Tomorrow morning I will be in court, hopefully finalizing a process I started earlier this year. I will be changing my name.
When I was first considering it, I found the entire idea a bit scary. I have worked tremendously hard to make a name for myself, from my work in the open source community to conferences I've spoken at and interactions with numerous companies and people who have been instrumental in my whittling out a career in software engineering. I have been very particular about being referred to as "R. Tyler Ballance," ensuring that my "self-branding" remains consistent, netting me somewhere north of 36,000 results when searching Google.
Tomorrow I intend on throwing all that out the window, there are more important things in life than Google results (as shocking as that may sound).
I'm hesitant to go too much into the motivations for the change, knowing full well that everything I publish might as well be set in stone on the internet.
Those close to me know that my parents divorced when I was young. After a particularly nasty divorce, my mother and my three sisters parted ways with my father who I have since only had sporadic contact with. After a couple dark years for my sisters and I, my mother married another Navy man, George P. Croy, III. George came into the marriage with his daughter, bringing my sister-count up to four.
Over the past fifteen years or so, I have become George's son. Successfully exploring his emotional spectrum from tears of joy to turning him a bright crimson shade of pissed-off, never once treating me as if I were anything less than his kin. I'm convinced my attitudes towards family, women and friends not to mention my strong opinions on honor and integrity have all been heavily influenced by him
Plainly put, I would not be the man I am today without his guiding hand.
Provided everything goes well at the courthouse, I enter as R. Tyler Ballance and leave as R. Tyler Croy.
Might as well update your address books.