Back in the summer of 2003, I was getting ready to go to college. As you might remember from that time period, AOL Instant Messenger was all the rage, and I would spend hours typing away on my new computer (affectionately named Rosie the Robot) to friends, discussing what the coming years would bring for us. I had picked AIM up a few years before under the spunky, quirky moniker of "GoddessSqueaky" (yes, go ahead and laugh), but the big change about to occur in my life called for something grander. Something more adult. Something . . . collegiate.
As anyone who spent as many hours chatting in those little boxes as I did knows, your AIM name is a powerful symbol, and not to be taken lightly. Many ideas were discussed and discarded. My love for Allen Ginsberg suggested "angelheadedhipster" (might I remind you, before hipsters were a big thing), but that was already taken. My love for T.S. Eliot suggested "tilhumanvoiceswakeus", but that was too long. I toyed with song lyrics, Shakespeare quotes, random in-jokes, characters from literature, but none suited.
Finally, given the hippie and bohemian nature of my chosen college, just a few months away, I settled on "joyousbohemian". It fit, I was happy, it stayed. And stayed. And stayed. When I signed up for Ravelry in 2007, it was the obvious choice. Twitter this past year? Same thing. But, as time has gone on and I understand myself more and more, and as my career in the knitting and fiber industry has developed, something began to niggle. Why couldn't I just be me?
My name has always been something that people remark on. It is different, and I'm not going to say that it wasn't hard when I was younger. I recall a particularly dark period when I was five when all I wanted was to be named "Amy". But now? Now it's me. Now I feel like I fit my name, and my name fits me. So, from here on in, you'll find me elsewhere on the internets as BristolIvy. My little "Hi! My Ravelry name is. . ." button will proudly proclaim it (so come say hi at fiber festivals!), any forum comments will use it, and any silly comments on Twitter will give you even further insight into my goofball side. It's a wrench to say goodbye to "joyousbohemian" and the history that it entails, but I'm ready to make a whole lot of new history with my name front and center.