My maiden name is Penman. I’ve been told my ancestors wrote letters for the Queen’s court. I had pen pals in my youth and hand write letters to my niece.

Growing up is not on my bucket list.

If it was, I’d be a librarian. Or perhaps a bibliotherapist.


When faced with the decision to change my surname I waited until the last minute to decide.

Both sister-in-laws kept their maiden names.

Had this set a precedent, I wondered.

On the eve of our wedding day I asked my husband if he wanted to change his surname.

No, but you don’t need to change yours.

What sort of Mother has a different name from her children?

Words bind us.


Our sons are teenagers now.


262 days of lockdown over two years encouraged me to go inwards.

I spent sacred time with myself.

I learnt to journal. Properly.

I learnt to meditate.

I continue to enjoy the cumulative benefit of these rituals.

Life slowed down and the pace suited me.

I returned home to myself and rediscovered my True Voice, or KPH, as I like to call her.

KPH is with me when I write. With every new day she offers words of wisdom. She guides me as I journal.


To encourage my penmanship, I’ve asked my son to design a logo for KPH.

He asked if he’d be paid.

What do you think it’s worth?

We negotiated a price.


I’m reminded of this Chinese proverb by Lao Tzu.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.


Today I have continued the journey of my True Voice, KPH.

I look forward to experiencing where this step takes me.



Image source: Emily Park

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