In September last year I posted a comment on a piece that appeared in the Guardian by Sarfraz Manzoor about his impending isolation from the rest of his family over his forthcoming marriage. I remember blogging it at the time and focussing on the questions it and he were raising about identity in the modern world with mixed emotions. That article ended with the wedding and I, probably like others, wondered what next.
So I was really pleased to read today’s article by Manzoor about his new wife’s decision to change her name to his. This is a subject which in itself is fraught with difficulty, the topic for many a gender studies scholar and one I have my own experiences of. No, it’s not the classic Guardian article of why ‘she’ has or hasn’t kept her maiden name (apologies but this kind of middle-class drivel misses the point these days), it is a joyful article of two people’s desire to make their own changes for the benefit of each other. It is about two people continuing to make discoveries about themselves and their own identities change through a process of choice. It is a story of compromise as an act of giving within a mutually respectful relationship. Most of all it is about how (unexpected) change can lead to happiness. These are all pretty important lessons in life and often overlooked in our busy, ‘success’ pursuing lives. We often fear change, focussing on the negative, feeling we lack choice, that it is done unto us and will make us unhappy. But often it brings relief, can help to empower and overall leaves us feeling happier. If a change is as good as a rest, maybe this is what it means.
I realise that at times this blog can appear slightly negative. It is not my intention but I do hope you enjoy this happy interlude.