When I got married, one of my mum’s friends pulled me aside at my wedding reception and put her hands on my shoulders. “Goodbye Becca Bycott,” she said, looking deeply into my eyes, tears in hers. “Hello, Becca Ramspott.” I felt one door closing and another opening, just listening to her words.
Little did I know that 11 years later, I would have to re-open those doors and walk through them again, after an unpleasant ending with my ex-husband. I wasn’t sure how to carry myself across that threshold. By the time my marriage ended, I had built a solid career in communications under my married name. People knew me as “Becca Ramspott” from conferences I attended, presentations I gave, blogs I wrote. It seemed awkward, spelling out that I had gotten divorced by changing my name. But I also felt that leaving a failed marriage wasn’t something to be ashamed of, no matter how hard it was to say it online. Was there a creative and positive way to go back to “Becca Bycott” and let people know about it?
I decided reclaiming my maiden name would have to be a gradual and deliberate process. First, I wanted it to be legally changed, with a new social security card and everything, before I made it “Facebook official” that I was divorced. It had to be the real deal. Secondly, I didn’t want my announcement on social media to be just about my name. I wanted it to be part of something bigger and more universal that people could relate to. Finally, my name change would be an assertive, creative statement, not something apologetic or sad.
My writer friends had been after me to debut Bride In Reverse on my personal social media, and I was shy and kept resisting. But getting rid of my married name and going back to my maiden one … what could be more Bride in Reverse than that? It seemed like the perfect time to finally share this blog with friends and family on social media. There was this idea I had for a new blog post about music and ending relationships. The night after my social security card arrived in the mail, I sat down and finally typed it out. “Breaking Up (With Music) Is Hard to Do” was steeped in nostalgia and heartbreak — everyone had songs they associated with their past relationships. It was something relatable I could share with people, in addition to my name change. Here’s how I finally debuted it all on Facebook:
Comments started popping up from friends and family discovering the blog for the first time. They had a lot of supportive things to say about my name change and my writing. I was glad I put myself out there.