Names are so important in our culture where first impressions often shape all future interactions. In this society, where signs of accomplishment are so important, sometimes moreso than the accomplishments themselves, I feel like many of us try to grasp at the images of success that we hold, and try to choose a new name to try to encapsulate the identity that they want.

So many places, we need a new handle. Email address, chat names, nicknames, rave names, pup names, looking to try to encapsulate our personality and our intent somehow perfectly in a little package. Companies hire name and brand consultants because names really are important. How will you be referred to in this space, and what will it both communicate about you and, in turn, shape you by shaping the communications of others toward you?

I’ve considered and tried several pseudonyms over the past twenty years, and none of them have stuck with any force. With the consideration of time, they felt ill-fitting or ill-considered, not really reflective of the whole that I so desperately wanted to reflect, rather than a compartmentalized slice. And so many times, even with name dictionaries and all sorts of fun, edgy stuff, I often sigh and say, “Well, just ‘Jason’ it is, then.”

And, my name, “Jason,” is just so generic and plain. It was meant to make me plain, not sparklingly stand out, not look stupid, just look solid and concrete. And Jason it was.

Over the past twenty years, I’ve considered and tried several pseudonums, and none of them have really stuck. With the consideration of time, they felt ill-fitting or ill-considered, not really reflective of the whole that I so desperately wanted to refelect, rather than a compartmentalized slice. And so many times, even with name dictionaries and all sorts of fun, edgy stuff, I often sigh and say, “Well, just ‘Jason’ it is, then.”

At various times during my marriage, especially when I considered beginning an academic career, I thought about taking my late husband’s last name. It was short and easily spelled. It sounded great with Jason. And I think that it subconsciously separated me from my father’s side of the family. I often, and I think unfairly, viewed them as brilliant Appalachian Foothill white trash disasters, too involved in internecine drama to progress. And while that may or may not be true, it is true that they are brilliant minds who are exceedingly capable and exceedingly determined. My own father had quite a reverse-engineering scientist’s mind, and I think that, had he not been profoundly dyslexic, depressed, and traumatized, he could have accomplished much. In this, there is a lot to be ashamed of, but much to be celebrated, as well.

And Jason works well enough, too. When I was young, I wanted to heal people. I want to heal people now. I’ve gone through a lot of terrifying quests and difficult familial relationships, as well. There was also this being akin to Medea. And I think that, even moreso, with its commonness, my life is anything but. I am the resolution of a lot of very oddly-opposing dialectics, and so my name is, I suppose, a fitting juxtaposition. My life is my life, plain name or not.

So even after a few name trials, a few thoughts on things that might be cool or edgy, we are right back around to, “Jason.”

The Page Title

I chose this name two years ago, Focused Convergence, feeling it very significant at the time. Now more than ever, alone and focused on growth and healing, I am the point where my life comes together, as are we all. It’s just our responsibility to harmonize it in the way we want, using our unique sets of skills and challenges. And to be honest about our wants and needs, and honest in the pursuit of them

A few years ago, I went through a lot. There was a lot of physical and psychological trauma. It became very difficult to function, to solve even the smallest problem, and initially solutions were hard to come by. But eventually I found that, if I just focused enough to be able to ask the question, enough to write it down, to concretize it, then the answer usually came to me. I just had to focus. And if I held multiple foci together and with the right attitude, then goals began to interweave and come together, to converge. And it just sort of made sense that all of the things that I value, all of the goals, all of the systems of holding information and tasks together, is the union of a lot of foci, harmonized. In a way, we are harmonized union, the convergence of the disparate foci that we choose to hold, choose to give energy to.

Before all the trauma, before all the brain damage, I was very good at hyperfocusing, but really not great at linear management, like tasks and time, for which I have always heavily relied upon tools, like lists and calendars. Now, as I find some of these issues magnified, I find myself leaning into these tools, and learning to use them in new ways to help me to build anew.

I use tools, lots of them. Paper, pen, tablets, styli, network-attached storages. I feel like I’ve awakened in a brave, new era of technology that, while fraught with dangers, also has the realization of so many childhood technological fantasies. These tools allow me to function almost magically sometimes, and the integration of their functions has been a subject of much thought over my life. And because I find myself writing out nearly everything as a way of processing thought and creating solutions, because I feel like I’m not the only one with a lot of these issues, and because I really do enjoy writing, I decided to start sharing these observations about life and technology and how I try to fit them together.

I tried to dissuade myself from this at first, thinking it would have terrible readership or little appeal, and maybe I should just start a tech integration blog, but I think of the obscure YouTubers who salvaged my mental health last year, just by existing, and it occurs that you never know the positive ripples you send out in the world that could save a life or at least some quantifiable levels of sanity. And it feels just right to do this.

In this way, I hope that some of my experiences, in whatever sphere of life, can bring ease and joy back into the lives of at least one or two people.