Along with all the good niches in the world already being taken, the world is rapidly running out of good usernames. Before long there won’t be any good ones left. Since ChloeoftheMountain had too many characters,Twitter automatically shortened it to ChloeoftheMount. At first I kept it because I thought it gave the aura of someone wise. You know. Chloe on a Mount dispensing wiseness? But when I saw it a day later, it struck me that “mount” isn’t really a word I want in my username. So back to Twitter I went to find a new username.
I quickly found that all good machinations of Chloe were already taken. Twitter, intuitiively realizing that I couldn’t figure out a unique name all by myself, started offering me up ideas. You know it is bad when they start suggesting numbers. That means not only one person got there first, but lots of people did. Twitter gave me a couple of options and it was looking like I was going to have to choose between MountChloe or ChloeMountain758.
Not good. Not if your readers consider you a niche unto yourself. You can’t really be a niche unto yourself if there are 757 others just like you. And MountChloe? I think we can all agree that with yesterday’s admission, that wouldn’t be a very good idea.
Crap. I was going to have to be creative. Aren’t we getting close yet to the end of all there is to create in the world? Didn’t Solomon tell us several thousand years ago that there was nothing new in this world? He obviously never had to sign up for Twitter having to choose between Solomon59483 and SexyKing57 for his username.
I stepped away. This was going to take some thought. I had a drink. I had two. (Just for the record, the drinks were tea. My creative juices are mostly made of tea.) Then I had a thought. Miracle, upon miracles, my idea wasn’t taken. I grabbed it and, before I could congratulate myself on my witty creativity and ballsy initiative, I was confronted with the next Twitter Challenge, the Bio, where you have to describe yourself in 160 characters or less. Tweets are limited to 140 characters, but Twitter generously gives you 20 additional characters to tell the world who you are.
I realize that this Bio is important because the other
children Tweeters are going to decide whether to choose me for the kickball team to follow me on Twitter based on whether or not they resonate with my Bio. Suddenly, I’m sick to my stomach and praying that, just this once, the popular people will choose me before the girl wearing the headgear. Oh wait, that’s a flashback to my childhood. Oh well. Same thing.
Every social insecurity I have rears it ugly head. I comfort myself that it doesn’t really matter that much. I tell myself, “Just put in anything.” But everything seems loaded. Every word that I can think to describe me–woman, registered nurse, women’s issues, mother, middle aged, menopausal, mother, former homeschooler, wife, writer, woman-who-likes-sex–it all becomes like a Rorschach test for all my hang-ups. Every word a box I’m not sure I want to fit in. I don’t know what to put, but I have to put something because I do some quick google research and I find out that the only thing worse than putting the wrong thing in your Bio is putting nothing. I put something. I figure I can evolve my Bio page with time, so I come up with something (which I’ve already changed at least six times).
Then it’s time to choose a picture and have the next crisis in this sudden and unexpected series of identity crises.
I’m just trying to get on Twitter not find out I need to return to therapy again!
So, which picture to choose? I want to pick a good one, but not one where if the person ever meets me in real life they whisper to themselves, or, heaven forbid, others, “Gosh, she doesn’t look nearly as good in real life.” But press on I must, the #blogchat (which frankly I don’t even understand what that means or how that works yet) is going to start in five minutes and Anne told me to be there. I settled on a reasonably close-up head shot because the picture I really liked was much too far away. I held my breath and with much fear and trembling, I logged onto Twitter.
Anne, good friend that she is, did warn me that there was going to be a steep learning curve. But she didn’t tell me it would look like this:
Tweets twittered past me at a dizzying pace. I’ve never felt so old in my life. (And, by the way, that’s an original piece of artwork. I created that myself this very morning. You can’t find that picture anywhere else on the internet because I made it. So there, mean old 4th grade teacher who laughed in my face and told me I would never become an artist because all I could draw was stick figures. How wrong you were!!)
So now I’m on Twitter and all I need are followers. I’m having a very hard time thinking about coming right out and asking people to “follow me”. How can I, in good Christian conscience, ask people to follow me when I have no idea where I’m going? I’d hate to have people rise up at the end of all Twime and declare, “We’re sorry we ever followed you, oh, and furthermore, you don’t look anything like your profile picture.”
Ouch. That would hurt.
But we cannot let fear of pain keep us from doing the things in life that we want to do. Too many of us live in life-ruining fear, never really trying anything new or scary, never risking for fear we’ll lose, or be embarrassed, or, the very worst thing of all, rejected. And the poorer the life we live for that. I don’t know who said it, but I think it is very true: Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one will know the difference.
It isn’t without a small bit of irony, after you’ve read all the agony I went through, that I finally chose @brazenwoman as my Twitter username. Even though I’m a big chicken who struggles with anxiety and lots of social fears, I want to be a brave and courageous and fully actualized human being who acts and, like that old children’s hand game song, Going on a Bear Hunt, the only way to get there is to go through it. (WARNING: Do NOT actually open that link for Going on a Bear Hunt unless you feel like contemplating suicide for the rest of the day.)
So, here it is, Please follow me on Twitter. There’s a little button at the top where you can add me. And if you find that you don’t like where I’m going that’s fine. Just don’t tell people that I don’t look anything like my pictures, okay?