On Friday April 18th the judge at the Santa Fe court house granted my request to change my name to Katariina Agnes Fagering. This decision has been a long time coming. I have wanted to change my name for over 15 years but the timing was never right until now.
Why did I do it? There are many reasons behind this decision but I guess I just wanted to take on the persona I knew was lingering just under the surface of my skin waiting patiently to come out and express herself. To me a name is like a new pair of shoes or a new car, it allows you to take on a new energy that matches the shoes or the car. I guess in a way we should be able to choose several names throughout our lifetime to best fit the different evolutions of our life. Katariina Fagering, to me, has a distinct and exotic heritage. She is an artist and an audacious revolutionary.
How did I come up with this name? Katariina was the name given me by the Iraqis I worked with while serving in Iraq. They couldn't understand nor pronounce Karen, so Katariina it was. I then changed it to a Finnish spelling to match the heritage I have been told I hold. My grandmother's last name was Fagering and I have many ancestors still living in Norway where she was born.
There have been some unexpected surprises of introducing myself with this name. One is watching how much fun it is for others to say. They roll the "r" and linger on the double "ii." It brings a smile to be able to say it and then there is always curiosity about the origin and a conversation that follows. I have found many women who are inspired by this decision and as I explain the process of my decision I can see the gears clicking in their head thinking of a new name they could wear. Another surprise is that people feel compelled to share their experiences and love for Norway. This has happened so often that I think that I need to go see for myself.