My Name has Changed, I have Not!

This year my name has changed in more ways than one. I was born Kimberly Ann Rathburn. My parents, who weren't expecting me, but loved me completely, gave me that precious name because they liked the way it sounded. Once I got to school I realized that there were a lot of other Kims in the world. Well, not just the world, but in my grade! It's laughable now, for sure.

From birth, literally, my family and friends have always had the same comments about me: you are peaceful, your voice is soothing, you are very compassionate, you're so sensitive. My parents and grandparents would say I was an "old soul." I was always calm. I did not demand much of anything. I existed. That is who I was.

Then I went to college and a professor started a roll call. He was known for making nicknames out of people's birth names. It was then that my cool last name "Rathburn" became "wrath that burns." Definitely a hysterical moment. I will never forget it. I still chuckle when I think of that moment.

After that, my name changed for a glorious reason, I was about to marry the man of my dreams. He was tall. He was handsome. He was driven. He was motivated. I felt safe every time he just hugged me and towering at 6'4", he and I both knew that I was pretty safe. I took his last name as soon as I could. When the children came, I gave them his last name. It was beautiful and it meant the world to me.

Time went by and relationships changed. I got divorced and kept my ex's last name because my children were so little at the time. Everything was hard enough as it was, I just couldn't imagine making another change. Changing my name at the time did not cross my mind.

Not only did I lose my family, but I also lost the career that I loved, which was living overseas and helping the people. It was devastating to have lost so much. I also realized that my career had to change; I had to find something to support my children and it wasn't going to be my dream job. While I was determined, I also began to lose myself. Who was I now? Where would I go? How would I do it? The "old soul" that I used to be was shrinking ever so quickly due to the changes, disappointments, and illnesses.

It was through nutrition, gentle exercise and acupuncture that my life started to change. These things not only kept me sane, but they helped that old soul begin to grow. Crawling out of the pit, as some would call it, I started this business as a Certified Health and Wellness Coach. I started my business as Kimberly Ann. Until this point, most people called me Kim, but no longer. I started a new job at the same time and introduced myself as Kimberly Ann. They asked, "What do we call you? Kim?" Immediately I said, "No, please call me Kimberly." By this time, I knew that, in some parts of the world, "Kimberly" meant rock, strength and leader. However, I also found out that "Ann" meant grace. When I told someone about my two names, they immediately said, "You're a grace-filled leader." That's what I have tried to live up to.

As my inner strength grew, I realized that it was time to change my last name. Yes, my children still have my ex's last name, but they are older now and I needed to shed the disappointing history attached to that name. It was like I needed to be scraped clean of the past. So, with the encouragement of my children, I went and changed my last name back to Rathburn. I have no idea what it really means, but I'll always remember it for my amazing grandmother and supportive parents.

Not only have I changed my last name, but I have also changed my title in business. I do not go by the title "Certified Health and Wellness Coach" anymore, though it still holds true to the work I do. Now I am a "Lifestyle and Wellness Coach." The change came to help my friends at Sonder Mind and Body, but I'm coming to realize that my new title is a much better description of me. I have lived through a lot. I have seen a lot. Through my educational training and lived experience of dealing with life-changing illnesses, I am more prepared than ever to mentor you, to support you, and to make self-care a reality for you.

The "old soul" is back. She is bigger, stronger and more peaceful than ever. She is here with open arms to hear and care for her family, her friends, and her world.

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