I changed my name this week. It all started when I met with a wellness coach, an experience that was pretty impactful. As a result, I’m embracing some things I’ve learned about myself and am making the decision to change my name, from Laura-Ashley to Ella. Somehow it fits, it feels right. It also carries a range of emotions – what will my parents think? Who might judge me? Why would I do this? Is it dramatic?

However, I’m just going to go with it. I figure it will take some time to get used to, but I like the name, it feels like it suits me.

I’m trying to reconcile who I was with who I am. After going through so much over the past 10 years, including trauma, I’m still recovering. I realised this week that I will always be “recovering”, I’ll never be the same. That is the definition of change – to make or become different. So here I am, wounded, changed, different.

It’s been hard to reach out to family and friends since I’ve returned. Immediate family are ok, but my childhood friends are hard. We’ve been apart for so long, we’ve moved on. A part of me wants to reconnect. But another part knows that it will take energy to be the person around them that I once was. The preconceptions, the expectations. It’s more what I put in my own head than reality. Yet I feel like the Laura-Ashley I knew partly died during the past few years. The trauma I went through just simply makes it too hard to return to my home and do the same old. It’s like I’m a new immigrant coming back. Part of re-entry shock, I’m sure. It will take time.

In the meantime, I have a new job, and a new love, and am constantly meeting new people. So I figure I’ll be my authentic self, and embrace Ella. It makes me happy, so why not. And I’ll continue to try not to judge myself for feeling tired, overwhelmed or simply like I’m living an out of body experience. Feeling grounded takes time. So I proceed, as Ella, looking for new roots, looking to find home.

I’m curious if anyone else out there feels the same about themselves – like they need to start again to really cope and move on from the past.

Love always,



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