What’s in a Name?

This’ll be short, but I want to get something down. A mission statement, I guess.

I am at a time in my life when a lot of decisions are being made. Things move so quickly, sometimes, that I make the choices I do just for the sake of having it done — which often makes me feel as though I’m holding life at an arm’s length.

I want to be honest with myself and the folks around me, and that means more than just not lying. It means understanding the “why” behind what I do and communicating that. Asking “why?” sucks. It’s uncomfortable. It gives me a headache. But it keeps me straight-up.

So: Why Con?

If you’re reading this, I assume you know that, for most of my life, I went by “Conner.” Conner is a fine name, and even if I never particularly liked it, it’s uncommon enough that I rarely had any name confusion. At the beginning of last summer, my first summer working for the Harvard Pre-College program, I spent some time thinking and decided to introduce myself as “Con” for the first time. I did this on a whim, more or less, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.

I am, truly, an entirely different person than who I was before college. Now, with the end of my undergraduate experience within sight, I have been forced to think about my identities more than ever before. My whiteness, my maleness, and my able-bodiedness are, as always, present, but beyond that: What do I wish to accomplish with my life? Who do I want to be in the lives of others? What makes me happy?

The answers to these questions are not apparent, but what is apparent is this: The answers are far different than what they were four years ago. They are far different than Conner’s answers. I am Con, and I am learning more about this new name every day. I want to write here so that you can learn with me, so I can take ownership of my life, and so we can be closer.

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