The Phear

As of July 11 (my wedding anniversary, 8 months to the day), I am a different person. Officially. My last name has been legally changed to Phelps (!!!) with all government agencies. “Signature here please,” …  “sit up straight for your photo now” … “What was your maiden name again, ma’am?”

Maiden name. A mix of emotions surfaced when the DMV clerk said those words. After all of the wedding planning, doing, honeymooning, crossing T’s and dotting I’s, I guess I forgot I would just be another lady with a ‘maiden name’ when all was said and done. There was never a question as to whether I wanted to take my husband’s name or not, I’m traditional like that. (“HELL YES I’M YOUR WOMAN!”) But I never stopped to think about how much ye old maiden name meant to me in the first place. I was never really connected to its rightful owner. I disengaged from the name when I was an adolescent; the only joy I received from it was having the chance to say it to Irish elderlies who would get a kick out of a little girl named Casey Murphy. “Doesn’t get much more Irish than that, young lady!,”  they’d say. Alas, the only honor I could find in the maiden name game was letting go.

Those emotions were replaced by excitement and happiness when I was told to pen my new last name for the first time a few moments later. Ack! I hadn’t practiced or anything, I didn’t even remember that was part of the process. But I signed, and it worked. A cute, curly, scribbly mess. Mess. Flash-forward to a month, when I’ll be turning 30. I’m ready. I’ve been ready for like, 15 years.

30 seems like the Holy Grail of age for women (in my generation). “How old are you?” … “30.” BAM!  No more questions asked. Stripes earned. Get off my back, yo.

But as life has it (again), approaching another milestone, I’ve got no solid direction as to where I’m going. Embark on a freelance career? How steady is that? I don’t know. Another bartending job? Wait…seriously? I’m even considering this? I AM TALENTED AND WELL-SEASONED AND EXPERIENCED. WHY AM I LOST WITH NO DIRECTION? Get OUT OF HERE, FEAR. You are not welcome. (But I keep you, my enemy, closer…because it’s easy.)

As long as I show up and do my homework every day and turn it into the teacher, the Universe — and hustle, with gratitude and relentlessness, then good things will happen.


“When do you think it will all become clear, ’cause I’ve been taken over by the fear….”


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