One of the things I thought about back when I first started D4D™ was the identity I used in it. I specifically didn’t want it linked with my given name, and I didn’t want people to be able to find D4D™ just by Googling for my name. I knew I could be pretty acerbic (hey, who’d have thought?) and that if D4D™ took off, I didn’t want it to be able to rise up and bite me on the arse in the future. Yeah, sure, if someone does a bit of delving, it’s not all that difficult to find my ‘real’ name, but at the same time it’s not all that easy, either.
In that aim, I’ve been pretty successful. I used an identity that had been around for a fair while already – which is a whole other story – and went with it. And in some ways it’s almost been too successful. It’s now not uncommon, depending on who I’m with, to be called ‘Lyle’ to my face – slightly bizarre, to say the least. I’m used to it – and believe me, it’s a strange thing to get used to, but it happens.
But I am used to it. I’ll answer to both. And in fact even my ‘real’ name isn’t the one I was born with. That one is one I hate- primarily because it’s a name with multiple spellings, and n-one ever got it right. When I first applied for a passport, and had to get a copy of my birth certificate, even when the people creating the copy birth certificate with a form in front of them with it correctly spelled managed to fuck it up. And that really was the final straw. I was already being known by the name I’d adopted, and it was on my bank account, mail addresses and the like, so I was able to include a letter with the passport application that said
“Look, this is my true given name, but even the register-office people can’t spell it correctly. This is what I’m known as, and I include proof of that. If you absolutely have to do the passport in my given name, fine, I’ll live with it – but please, save me ten years of hassle where booked flight tickets don’t match with passport name, and if possible do the passport in the name I’ve adopted”
And they did. No-one was more amazed than me, admittedly, but they did it. And that’s the name I’ve used ever since.
Yes, sure, it causes some weirdness – particularly when I meet someone I went to school with, or extended family. But – again – I’m used to it now, and those occasions are both (thankfully) now quite rare. (Although I do have one of those family things tomorrow – but more about that on the day, I think)
Recently, though, the entire Lyle thing has risen up and bitten me on the arse a little bit.
You see, for obvious reasons, the company I run for web design and the like is in my real name, and so is the stuff I do for photography and the like. And because of the seperation I keep, it means I can’t link from, say, D4D™ to the photography site while saying “Hey, this is my stuff, and my site – good, innit?”, and the like.
It’s a weird situation – and I can’t complain too much, because it’s entirely self-created, even if for sane, sensible reasons. Some people do know me in both identities (for want of a better phrase) – and a couple know me in all three, which is really confusing – and I’m wholly and continually thankful to them for indulging my little identity foibles, and keeping it all seperate. It must be almost as weird for them as it is on occasion for me.
The situation will stay like this, though – as the business I run does better, and that side of my life grows and grows, it’s something that becomes more and more essential. I’m pretty certain, though, that this is it – I don’t plan to start off any other identities, the current level is enough for me.