name. Both of them.
It started when I went to fill out my "new" name on my driver's license form. I wrote it, and it bugged me, and so I put the paperwork away. Then the badging form I had to fill out to be allowed into the courthouse needed a last name. So I put mine on it. Then it was all the forms and paperwork I filled out to start my job. Then the application to be a notary. Then the form to renew my passport.
On all of these things, I put my "maiden" name. Which I keep getting asked if it's my "married" name. To which I would like to say, "eff you, it's my name and why should it matter?" I kept meaning to change it, and not doing it. When I sat down to change it, I didn't want to. And I started thinking about all of the advantages of having a crazy long name. Like that people remember me as that girl with a crazy last name. And I'm the only one of me. And I share this name with my sister, and we're in this together. And I was never really going to share my name with my husband, so why not just stay...me?
The name change decision is a process, and there is no right solution, and it evolves over time. My current plan is to hold off on picking a last name until we have kids. Yes, it will be annoying and a ton of paperwork. But I'm not ready to give up such a big part of who I am. Ultimately, I can't give you any advice on how you'll feel - but I can assure you - having different last names doesn't make us feel less married. Or like less of a family.
My only real concern about my last name is that we've had more than a few clients come through our office who aren't mentally stable. I'm nervous about these people going home and looking me up on the internet. This was never really a concern of mine before, but it is now, and I'm not sure how to protect my privacy. Suddenly there is more and more merit to the idea of going socially by my husband's last name - changing my name on Facebook, giving that name to races that we run, etc. Except that I don't want to go by his last name, never have, and it is unlikely I ever will. So although using his name socially would be a solution, I'm not totally comfortable with it. Any suggestions?