Have you ever Googled yourself? It can be scary in this digital age. What will you find? How many others share your name? … or worse, who might be using your name for some nefarious purpose? Perhaps worse still, what skeletons from your past might be lurking on some TMZ-type site?
Recently, I decided to start putting my books in audio format. Amazon has a company, ACX, that will connect me with voice actors and facilitate the contract, recording and publishing of the audiobook.
First, I had to run a search on the author name to find my book. There were pages and pages of books that were either written by or involving ‘Bryn Jones.’ Since I’m not that prolific yet, most of them were not me.
My perusal didn’t reveal any ‘nefarious’ books out there. In fact, there’s a Bryn Jones who seems to be writing about faith issues such as prayer, God working in the church, etc.
There’s a book about a dragon that is penned by a Bryn Jones, too.
I haven’t read them so I don’t know if the former is a crackpot or if the latter writes polished prose. But that’s not the point. What this showed me was that I’m just one of many Bryn Joneses out there. And some are also writers!
How, then, should I distinguish myself? Who is the ‘real’ Bryn Jones? Not to get all psychological here, but many are trying to figure out who they really are, themselves.
Not me. I’m pretty confident of who I am.
Part of knowing who I am involves knowing what I’m not.
For instance, I’m not a gloating self-promoter. I’m not the next Ernest Hemingway, Charles Dickens, Stephen King or Dean Koontz. I’m not a wise sage in an ivory tower with immense wisdom to dispense.
I’m just a guy, like anyone else who has hopes and dreams. A guy who struggles with those vaporous dreams of youth that appear to dissolve in the heat of life’s meridian sun. I’m just a guy who has thoughts and impressions and loves to share them … hopefully with others with whom they will resonate.
I wrestle with my faith. I struggle with doubt. I worry about whether I’m doing the right thing.
And I think that’s healthy. If I didn’t wrestle with my faith, it would probably indicate I didn’t have any. If I didn’t have doubts, I probably didn’t believe anything. If I couldn’t care less about doing the right thing then my moral compass would be broken or missing the needle.
What’s important, though, is not just that the struggle exists, but that I finish on the right side of the struggle.
And that’s where my true identity rests. While I may blow up and get angry, or I might fall into depression and be gloomy, there is a hope that won’t let go of me. That hope might cripple me and require me to hang on until I am given a better nature from the author of all things. But it is that hope that also inspires me to continue when all other light has gone out and I appear to be walking in shadow alone.
But I’m not alone. That faith holds on. My new nature steps forward and I will see a bright future. Not with these eyes that are clouded with floaters and might be plagued by decay. With pure eyes.
Bryn Jones is my name, but it isn’t who I am.