Naming the infinite

I'm still a mysterious blog fairy, don't worry.

Don’t be too heart-broken. I’m still a mysterious blog fairy.

When I started my blog, I made my username “beholdtheinfinite” to match the blog title, and I saw no reason to display a name different than that one. When I started my blog, I didn’t know whether this day would ever come. Well, hold on to your hats, folks, because

TODAY IS THE DAY.

Oof. Gimme a sec. My heart is going a mile a minute. In. Out. In. Out. Breeeeathe. In. Out. In. Out.

Okay.

I’ll admit I liked the mystery. Still do. I got a little surge of sadistic pleasure anytime I saw a Very Inspiring Blogger Award nominator struggle with the fact that there was no name to accompany the blog. Just…infinity.

Now, you’ll notice, the author name under the blog posts has changed. There hasn’t been a change of ownership, don’t worry. It’s still me. But now I have an actual name.

It’s not my real-world name, although it’s based on it. I couldn’t unveil the mystery that completely. But it’s a name, and it’ll do for now.

Who do you say that I am?

I’ve been reflecting recently on the role of anonymity and persona with regards to blogging. See, people follow blogs because they like what they see — partly the writing, but also the writer. If the writer insists upon signing everything with a username and keeps, say, a painting of Calvin and Hobbes as a profile picture, she hovers in space, ephemeral, a mysterious entity that’s harder to pin down for lack of an anchor. There’s no name, no face, just a hazy cloud of attributes assembled from words.

If you aren’t given a mental image to work with, you’ll create your own. What am I, in your head? A storm cloud, to match my theme colors? A living Calvin or Hobbes? A deity living among spiraling galaxies? A little girl with her heart on her sleeve? A mature woman with the tenacity to take on the world? A man, because somewhere along the way you missed my gender? A capricious little blog fairy, dancing across your screen?

I’m genuinely curious. Who do you think I am?