I still haven’t decided.

In a little more than a month, I will marry Dan and I don’t know what name I prefer for after the wedding. Take his last name? Keep the name of my ex (not interested)? Revert to my maiden name? Do some hybrid? Or create a whole new identity that is more authentic and lasting?

I read recently that, in Jewish tradition, we are taught that a Jewish name (read: Hebrew) reflects your essence and that God gives parents Divine inspiration when they choose their baby’s name.  We supposedly take on the good qualities of the person after whom we’re named.

So the thinking goes, too, that if you change your name, you change your destiny. Your name connects you to a new opportunity…and new potential.

SO…with that in mind, I am still muddled in the naming process. People have known me as Lynne Schreiber for 11 years. My children are Schreiber. But Schreiber is a man who lives in another house a few miles away and let’s just say, on most days, we are not fond of one another.

When I was Cohn, my staccato name bothered me, so I invoked my middle name, Meredith, for my writing. My byline became Lynne Meredith Cohn, and it had a mellifluousness that I loved. Then I traded Cohn for Schreiber, which is German for writer, and I thought it was meant to be and awfully poetic.

Now I’m on the verge of 40 and the whole “oooohhhh, I’m getting married and taking my husband’s name!” excitement of the 20s is long behind me. Names are names and how we know ourselves, that is much, much deeper than what people call us.

And yet.

I do believe, just a bit, in the  bond of marriage and the unity that comes from sharing a name and being a family.

I’m still stumped. I know I don’t have to have the answer on my wedding day but it sure would be nice. One less thing to ponder.

Who am I, is the real question. Better yet, whom do I want to BE?

The essence – my essence – what is that? Don’t we spend our lives trying to figure it out? On the cusp of 40, I have a better idea than ever before.

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