Inda Lauryn is the name I chose when I decided I would be more comfortable writing fiction under a pseudonym rather than my legal name. At first, I only used it online, attaching it to my writing. This changed a couple of years ago when I moved to Wisconsin. I actually began using my legal name for a few months, but one day in meeting someone, I finally introduced myself as Inda. Once I realized I was not simply reinventing myself but becoming more comfortable with my identity, especially as a writer, becoming Inda became much easier.
Of course, I still use my legal name and those who knew me before a couple of years ago still refer to me by that name. In a way, it’s useful. It sometimes helps me to separate those who knew me before I finally managed to get into my own life and try to live in a way that made me happy. Furthermore, these people are mostly family, so they never really abandoned me in the first place and it’s no big deal that they still refer to me by the name I grew up with for more than 30 years. They accept that I use a new name here, but I’m not sure they quite understand why since we’ve never discussed it.
Interestingly, I also took another pseudonym yesterday because I am job hunting. I decided to use a name less “ethnic” sounding and looking than my legal name to see if I could get more responses to resumes I send out. I mostly apply for work at home and/or writing positions, so using a false name in these cases would not be much of a problem. Still, I feel I get less responses than I should, so I decided to send out the resume with a more “Anglo” sounding name. However, we’ll see what happens with this little experiment.
In any case, I love that I have chosen my own name. I don’t feel it is an attempt to shake off the past or a denial of my past self in any way. Rather, I feel I have simply taken the power of naming and named the one thing I should have the power to name: me. Also, I’m hoping that Inda will bring me a little more luck than I’ve had over the past seven years. There hasn’t really been a change in my personality, but I am trying to become more comfortable as a well-rounded person with strong points and flaws.
I also noticed that any time I have changed my name was a time in my life when I needed a game changer. I took a look at my identity and wondered what I could do to help move myself forward from what seemed like a quagmire. The name change may not be the solution to everything, but becoming Inda gave me something tangible to look at and see that I am indeed changing and making changes.
Changing my name is only one small part of changing the game. While I use a different name now, I do not see myself as a different person and maybe that’s part of the problem. However, I do feel that it is a start.