I still hate my name “Carol”—now more than ever before. So, I guess I’m finally going to do something about it.
I’d mentioned before how I’ve been thinking about changing it to Adin. I swear I’m not trying to be a copycat. I don’t envy Hannah one bit. It’s been one helluva pain in the ass. The process is lengthy, and I don’t mean just the basic stuff like getting the court order. I mean, like changing everything in your life, all your logins, all the websites you’ve ever visited, usernames, credit card billing addresses, and about a thousand other things you don’t think of until your ten feet deep into it all. It all sucks.
And I said I was into the name “Adin.” However, after mulling that over for a while, it has morphed into a name I want even more, which is Ayin. And I’ve come to love this. It’s the name of a Hebrew letter that has a lot of powerful meaning in Kabbalah (which I will refrain from getting into), so I’ve fallen in love with it. What better way to start loving myself?
I need to love myself now more than ever. Coming out to my brother has been painful, and now, things are entirely fucked between us (again). But maybe they need to stay that way for good. I seem to do much better when he’s out of my life. I feel less like a bad person. I don’t know, maybe I’m only reminded less often of what a horrible person I truly am? He just has a way of confusing me and tying my brain in knots. In all conversations with him, I walk away feeling terrible.
He doesn’t even know what my new name is. We never got that far. He didn’t ask, so I didn’t mention my surgery either. He wouldn’t understand it, or rather, be very interested. He’s never been interested in me or what I do. Yesterday was a shit show.
So I am severely depressed right now. I don’t know how long it will take for this to subside, but I know it will. I’ve been through this sort of thing with my brother countless times. Honestly, he’s put me through 53 years of misery—90% lies and manipulation, and 10% something else that resembles happiness—just like the relationship I had with my mom.
All the more reason I want to reinvent myself with a new name—without those ties to the past. Without the pain and anguish of hearing the weaknesses in that name—a name meant to belittle and squelch me. I’m so done with it. No more “Carol is so stupid,” “Carol the idiot,” or “Carol can’t do [this] or [that].”
So Ayin is here. It’s my new name. It’s not legal yet. That will take time, but here I am.
If anyone is interested in the full concept of Ayin in Kabbalah, it usually contrasts with the idea of Ayin and Yesh, which was what I am most drawn to in its meaning in Hasidic Kabbalah. Basically (in my own words) from nothing, comes everything.
Ayin is pronounced “eye-in.” Looking at it, I’m pretty convinced everyone will be calling me “aye-in,” but I already have been dealing with explaining “Es” my entire life, so what the fuck is the difference? And I probably won’t be correcting anyone anyway. It’s too complicated. Just like I don’t usually correct people on my gender pronouns anymore. Not strangers anyway. Most people still have a hard time making that they/them change.
I figure this whole process is going to take me close to a year to transition fully. That’s what it feels like anyway. Hannah is still waiting on her Social Security card and has been waiting on it for over six months. It hasn’t even been processed. I think the office forgot about it, lost her paperwork, or there’s just some technical difficulty.
Every trans person I know from the forums I frequent hasn’t waited more than a month for their Social Security cards—it’s been more like two weeks (in smaller communities). There’s definitely something wrong. It’s frustrating, and I wish I could call them for her, but she works during the hours they are open. I might even get mine before she gets hers. Then I would feel bad. But we still plan to go the DMV at the same time.
The first step is getting the judgment. Or maybe it’s making this public announcement.
Though I’m doing this, I’ve had considerable apprehensions about changing my name because of the small artist’s career I’ve built up for the last 30 years. I feel like I’m going to have to start fresh. It’s not like I’m Elliot Page and can make a single announcement on Instagram and expect the whole world will follow suit.
I’ll be changing the look of my website as well. That will take some time. My ranking on Google will have to start from the bottom all over again. Right now, I’ve built it up “Carol Es” to come up in relevant searches for my keywords, and it works pretty damn well. Google doesn’t know Ayin Es from Adam, so it will be a long haul, but worth it to me.
It’s also going to be weird to sign my art “Ayin Es,” but I guess I’ll start on my next completed painting. Why not?
I am not sure when I will start changing the look of my website, but I’m obviously keeping esart.com. That domain name still works. The look of it migh be gradual. I’m not sure. I also bought ayines.com and ayin.es, which were luckily both available. And I can finally stop wishing for the caroles.com domain and let go of carol-es.com. I have quite a number of domain names that all point and redirect to esart.com. I can now get rid of the ones with “Carol” in them.
I’m not sure when I will be making a social media announcement, which only consists of Instagram and ello. But it will be soon. I don’t have Facebook anymore, and I’m going to be closing my Twitter account (I’m pretty sure).
As for my memoir, there’s nothing I can do about that. There’s nothing I can do about my past and everything I did as Carol Es. It’s all been written and/or printed, as that’s who I was. It will always be part of who I am.
I’ll probably be changing the name of my book art press too (from Careless Press), but to what? I don’t know yet. And I’ll definitely be changing the name of this blog. Stay tuned for that one.