jobey_in_error (jobey_in_error) wrote,

Let you swim in the wake of this song

I chose my username about ten years ago. “Jobey” was an old nickname, adopted at the beginning of high school, partly as part of a pact with a close friend, and partly from a strange insecurity: I was the scholarship student from The Wrong Part of Town, and it was somehow easier to insist that all the intimidating new people I met call me by this ridiculous nickname than to introduce them by my actual name. Doesn’t quite make sense, I know. But it worked. Now that I’m well out of school and into a career, I don’t ask new people I meet to call me “Jobey” in real life anymore. But I’m still fine with that part of the name. It’s a convenient online ego that does feel more really me than my sit-in-meetings-pretend-the-world-isn’t-crazy-pay-bills identity.

But the “in error” part is getting problematic for me. At the time I first coined it to consolidate online identities (I was Green Eyed Lady for a time — because I was, like, in my early teens. Cut me a break) it worked well. I liked the ironic self-mockery of it, because, well, irony self-mockery. No further explanation needed. But it also worked on a deeper level, an allusion that we “see only through a glass darkly,” a subtle reminder to myself and others of my religion, one of whose tenets is that we know everything imperfectly, and often wildly so.

Recently, however, I’ve been struggling with a relapse of the deep and scary depression that I remember rather better than I would like. I’m getting a handle on it and confident that, since this time I am actually seeking treatment (not quite as young and dumb anymore! it’s not all bad, this getting old thing!) that I am going to come out happier than ever at the end of this road. In the past few months, though, I think the “in error” part of my online identity has shown that it can too easily be a defeating and self-fulfilling label. I don’t think it’s an intrinsic thing — it’s because my mental and emotional defenses are low that the taint has come in — but it’s there now. I want to nix that part of the name.

Another reason to start fresh is that I am dissatisfied with the compartmentalizing of “internet life” and “real life.” I don’t think it helps me to like so quadrophenia-like: as the imitable C.S. Lewis put it, I feel I’m “being permanently false to two sets of people” (forgive me, that may be a little off, I’m quoting from memory). I’m going to break that LJ rule and let my family know the existence of my social media. As it is, I feel I’m leaving at least two important and beloved relatives in the dark. (On the other hand, teachers get a lot of online scrutiny, and I’m fine with my new username “technically” being my real name but not an easy trace from knowing my real first name and my married name, which I use for work.)

Finally, on just the general vibes of it all, with no real rhyme to it, this just feels the right time to make a completely unnecessary online name change. I am exploring new things right now and refining dreams. One big catalyst, apart from the (temporary — he’s going down) triumph of that old mental wolf at the door, was that outstanding teacher of the district award. I was honored and proud and grateful, of course (without any irony or belittling). But also a feeling that I had cheated myself. It was an honor, but it also represented projects and efforts I hadn’t chased. We’re talking creative projects and impulses. A whole lifestyle, even. Instead, I had done what I felt I “should” do. And I had apparently gone quite beyond being a good teacher — which is a “want to do” — into a whole realm of ticky-boxing, committee-sitting, and records-shuffling that I did to impress and protect my position, but I have good reason to think I am not really called to do, definitely not on a permanent basis.

I just described a classic mid-life crisis, didn’t I? Well, quarter-life crisis. (John Lennon had one too! Of course, he wrote better songs about it than I think I can. On the other hand, I am consuming less heroin and treating slightly fewer people like crap — I’m pretty sure.)

So, I want to excavate and create and communicate and imaginate (yes, I just did that, and no, I am not going to revise it). I want a fresh LJ too, with less rambling. There are negatives about tumblr, but one thing I appreciate is the training in putting out shorter and more focused posts more frequently. I want like to try something closer to that style. If nothing else, if I get into the discipline of doing that, my thoughts will be out of my head, and they might connect with someone else. They might. They never will locked in being unruly inside my head.

So, short version:

Sorry for the inconvenience, but I’m starting over with a new account for Livejournal (and the name will also be what I use on Dreamwidth, tumblr, and other social media): jobeymacias. This will be my last ramble.

I am going to add friends I’ve made on LJ on that account, so if you get a request, here’s the story behind it. If I fail to add you and you would like to continue as LJ friends, please just add me on there to remind me.

Love ♥,

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