Let me begin by stating very clearly, that I love being Mrs. Beale. I have loved it for the last 4 years, and I will continue to love it for the rest of my life.
Sometimes though, I catch myself doodling my signature with my maiden name. I can’t quite put my finger on why. I signed that name for so long. Everyone in my hometown knew me by it. It was who I was for so many years.
Zoey Carmichael was a different person than Zoey Beale. She was single, she was a workaholic. She was proud, a little selfish, extremely impulsive, a dreamer, and ride or die type of best friend. She had a pottymouth. She played volleyball and softball. She sang solos in choir concerts. Her dance moves had once been described as similar to ‘a stripper with ADD’. Zoey Carmichael was Sami and Sabrina Carmichael’s sister.
Fast forward post marriage and baby.
Zoey Beale is a wife and mother. By day she changes diapers, packs lunches, kisses boo boos, works, brews lots of coffee, and by night she writes. She reads her bible, furiously scribbles in her journal, and she worries way too much. Her hips don’t quite swing the way they use to when she tries to dance. No, Zoey Beale has mom hips. She still loves her friends dearly, but is no longer able to drop everything on a whim to be there for them like she use to be.
Zoey Beale? Who?? Is she related to those Carmichael girls?
The thing is, I don’t like one Zoey more than the other. Instead of viewing these two identities as separate, I prefer to see Zoey Beale as the grown-ass-woman version of Zoey Carmichael. I have managed to hang on to a ton of qualities and quirks that Miss Carmichael carried. Obviously I still have that potty mouth. I’m still a dreamer, impulsive, and will unfortunately be forever clumsy. But I am so much smarter now, and I like that I am a little less selfish than I once was (being responsible to keep a tiny human alive will do that to you I suppose.)
I still have a couple of old high school shirts with CARMICHAEL written across the back. I will cherish those forever, and remember my glory days every time I wear them. But then, I look at my wedding band, and feel that these glory days are just as important, and bring to the surface the same type of pride in my heart. I am now simultaneously my husband’s wife and a Carmichael sister. And that is a win-win if you ask me.