LESSON Fifteen: A Name is NOT, Just a Name.......To Me

“Your Name Sounds Like a Stripper!”

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   I don’t think I’d ever make a very good stripper at all! I don’t have any boobs and I prefer to dance like the skinny-bitch, white-girl, hip-hop queen that I am, instead of all sexy like. Fuck that! I don’t feel comfortable in lingerie either nor in heels, so darn it, that profession is forever out the window! Oh shucks ;)

   As far as my name goes (for those that are not yet familiar with it, my name is Nicole Ocean and yup you read that right!), sometimes when I go out in public and have to pay for something, I hand over my debit card. It’s got my full name on it and a cool picture (that I took with my iPhone and it turned into art) as the background adornes the front of the card. Low and behold some clever peeps notice one or the other. If they mention either, then it typically turns into a super special moment, at least for me.

   Oftentimes, I hear them say “I love your last name” or “Your last name is so cool!” I beam a big smile back at them proudly and tell them one of the versions of the story behind it (depending on my mood that day, they will get a good story nonetheless) So far, getting called out like this has NOT gotten old. And often my typical response includes a reply of “thank you, I picked it out myself!” This usually leads into another question or two about how I managed to do that.

   In 20XX, I got divorced for the second time and decided to just stick with my married name of Clark when I finalized my paperwork. For those that aren’t familiar with what a H-U-G-E pain in the ass it is for a woman to have to change over all of her documents (You have to change over your driver license, social security card, bank accounts, credit and debit card accounts, your social media accounts and anything else that comes up after getting married) when she gets married, the thought of having to do it all again filled me with utter dread and disgust, so I kept the name.

   After living with this decision for a few months after being single, I dreaded the name and decided right then that I had to change it. I was in this same position with my first marriage too, I was no longer proud of his last name nor my second husband, so I decided to do something about it.


   I thought long and hard about if I changed my last name, what I would choose and  I kicked around a few options for 1-2 weeks, not long at all and when I thought about what I absolutely loved, I thought about the ocean. It was a simple choice and one that I never waivered from once the idea popped up into my head.

   So, I started my quest for knowledge and information on how to make my dream a reality. I  researched online, how to change your name legally and found out that all I had to do was go to court, fill out some papers, pay a little money (like $75.00 one-time) and attend a court hearing where a judge would ask me a few basic, no-browner questions; like “Are you criminal trying to avade the law?” And “ Are you changing your name to flee from any unlawful act ?” I wasn’t so since I was under oath, I told the truth (of course, come on now!) and on 10/08/2004, I legally became: Nicole Ocean

   There was only one problem with my new last name and that was that my young son at the time, still had his father’s last name: Zendejas. Ugh, I hated and still despise that name because of the man behind the name and what he represented. Since, I had full physical and legal custody of our son since our separation (and for the rest of my son’s childhood, until he turned 18 in fact) I went to battle over getting our son’s name changed too!

   Since his Father was not in the picture at ALL (by his choice mind you), I didn’t think that it was fair for our son to carry a name of a totally absent parent, nor for me to have a different last name than my boy. So, I went through a little bit of hell to get Nick’s name changed for good! That’s just what I did and when it came time to do the court hearing, I decided to also change Nick’s middle name also during this process and because of having this opportunity. I figured I needed to think long-term and make this decision just once.

   Nick’s birth name was: Nickolas Paul Zendejas (yuk). The new name I picked out for him was to be: Nickolas Surfer Ocean. Yup, you read that right. I love surfing 🏄‍♀️  and the ocean 🌊 so he got both of my loves and passions splashed around into the form of his name. He absolutely loves his name and gets called “Mr. Ocean” at school and by friends. We’ve had lotza fun with our unique names and I couldn’t be more proud of our name and what it represents as being one with the Ocean. We both have a lot of love and respect for it and it’s magically healing powers.


   Even though my Dad made fun of me when I told him that I was going to change my last name and he asked me if I was going to change my last name in a few years again “to lake, or river or pond,” I chuckled it off. He’s a funny guy and his comment helped me cement in my decision to get er done.

   Being that girls typically change their last name and not men, I felt free to do so and afterwards, I’ve gotten nothing but compliments and cool conversations about it. I also  made a decision back years ago, when I legally changed my last name, that if I got married again, I was going to keep my hard-earned last name of Ocean, no matter what! And that’s just what happened when I got married for a third and hopefully final time to a wild, loving and crazy man. They say a “third times the charm” right!