Thursday, January 15, 2015

Clary J. Simmons

Clarisse Jennifer Simmons. AKA Clary J. Simmons.

To be clear, this is a pseudonym – for now. I’ve always wanted to create an alter ego, or at least an online persona, in order to be more comfortable with myself in public and on the internet. This marks the start of a new chapter in my life. Coincidentally, it's also my 100th post on this blog! Names have power. My real name is associated with certain things that unequivocally have contributed to who I am as a person, giving me strength from the lessons that I've learned, but it also comes with a lot of damage. A new name gives me a place in my mind to put that away, while still letting me pick and choose which aspects of myself I still want to keep.

A lot of effort went in to choosing this name. For one, originality was a huge factor. I needed something unique, something that wasn't already taken everywhere on social media. Another factor was how it looked in cursive, because I love cursive writing. Some of my favorite cursive letters are "J," "F," "Y," and "S," so it needed to include all of those letters. But it also needed to be meaningful to me. Here I'll attempt to explain why I choose those three particular names to represent my identity. It's a lot more complicated and took a lot of time, but hopefully these summaries make sense.

Clary is short for Clarisse. I decided on this variant for no particular reason, except that I was originally going to use Clarice, but on the speech and debate judging spreadsheet there was a parent already named "Clarice Simmons" (the worst coincidence) so I didn't want to use it anymore.

Clarisse is French, meaning bright, shining, gentle. I guess it sounds nice, but I don't know if it describes me as a person right now. Hopefully, effervescence is something I can eventually achieve. Clarice has Latin and Greek origins. Apparently it means "famous" which I would not mind.

I also drew a lot of inspiration from literature and media. Clarisse McClellan from Fahrenheit 451, my favorite book, is a dreamer. She's different, in a good way, and is a catalyst in the story. She's very introspective and asks questions and thinks about things in life. She is considered anti-social because she isn't like the rest of the community. Clarisse La Rue from the Percy Jackson series is a fighter. She's incredibly stubborn, a trait which I strongly identify with, and value in a way. Clarissa Fray from the Mortal Instruments series is an artist, with the gift of clarity and intuition. A more obscure reference is Clarice Ferguson, also known as Blink, from the Marvel universe. Her backstory is intensely complicated and tragic, so I won't delve into too much detail, but to me, she represents magic, change, growth, choosing good, and resilience. Also, she has the power to make portals, and she's purple, so what's not to like?

Jennifer is a name adapted from "Guinevere" from Arthurian legend. I've always loved Greek mythology, but Greek names are too complicated, so I settled for Arthurian legend, another set of stories I find interest in. Jennifer is also Celtic for white wave. I wanted something related to water, and I like the Celtic reference, so it fit quite well. I've shortened it to just the "J" because I'm not a huge fan of the way "Jennifer" sounds.

Simmons is in reference to Jemma Simmons from Marvel's Agents of Shield. She is a scientist, specifically a biochemist, and is incredibly intelligent and kind. From her, I take a name that represents the the erudite portion of me. Also, a vague reference from Fahrenheit 451 is Dr. Simmons, of unknown first name, who is a book professor from UCLA. He is among the outcasts that memorizes books to protect him from society. I believe he specializes in a Greek text, portions of Marcus Aurelius, which ties back in to my interest in Greek mythology.

Hopefully that makes some sense. I think my reasoning for the name is through and well thought out, to the point of having too much thought put into it.

I'm still working on setting up all my social media accounts and making everything uniform. I'll also need to create a logo-ish thing, and I had the crazy idea of creating an alter ego for this alter ego. That's going to be interesting. On this blog, from now on, I want to focus more on lifestyle – style, travel, food, music, college life, studying, etc. It's going to be a happy place, a testament to who I want to be, but I'll also keep it real with the actual going on's of life. I'm also planning to start a Youtube channel, coming May 2015, so keep on the lookout for that. I'll probably explain more later, but this post is getting long, so I'm going to end it. ◊

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