dariaphoebe: (redhead)
The day had an ignominious start. There I was, pulled to the side of the road, fastening my stockings and doing the clasps of my shoes, because I'd been very late. The car needed to be dropped for service a block away, and I didn't want them to see me partially composed. Of course, I didn't want anyone else to see me that way either. I bused downtown, cursing that it appeared the rainy forecast that had chased me from my bicycle was wrong.

My bag contained the papers I'd need, shoes more suited for rain, and a book I felt I needed with me in the moment. As I cleared the metal detector and looked around for where to go, two women stood up and started walking toward me before I noticed. My lawyers were early.

There's a song lyric that fit the moment all too well. "The waiting is the hardest part." I'd waited years to be ready. Months to get to the front of the queue. Weeks for my appointment. Now it was down to minutes, and they ticked slowly, but we chatted to pass the time. When the judge came out, she ruled on another woman's case before mine. I gathered she was anglicizing her name. I felt for her, as it seemed she'd gone it alone. Then it was my turn. I confirmed the spelling and thanked the judge when she complimented my name.

Shortly thereafter I parted company with my attorneys (thanking them as well) before getting a few certified copies, grabbing a bite with my spouse (who'd appeared just before the judge did, thankfully) and then running to and fro across downtown to start changing every bit of my legal existence. It wouldn't be simple, but I didn't care. I'd reached my goal, and a few hours later, I had my prize.
dariaphoebe: (redhead)
I was nervous as I climbed aboard the bicycle for what was sure to be a boring ride: short and flat, crossing from the coffee shop I'd just left and would later return to over the river for a meeting downtown. Within a block, I regretted my lack of gloves, but there was no time for that. When a professional's time is being donated, respecting it is important.

I swapped my hands into my pockets for warmth as I rode, choosing my path carefully to avoid needing to take a lane on a bridge busy with late-morning rush traffic due to construction elsewhere. The goal was obvious, but the timing gave me a heavier heart than it might have been otherwise.

Five minutes before the appointment, I locked up the bicycle and walked inside, hoping my hands would be warm before another was offered to me to shake. I had my fingerprint card and my birth certificate, and within minutes I was being briefed by the attorneys who'd be filing my name change petition. But as I signed several copies of the document petitioning the court to legally recognize me as Daria Phoebe Brashear, I was distracted by the previous day's news that the first Brashear optics factory, probably visible by squinting out the window behind me in the office tower, was being demolished.

If he was "Uncle John" to those who held him in esteem, I'd hoped that the preservation of this site would provide people also with a view into the role of his beloved, "Aunt Phoebe". Today, though, it was clear that was not to be.
dariaphoebe: (redhead)
I'd just ordered lunch for pickup in a bit, and needing some exercise, I headed back toward the hillside. A quick trip up a small street I'd shown my spouse when we were returning home from somewhere nearby got me partway up. She had observed that day as I drove down a way she didn't know "You bike here, don't you...". I mix up my routes, taking in different bits of a slowly evolving neighborhood with every ride, savoring its history even as it's reshaped around me.

After crossing the adjacent ravines, I climbed along the edge of the curving road. The street hadn't existed when the first part of our house was built. It was added later to provide a connection to a suburban, by their own claim, trolley line that looked to connect new housing to my own burgeoning, industrial neighborhood. At the top of the hill , where the trolley line ran, was the old turnpike to Brownsville. It seemed fitting that I had passed the building housing the association named for my ancestor, his (and thus my) surname emblazoned on the side above a quote from him. Our family, after all, had lived in Brownsville, in a stone house that despite the abuse of previously being a beer distributor as well as being hit by cars occasionally still stands on a corner on the old National Road.

I'm keenly interested in history, and so it's no surprise I'm intimately familiar with his. He's a well-sung person, a self-made man as it goes, and one who gave back to his community later in life. But part of the story that is not widely spoken of is the part his wife played. I've mentioned her before. On this day, one where again I had to get my ID out for something, I was reminded that someday, when I got carded, I'd have 2 things to be proud of: my name, and hers. This day, sadly, would not be that day.
dariaphoebe: (redhead)
He said, maybe you should just change it. I explained the mess that changing personal documents would be, that it might have implications if I ever got health insurance that actually provided the coverage I needed instead of what I had now. I had a plan, though, I said. There's an organization which exists to help with this very problem. But the suggestion wasn't meant too seriously. He knew it would be a pain. Sometimes, though, you need to choose your pain.

The trip was hastily organized. Indeed I found some clean clothes, chucked them in a suitcase, and left, stopping once in the 6 hours for lunch. A harbinger of things to come, I got carded. His only comment was "looks legit." But the meeting was important, and to the point of that question my biggest worry was whether a suit or a dress would convey the appropriate level of professionalism. I packed both. Shortly after I arrived, he asked, "There's one thing I need to ask. What is the legal name on the document you'll be presenting tomorrow, so I can get you on the list?" Now, I found myself being handed an ID to wear with a picture of me that was several years old, and a name I didn't use.

As we finished lunch, none of the folks who I had just eaten with, a super-set of the group I'd spent the morning talking to, had even seen my ID. I was happy to keep it that way, but had no idea if I could. With a quiet moment, I pulled out my iPad, ran a search I was well-familiar with, clicked a link, and then composed a message in the mail window that showed up. I'd taken action. Now I just needed to follow through.

Step 68: When you recognize your pain points require action, take it.

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dariaphoebe

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