I never really gave them much thought until it came the time to change mine. Again.
My last name used to be Kukal. There is NOT a single person in the world named Kirsten Kukal. Not that I could find anyways. I got divorced (again) in 2014 and changed my name back to Gardner. I thought this would be the simplest thing to do. After all, my daughters’ last name is Gardner. You know. So when the school calls, etc. we totally have the same name kind of hook up.
As I began to build my new personal website for yoga I realized I had to change everything. Again. Not just my last name. But my e-mail address. My bank account. My car registration. My car insurance. My workplace 401-K/paycheck. All of my credit cards. My Yoga Alliance registration. You name it. It had to be changed. I realized as I was typing in search engine ideas on my new web site that there are more than a few yoginis with the name Kirsten Gardner. Bummer. Kirsten Kukal was SO easy to find. I was the only one out there and it was a good thing. So one would guess.
I was born Kirsten Pearson. My mom got divorced and my stepdad adopted us, so my surname changed to Hampton. Shortly after high school I got married to the love of my life. My name would then become Houston. The universe took that situation away and my surname once again became Hampton. Five years later I remarried and my last name was Gardner. The universe took that situation away and I kept my name. I remarried a third time (I know you can quit reading here if you want) and then my surname became Kukal. Kukal. What kind of a name is that? A Czech name. An uncommon name. One that would definitely separate me from all of the other Kirsten’s in the world. Believe me. When I got married I actually thought nothing of the name. It was different and basically nobody could say it correctly. Kind of like my first name, I got used to it.
So now, my name is back to Kirsten Gardner. Lots of people have it. Which I find odd. When I was young back in the day, there weren’t that many people (that I ran across) named Kirsten. Today. There are more than a few. A lot of them happen to be yoginis. So I’m trying to figure out how to set my website apart from the rest. Would it be sacrilegious to tag a Kukal in the site? I’m thinking not. After all that was my name and folks have been trying to locate me.
There have been a few times I actually thought I should change my name to a symbol, kind of like Prince did several years back. Don’t think I’ll go there though. Tempting none the less. Will I ever change my name again? I don’t know. But if I do, I know exactly what it will be. And it will be that last, and final time.
P.S. My first name came from a movie my mom saw when she was pregnant. Days of Wine & Roses. The lady in the film was an alcoholic. Good thing that didn’t transfer over, I think I’m from a long line of heavy drinkers. My mom almost named me Wendy. But since I was born on Halloween, they thought everyone would call me “Wendy the Witch.” I like the name Kirsten, and I’ve never felt like I needed a last time to go along with it. That is all.