The only reason I would consider changing my legal name is that of marriage. Typically in my culture, the women automatically take the last name of the husband and erase theirs. However, I have seen some like my cousin who has both: her first last name is her husbands and after it, it’s hers. Legally, my mom has my dad’s and her last name but it has a “de” after hers like “Ortega de Villalobos”; Ortega being her last name and Villalobos my dads. When she introduces herself to other people though, she just uses Villalobos for simplicity.
I feel that I would legally have my husband’s last name first and then mines, but like my mom for informal introductions just say my husband’s last name. I wouldn’t want to get rid of my last name because I feel that it’s such a part of who I am. First of all because outside of my immediate and extended family, I have ever only met one other person with the last name Villalobos and we had no family connections. I love that it’s unique and its funny to hear the different pronunciations of it in English. Lastly, because when I hear or see my full name it reminds me of how much I’ve grown as this individual.
Besides the fact that its tradition in my culture, I would take my husband’s last name because to me it signifies that the 2 individuals are now one being embarking on a new journey together. However, just because I would have mines at the end does not mean that I’m not “fully committed” to being one being. I guess in thinking of it too hard, it shows that I’m one with him but I’m also not a completely new person. Having my last name, to me, would mean that I carry on the legacy of my family’s last name and the struggles my parents have gone through and that have shaped me as an individual. Almost like an homage to them that their name will not be lost, but rather live on with pride. Together, the two last names will represent the “new” me with the history and pride of the “old” me.