The Right To My Identity

I’m very passionate about many things in my life: my children, my work ethic, women’s rights AND MY IDENTITY. In my last post, I talked about my desire to have a tubal ligation and today I have another topic that I feel very strongly about. Today I reserve the right to be Krishta-Gay Lewis and to be identified as Krishta-Gay Lewis.

What do I mean by this? I have come to realize that women lose their identities once they have a child or get married. When I had my children, I swiftly became Matthew and Michael’s mommy. No longer was I called Krishta because I was now a mother and I was identified as such. I love my sons and I am proud and honored to be their mother but I am still Krishta. When I got married, I became Gabriel’s wife. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband and my role as his wife but that is not the whole me. There are still many other things outside of my being Gabriel’s wife that makes me Krishta.

When I got married, I didn’t change my last name by dropping the name I was born with and taking my husband’s name, I added my husband’s name and now have a long double-barreled name that people often ask “Why is your name so long?”. The answer is always the same “My father will never leave me but my husband might. I was born Krishta-Gay Lewis; it is who I have known myself to be all my life, who I have grown to learn, understand and identify with and who I will die as”. As I said, I love my husband and sons but being a wife and mother is not all who Krishta is. I am a nutritionist, a fitness enthusiast, a perfectionist, a professional, a career woman. Someday I will be an entrepreneur; and when I achieve this and everything else I plan to achieve in life, it will not only be as Gabriel’s wife or Matthew and Michael’s mommy, it will be as Krishta.

i-am

We all go through that stage in life from puberty to adulthood where we search for ourselves and struggle to find out who we are, what we want and what’s our place and purpose in life. I’m sorry if I offend any of my readers but being a wife and mother was not all I had or have in store for myself. So, before you judge me too harshly please read the rest of the post with an open mind.

In her article Not in the name of marriage, Abigail Gliddon states “when a woman takes her husband’s name, she surrenders her former identity and adopts his.” I agree with this because I have seen many women do it but I also disagree with it because I never want that for myself. I believe a man falls in love with and marries a woman for the person she is when they met, and that person should remain forever. A good example of this and a great article that I found and love is Cathi Hanauer’s article Miss Independent: Keeping your identity after marriage. In it, she talks about her fears of losing her identity after marriage, how she came to recognize years into the marriage that her fears were realized and then how she took steps to get back to her old self. Like Cathi, that was a fear of mine but I refuse to lose myself. Loving my husband, sons and role as wife and mother doesn’t mean I have to give up who I am and what I want. I don’t believe that a woman should have to choose between these things as they are all a part of her life and adds to who she really is. Any one part that goes missing means there’s a void and she is no longer whole. And we all know what happens when there is a void in anything, don’t we?

So, forgive me if I sound selfish or non-traditional; but these aren’t traditional times and we are not traditional women. Today more than any other day women are doing great things while having families, so I don’t think we should still have to choose anymore; we can have it all!

Have you found that you have given up on some of your dreams, since becoming a wife or mom?

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3 thoughts on “The Right To My Identity

  1. Ngobesing Romanus says:

    Beautiful article. When a boy and girl become husband and wife they cease to be individuals and become one. How is this oneness manifested in their names? The society decided that since a girl leaves the parents and meets the boy she has to take his name and add to her own. Since she has left the father and mother to form her own family, she does not have to take her father’s name along. She is now grown up and standing on her own legs. New legs (a combination of hers and her husbands; two become one). Let me thank you for your beautiful post. My comment is to keep the discussion going. I do respect your views. Wish you a great day.

    Like

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