Sunday, August 23, 2009

alter egos

You hear it in the media and in guidance for career development: Google your own name to see what’s posted on the World Wide Web about you.

OK, so I’ve tried that. What I have found is that I have many alter egos that all seem to be quite accomplished in fascinating occupations. Every now and then, I will Google up my name to see what we’re up to now.

Many Lisa Smiths are artists in various media: lighting, ceramics, photography, furniture. There is an ultra-endurance marathon trainer and a Clinical psychologist. Our credentials include patents, magazine covers, New York Times articles and at least one Ph.D. We live around the world.

There is a fictitious urban legend circulating about the untimely demise – and even ghosts - of one. Another has experienced a heart-wrenching loss.

It should be no surprise that Lisa Smith is found doing so many things, when it is one of the most common names in English-speaking countries. Recently an article counted up the Lisas, the Smiths and Lisa Smiths on Facebook alone. Each name made the most frequently-found list in its category:

Perhaps it’s partly due to the fact that I never had any biological siblings that I feel a kinship with these strangers of the same name…in a way, living vicariously through them. Although I am personally most drawn to creative pursuits like my artistic adopted sisters, at one time I aspired to a career in psychology. The closest I’ve been to being an endurance or marathon trainer was riding in the 2003 MS150 biking fundraiser. I’m still riding the same 1980 Schwinn 10-speed, but not to such high levels of attainment.

I’m happy that only one Google link turned out to actually be me – I prefer to live “under the radar” of the internet information-seeking world. That is, except for where I am making modest efforts to claim some fame in my own right.

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