I’m thinking about changing my username. Nothing drastic, just the “KellyDS” that I’ve been using on Twitter. Part of the reason I’ve decided to change comes from a practical standpoint: I’ve never minded sharing my real name of Kelly, I refer to myself as Kelly, and I often tell others to call me Kelly.
confession: many of my family and friends shorten my name to Kel, which works for either Kelly or Kelbel. I don’t mind the shortened version, but I do prefer hearing Kelly instead. I like the roll of that double “L” sound.
I chose the username kelbel75 not long after I opened my first e-mail account. At first my username consisted of my initials along with my last name but that was rather boring (sorry, @RCArmitage!) so once I became more comfortable and thought this internet thing wasn’t that bad after all, I changed it.
So since kelbel was the only real nickname I had ever had, I used it and the number 75 , which represented the year I was born. I’ve since discovered there are a lot of “kelbel75″s out there. FYI: I’m not the kelbel75 that seems to be obsessed with wedding dresses, babies, or joining multiple dating sites.
The larger part of wanting this change stems from the fact that Kelbel is something that my grandfather has always called me. I would walk in the door of my grandparents house (never having to knock first) and his greeting would be “what’s new with Kelbel?” So why the change now? Well, my grandfather has Alzheimer’s. Compared to my other grandfather, who also suffered from the disease, it’s not too bad…yet. He still knows who I am most of the time. He just forgets things: he’ll repeat a conversation we had 10 minutes prior or he won’t remember where my grandmother is when I call on the telephone and ask for her. He used to be quite active- hunting, fishing, gardening; he mostly sits in his recliner and watches television or sleeps now. he sleeps a lot these days (he’ll turn 84 this December).
but, I’m not Kelbel to him anymore. I’m Kelly now, with a few “Kel”s thrown in for good measure. I don’t mind it (at least he knows who I am. it was hard when my other grandfather progressed to the point that he didn’t know my name or how I was related to him) a big part of me feels like I need to protect Kelbel now, to keep the memory safe. thus switching usernames to KellyDS. Kelly is my first name (which most of you know ) and DS has a relation to my real name too but also to my favorite television show, Lost.
I’m feeling indecisive though. KellyDS looks fine on Twitter but will it have the same warmth that Kelbel75 has always had here? Those in the blogosphere are used to referring to me as Kelbel, I don’t want it to cause confusion. and I have had good associations with Kelbel75…so far. I don’t know.
does Richard go through this with Richard, Rich, and Richie, I wonder? what about “Mr. Armitage”? when others address me by my surname, it makes me feel like I need to stand up straight and recite the Gettysburg Address, to earn the respectful title.
I’ve always been Kelbel75 online, always. I don’t want to kick all those memories and associations to the curb just because I’m trying to adjust to some personal changes. but this just feels like something I need to do for some reason. Alright, I’m doing it. my username will “officially” be KellyDS, but you can still refer to me as kelbel75 and even call me Kel if you so choose. just don’t call me “little girl” (what my Dad calls me when I’m being chastised) I hate that!
Do you have different names that you’re known by in your off-line life? Do you love them or hate them? My brother goes by the common nickname for his given name but family members still call him the full version. his wife laughs and says she automatically knows it’s one of us when we call on the telephone because we ask for him using the full version.
note: some of you may notice that this has become two posts combined into one (formerly “this is why I’ll never get a tattoo”). I felt it was a bit over-dramatic to fill up two posts with me trying to make a decision about a username. I have so many more important things that I could be pondering…like how we call those leg cramps we sometimes get “Charley Horses” while the muscle we feel it in is called a “calf“. those are two completely different farm animals! were chickens and goats not good enough? why not a “Tommy Sheep” in the “piglet” muscle?