So, there's this guy at work whom I have a crush on. I want to say "crush" is the wrong word, but it's sufficiently light-hearted enough that it works perfectly to describe my emotions towards him. Which is to say, I simultaneously want to meet this person and don't ever want to meet this person.

Oh, didn't mention that part?

Yeah, I haven't met him, haven't said hello to him, haven't sent an email to him, haven't been in a meeting with him, haven't had any interaction but a small smile today. I am fairly certain he has no idea who I am, and I am not only okay with that, I also have every intention of keeping it that way.

See, this crush scares me. It scares me because this guy's personal representative is, as near as I can tell, pretty much everything I wanted to be, a physical manifestation of my idealized self.

In reading about his adventures, in seeing his works, in watching his talks, in noticing him interacting with his coworkers, you can see what drives him, what inspires him. You can see he works to make the world a better place with an idealized definition of "better" that nearly hurts in both its purity and its impossibility.

And my curiosity of him has caused me to reflect more and more about myself. To finally begin questioning what drives me, what inspires me, what motivates me. I've started looking at my goals, my choices, my decisions. I dug up and dusted off the buried rationalizations I've made for the things I've done, brought them out to the light of day and actually looked at them.

Looked at them and come to the conclusion that, against the measuring stick of my idealized self, I pretty much suck.

And this is why the crush scares me: because it is so much easier to be lost in the deep black hole of depression than it is to reflect honestly on your life and realize that the person you disappointed the most is yourself. That the years of self-hatred weren't because you were actually incapable of being a better person, but because you never moved beyond being that small frail child who craved love and acceptance. That it's okay to work towards an idealized version of the world: even if it is unachievable, even if you fail, the effort moves the world just a smidge that much closer to it, and that smidge can still be worth it.

Without having met him, without having said a single word to this person, he has inspired me to be a better person.

Problem is, I can't tell if my desire not to meet him is a fear of losing my idealized version of him (because let's face it, reality is dirty, and no one is perfect), or the fear of looking deeper and, instead of finding the strength to become a better person, giving up on myself.

Because, well, I really want to meet him and ask him a billion questions.

There's the one


Unlike probably 99% of the world (a statistic I just now pulled out of my, uh, thin air), I have, as far as I can tell, a unique name. My last name is a bastardization of a more common name. No one in my family can recite to me the family tree so far back that the name has actually changed, but the general consensus is that it's some variation of Hodgson.

Sure, there are some very common names in my family's past, names like Brady and Rose. In our current household, though, McQueen is the most common name (1 person and two dogs), with Hodsden being not-so-common. Even outside of the house Hodsden is a pretty uncommon name.

So, pair an uncommon last name with an uncommon first name, and you end up with one of me.

Which isn't to say there aren't people with similar names. There's a Kit Hodson out there. And a Kit Hudson (the director of "Captain N & the Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3" no less!). And a tonne of Kit Hodgsons out there. So many of those Hodgsons, I tell you.

So, finding me is really easy. You can misspell my last name, you can still find me if you spell my first name right:

My name is unique (especially if you stick that damn M in the front), so, yeah, I'm findable.

So, when I come across friends with an online presence who have to directly address the fact that other people have the same name as they do, I actually have to pause.


Other people have the same name as you?

Of course, there are other khodsdens out there, stealing my default username when kitt has been taken. There's a Keith out there. And a Krista.

When I meet people with the same last name as I, a few minutes chatting with them, followed by a phone call to my dad or aunt, usually results in an easy trace to our common ancestor, not so far back in the family tree. I've met the wife of my second cousin twice removed, working at my doctor's office of all places. My dad seems to know all of the ones who live out here in California. It's spooky.

I do have to wonder, though, how easy is it to disappear into a crowd if you're all named the same name? Finding one particular Heather Brown, or Paul Nelson, or David Weekly, or Andy Crews in a crowd is a hell of a lot harder than finding a Kitt Hodsden. And don't even think about trying to find the right Mark Schmidt or Mark Rubin. Not going to happen. Hell, there are even several Kris McQueens, and not all of them male.

There are times when I look at my name and have to wonder. How the hell did I end up with such a crazy name? Sometimes it's kinda cool. Other times, it's just weird.