This may catch you by surprise, but my blog’s url is not a random concoction of words. I understand that it leaves much to the imagination… Is it the bite from a forgotten dragon? Is it a dragon bite that has been forgotten? The world may never know.
The truth is that I don’t even know. I came up with this name years ago, when I needed a Tumblr username. The result was a clever combination of the past. When I first started using the internet way back in middle school, my first username was minnesotatarbear. Minnesota for the state I resided, and Tarbear (pronounced: terr-bear) from a childhood nickname that my mom used to call me. This was my first email username, and first instant messaging name as well. From there, I had a Xanga, MySpace, and Facebook. I didn’t really dabble much in other forms of internet socializing until high school.
Teenagers feel misunderstood. That’s kind of their thing. However, most teenagers use that feeling to bond more with friends. I had friends in high school, and I’m grateful to everyone who hung out with me in that tumultuous time of my life. However, I often still felt misunderstood, even by them. Sure, it had a bit to do that I didn’t express myself well. They can’t read minds, and teenagers normally struggle with empathizing as it is.
So, I turned to online chat rooms. I know, it sounds ominous, scary, and foreign to those who found face-to-face interactions rewarding for all of their lives. I didn’t come to find those interactions rewarding until college, so until then this is what I had. Online, you were no longer restricted to making friends in your local area. This allowed for meeting people with differing worldviews, opinions, cultural norms, and experiences. I found that the people online were more open-minded, and the conversations would be fulfilling to me. We wouldn’t small talk, like “how about that weather today?”. When they asked how you were, they genuinely wanted to know because the more details you gave the easier it was to hold a conversation. There was novelty everywhere. New people would join, and you don’t have expectations on what they will say or think about any given thing. It wasn’t the mundane conversations you find in daily life. It was a stimulating conglomeration of people from all over the world.
The online website that I joined and would end up participating in for a good chunk of my high school and college life was Teenhelp.org. I joined shortly before my dad died, and became active on the website, shortly after. I found other teens who had lost a parent, countless forum posts about mental health, and tons of resources. The most wonderful thing I found was the chatroom. On there I met a ton of friends, which would blossom into even more friends, as time went on.
Through those friends, I made a Tumblr (I currently don’t have access to it due to the loss of the connected email address, but it is and probably always will be floating out in the inter webs for all time), and through that I met even more online friends. Some of you who may be reading this, may be one of those friends, and to you, I am grateful!
During my active time on TeenHelp, I assumed 3 different usernames: ForgottenGirl, Bite Me, and Dragon Fly. I started as FG, and as I found a place in the community, I developed a circle of friends and was able to start expressing myself. TeenHelp does a great thing in that the moderators are all people who actively participate in the community. You can apply to be in different positions, with some opening up as opportunities up the ladder. Ultimately, I wanted to be a Chat Moderator as I interacted with them on a daily basis at that point and found that to be a really cool celebrity-like status within the community.
However, I only volunteered as a LiveHelp Operator, as the Chat Moderator positions were all full for the duration of my time there. That was a rewarding job that I found myself to be quite good at. It was rewarding helping people, and the people who contacted you generally wanted your help. This also helped me feel really connected to the community as a whole.
Overtime, I felt less forgotten, and more welcomed and accepted. Coming online, and seeing messages from people, or connecting to the chatroom and people being excited to see me, it was a great feeling. Bite Me became my second username as an inside joke. And ultimately, Dragon Fly was my final form. So, I think you can see where this is going, like the conglomeration of worldviews that the internet provided, I created a conglomerate username for my Tumblr url. Ever since, I’ve latched onto it. I find it to be a pretty neat name and I enjoy using it when I can.
It’s a username that I usually don’t have to worry about having it be taken already. The only downfall is when you have max character limits for a username. Like on Twitter, I have to use a shortened version like ForDraBi.
Also, I find it really fitting that my patronus is a Dragon:
Overall, I’ve really come to accept this username as a part of my identity, my brand. I look forward to it growing and evolving along with the rest of me.
Do you have a username that you’ve stuck to? What was your first username? Let me know in the comments!