The Meaning Behind the Name

The name of my blog is “Not All Who Sonder”, which might not make any sense at the moment, so I’m going to try to clear that up and give a basic idea of what this blog is going to be about.

First of all, I’m not what most would call an avid writer. (Actually, I want to be an engineer. My English teacher has often accused me of trying to craft my essays instead of just writing them like a regular person.) I’m still trying to figure out how to best put my stream of consciousness into words.

Secondly, thinking of a blog name was super hard. It’s permanent, so it has to be broad enough to cover everything I write about, but it also has to be unique to my personality, and it has to be intriguing and make a good first impression, plus it has to be timeless since I’ll change in the future, and might want to take things in a new direction. And on top of all of that, I have to actually like the name.

I already knew I wanted to incorporate the word “sonder”, which I came across it during an Internet spiral a little while ago. It’s not a “real word” that’s officially recognized by dictionary-writers, but it has the vibe I’m looking for: a bit abstract and faraway. It’s defined by the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows as:

n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

That’s a super wordy definition, but the idea is that everyone has a story, and it’s so crazy to think I’ll never going to know the full in-depth story of any of the 7 billion people on the planet apart from myself. So the purpose of this blog is to show a little part of my story. Hopefully I can start some interesting conversations, or just be able to look back on my thoughts and see how I’ve grown.

The rest of the name is based on this poem by J.R.R. Tolkien (which actually borrows from a line of Shakespeare):

“Not all those who wander are lost.”

Basically, wandering (not necessarily just in the physical sense) can have purpose. There’s a lot of analysis about just this one line, but my simple interpretation is that exploring isn’t aimless. I can keep learning and expanding my horizons and stepping outside of my comfort zone because that’s purposeful to me. For instance: starting a new blog.

I’ll talk about random life stories or current events or music I’m listening to, or whatever else I’ve been interested in recently. I’m also thinking about sharing art or piano covers of some of my favorite songs. It’s all very open-ended right now.

Finally, thanks to my friend Annie (check out her blog!!) for helping me figure out how this blogging thing works and joining my quest for a name and making me super excited about blogging in general.

3 thoughts on “The Meaning Behind the Name”

  1. Hi, Lucy. Welcome to the blogging world! I love how much thought you put into naming your blog. I had not heard the word “sonder” until you introduced it to me, but I love it. It encompasses such a fascinating concept. I am obsessed with stories, and I am a huge Tolkien fan, so combining “sonder”with Tolkien seems to me to be an excellent idea.
    I can’t wait to see what else you have to say!


    1. Hi, thanks so much! I’m really happy you liked my first post and the blogging world seems super creative and fun and I can’t believe the amount of amazing content people have to share. I feel like I have a lot more to say, and since I’m just starting out I’m open to any ideas/suggestions you might have to help me improve. Thanks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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