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The Name Game

Well, it’s official. I will forever be known as a Wagner. To the outside world, I will forever be Wagner, parenthesis York (yes, I just made a Facebook reference).

There’s something definitive and downright depressing (alliteration for the win) about being the last one in your family to carry on the only last name you’ve ever known and connected with. Sure there are other York’s out there – royalty even. But it isn’t linked to my late Grandmother and my Grandfather and the memories we shared fishing each summer. It isn’t linked to my Dad and all of the unbelievable qualities he passed on to me like my warped sense of humor and strong, driven, determined will. Those qualities, memories describe a York. Up until now, I’ve accepted my place as the last one in a room to be called in alphabetical order. I’ve even appreciated not having to pay attention during role-call until the teacher hit the W names. But now I AM a W name.

As an athlete, my last name was was commonly heard echoing off the hills, mountains and track as coach Moretti screamed for me to run harder. Back then, it gave me nightmares. Now-a-days, I enjoy people calling out my name as I barrel down the marathon course. Without them I’m confident I wouldn’t have made it through some rougher moments.

I imagine this is what it feels like to go through an identity crisis. While I know who I am, my new identity and what it will mean is still a giant question mark.

Has anyone else faced this after getting married?

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