When I was 17 my parents and I terminated our family connection. As part of this violent process they wanted me to change my last name. I considered this demand, however, the time and cost to change it would have been on me, and I did not feel they were worth it. I also had some spite and rage that said “No, you choose to have me, therefore, I will keep your last name till the day I die….and have it chiseled into my gravestone to be claimed forever.”
Since this resolution, I’ve grown quite a bit (and I’ve had a lot of therapy too!). Many of you that follow my blog have read about the various ceremonial ways I've released the last name of Holloway. I no longer have connection to this name, and when I have to claim it in any way it feels uncomfortable - it no longer fits.
Now that it’s time to change my name legally, I realize there is work I need to do to bring closure to the name of Jenni. I’ve have used this moniker for 40 years and have built quite a legacy around it. Many people know and love Jenni, and to see that name go, brings some people a sense of loss. I never considered this a by-product of my name change process, however, as I claim Raven Shree more fully, I’ve had friends express grief around losing Jenni; some with tears and some even requested a funeral so they can say their final good-byes.
As I move further into the process of legally changing my name, I am taking time to sit with the legacy created by Jenni. She got me to this point and what a fine job she did. She forged through shadow with stoic resolution and lived a beautiful survival dance to make it in this world. Jenni was the heroine of my first adulthood, and for that I am forever thankful. Now, as I move through my mid-life transformation, and begin to take steps into my second adulthood, one more in line with my unique delivery system of soul, I claim Raven Shree.
So, with each signage of paperwork required to do the legal stuff, and all the shifts that have to take place to step more fully into the mythopoeic identity being downloaded into me form the divine, I take sacred time to honor the past that lead me here, while also strengthening my commitment to the larger work being called to live through my eco-identity.