Welcome to my new blog! As you probably noticed, I’ve retired LeahCreates.com and the LeahCreates username across the board. I’m in the process of legally changing my name to Evan Leah Quinn, and to answer a question I’ve been asked a lot the last few days: yes, it would be lovely if you called me Evan going forward.
Why the name change? Well, the short answer is that I’m on the run from the law.
The short answer is that there isn’t a short answer, and the long answer is pretty boring/anticlimactic. I’ve been rolling around the idea of changing my name for as long as I can remember. I never consciously realized my dissatisfaction with my given first name, but looking back now, it seems pretty obvious. For awhile, as a kid, I wanted to change my name to Heather. As a teen, I was always on a quiet quest to find a nickname that fit me. I remember falling in love with the name Evan (as a feminine name) when I was about fifteen. I’ve used it as an online moniker off and on throughout the years. A few years back, I started toying with the idea of actually changing my name to Evan, but I’d branded myself as LeahCreates and the name change seemed too risky.
When I changed my studio name to SixteenJuly last year, I didn’t intend for that to be a segue to changing my first name, but here on the other side of that, I do feel like I have enough space between my personhood and my business to make the switch. Is it totally without risk? Of course not. Some folks might not be on board. They might have their own judgements about it. That’s ultimately not my business.
R.T. and I knew a couple of years ago that we would eventually choose our own surname. We intended to do it when we got married, but we hadn’t settled on a name by the time that rolled around. It was (perhaps a little too) important to me that we have the same last name, so I took his name right away. In retrospect, I wish I’d been a little more patient so that I didn’t have to do the name change thing twice, but… hindsight blah blah. (Fact is, I tend to jump in with both feet.)
When we started considering Quinn a few months ago, I really loved the name. I was fine with ignoring all of the Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman references folks would certainly make as a result. I hesitated because I didn’t really think Leah Cedar Quinn sounded all that interesting. It was a little flat. Also, as someone with synesthesia, I just didn’t dig the colors. We kept rolling around other ideas. Then, one day last week I woke up and realized that Quinn wasn’t the problem. I knew as clear as anything that I didn’t want to go by Leah anymore. I was ready to be Evan (with both feet). Evan Leah Quinn just felt so perfect. I really love the juxtaposition of the strength of Evan paired with the softness of Leah. It’s a good combo. It suits me.
That’s really the whole story. This name change is not about shunning where I came from or reinventing myself or outrunning anything. It’s about being comfortable where I am, as this tiny warrior who gives herself permission to take big risks. Who is okay with letting people think she’s a little bit crazy if it means showing up and living out loud.
Thanks for coming along for the ride.