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Memores acti prudentes futuri

It may get bad when you're lonely and cold
but say it to me anyway
A few words
"When we describe the Moon as dead, we are describing the deadness in ourselves. When we find space so hideously void, we are describing our own unbearable emptiness."
~ D.H. Lawrence

"Is the meaning of life defined by its duration? Or does life have a purpose so large that it doesn't have to be prolonged at any cost to preserve its meaning?"

"Living is not good, but living well. The wise man, therefore, lives as well as he should, not as long as he can... He will always think of life in terms of quality not quantity... Dying early or late is of no relevance, dying well or ill is... even if it is true that while there is life there is hope, life is not to be bought at any cost."
~ Seneca

"People will tell you nothing matters, the whole world's about to end soon anyway. Those people are looking at life the wrong way. I mean, things don't need to last forever to be perfect."
~ Daydream Nation

"All Bette's stories have happy endings. That's because she knows where to stop. She's realized the real problem with stories-- if you keep them going long enough, they always end in death."
~ The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes

"The road now stretched across open country, and it occurred to me - not by way of protest, not as a symbol, or anything like that, but merely as a novel experience - that since I had disregarded all laws of humanity, I might as well disregard the rules of traffic. So I crossed to the left side of the highway and checked the feeling, and the feeling was good. It was a pleasant diaphragmal melting, with elements of diffused tactility, all this enhanced by the thought that nothing could be nearer to the elimination of basic physical laws than deliberately driving on the wrong site of the road."
~ Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

“It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.”
~ William Blake
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Friday, July 6, 2018
For whatever reason, I seem to have developed some rather strong convictions about names and their usage. I don't think I have recorded these thoughts in any cohesive form before, so this seemed like as good a time as any to finally write them down.

I guess, first off, we have to define what a name is. A name is an identification, a way of being known to others. A name helps to specify and separate from the crowd. I don't have a problem with these things.

What I have an issue with is the idea of having a "real" name. I feel like it ties into the concept of having one true singular identity. There are many ways we can be in the world, and not all cultures have this idea of the One True Self. On top of this quibble, the "real name" people expect is almost universally one's given/legal name. I didn't choose my given name, it was picked for me before I was even born. I never had a say in it, but it's what I have to go by legally. Also, at this point in my life, it's so worn into me that trying to ask people to call me something different would be tremendously inconvenient. It has little or nothing to do with who I am as a person, though.

The names I choose for myself feel more meaningful. I've always had an affinity for nicknames, and I think that's part of why I like the internet so much. Here, I get to be known by the name I make for myself. There's none of the baggage that comes with my given name. My identity is malleable and free-flowing. The recent trend of social media sites forcing you to put your "real name" on your profile bothers me not just for privacy reasons, but for principle conflicts as well.

I don't want to have to condense multiple ways of being in the world under one header. I am different with different people, but I am always myself, and I don't want to box myself in with a single name. My various usernames are branches of me. There is also an underlying namelessness that I feel, which seems better addressed by having multiple names than by pretending there is only one name which can encompass everything. It is the difference between trying to represent a circle with many straight lines and trying to represent a circle with one line. I will not be reduced.

At the same time, there is a practicality that I understand in having one name across all dimensions of life. It simplifies things. It's easier, less of a hassle, less messy and uncontained. I know that my feelings on this subject could be framed as drama, "making a big deal out of nothing," and so on. There's always that tension between objective and subjective. Does it really matter? No, and yes at the same time. None of this is "real" in any objective sense. These things only matter because they are made real through thought and speech and sharing with others. As I get older, I find I don't run into as many people who don't understand this interaction, but it's still something to remember.

Anyway, yeah, names. That's a thing.

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