The Story of an Army Wife: What's in a Name?

At 23 years old, I never thought I would be married.  Not because of some deep insecurity or hatred of marriage, well may be a little.  But I honestly had a different vision of my life at 23 and the path that I am currently on is not one I ever expected to travel.

As I grew into an adult, I did the most random of things to shed myself of an identity that I didn't want or had created and felt that it wasn't right.  While I tell people the main reason I go by Kris is because people seem to have a hard time pronouncing Kristin (which is largely true), I think there was more to it than I let on to other people.

In my mind, Kristin was the girl who was the doormat.  Who got played by guys and was clueless about the world.  While people have called me Kris my whole life, it wasn't until college that it really stuck.  Kris became who I wanted to be as a kid: confident.

But when the persona of Kris became another mistake, I decided change my last name (on Facebook at least) to separate the negative things of my childhood from who I was as an adult.  Keep in mind, when this was all happening I didn't think anything about it.  Only in retrospect, do I realize how much of an identity issue I had.

Even Chrystyn in "Chrystyn's View" came from one of those identity moments I had as a kid.  When I was in school, the black kids used to make fun of me for having a "white" name.

While I still go by Kris (partially because being called Kristin throws me off sometimes),  I have started to embrace who I am now: crazy.

HAHA! Only kidding.........sort of.

Before I got married, it was a frequent conversation about changing my name.  Mostly due to the fact that I could not completely wrap my head around the concept that I would no longer be Kristin Shannon.

I have no regrets about changing my last name for my husband.  My whole life I felt like I hated my name, but now that it has changed it feels odd.  It is like no longer being a Shannon has left a slightly incomplete feeling and being Evans is the replacement that has fully adhered to the rest of my life (probably cause I still live with my parents).

When I told my husband that I would be moving to Kentucky before Thanksgiving, he texted me that this would be our first Evans Thanksgiving.  I smiled and was taken aback a little, because all I knew were Shannon Thanksgivings.  They have never been something I look back on with a smile, more like an scrunched face; however, they were apart of who I am.

This post has been random and may seem irrelevant to me being an army wife, but the reason I mention it is because of the military. My relationship with my father is a hit or miss experience but I am proud to be his daughter and all that he has accomplished (including being a General in the National Guard) was under the name Shannon.  But why do I take pride in that like I am the Shannon who did any of those things?

I see other military wives who take so much pride in their husband's success as if they are the ones who actually accomplished those tasks and act as if they deserve the same respect as a decorated veteran.  I am proud of my husband but I didn't go to boot camp and it won't be me being called for deployment. So when people say Evans.............they better recognize it as Kristin Evans because despite the last name, I am not my husband, I am my own person.  Because while I love my husband and am blessed to be his wife, I plan to make a mark on this world and I don't want to just be Mrs. Akeem Evans,  I want to be Kristin Evans.......wife of Akeem :-)