My neuroticism to be as entirely self-made as possible, combined with my developed hatred of multiword usernames and general avoidance of having an internet pseudonym tied to a specific piece of media, led me to the narcissistic conclusion that the only username I would ever be satisfied with would be some sort of word/name I created myself. Since my first internet pseudonym was a joke (prior to my self-awareness that it was also a play on a slur), yet largely tied to me, I wanted to create a username that had a similar effect: short, bizarre, phonetically simple, in a memorable collection of letters.
It took me a while to come up with this, as you might assume.
And like many other things I make, it represents that I want to create things for myself, and from myself. Though I, like general existence, am not without influence from others, my desires lie in self-indulgence and fulfillment — things that I can feel proud of myself for making, more than anything.
"aroceu" is intentionally in all lowercase letters. I pronounce it as "ə-rō-su."
Of course, I'll reuse themes and ideas if I've tried them once and I know they work well. But even then, I try and slip in something new; I want to learn as much as I can with everything I do, be experimental with multiple styles and crafts. I do my best to experience as much as I can, when it comes to writing, designing — and, okay, life. Repetition and comfort zones are boring; it's much more fun to attempt everything you possibly can.
Beyond experiences, I achieve the most thrill through a challenge. I generally try to do as much as I can on my own; if given a task for a subject I'm passionate about creatively, I'll find a way to make it more difficult, more complex. I'm not learning, enjoying, or really creating until I give myself the highest expectations I can.
Don't worry — as much as this makes me sound like a workaholic, I give up pretty easily. I only become a workaholic when I'm trying to prove something to myself, which explains my bad habit of putting more effort into things I make for myself more than I do for others. You could say that I deserve my frequent self-imposed disappointments, if you really want to.
Writing and coding — including but not limited to webdesign — are very closely intertwined for me, both in how much I'd like to progress and how much I enjoy them. I have studied both academically; guess which one I'm getting a degree for.
I started with really basic HTML and didn't understand CSS at all. It took a lot of trial and error; reading articles and pages about how to do things didn't help me very much, if at all. I worked better reading and toying with other people's code, so that's what I did for months on end.
Eventually I got a Freewebs site, aliceinwonderland-xo, or Alice In Wonderland [XO]. It came from my given name (Alice) and my attachment to Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland — well, the animated Disney movie, though I did read the book eventually. The [XO] just came from a love for usernames related to XO, fairy tales, daydreaming, etc. at the time.
I started AIW[XO] when I had my old PC and limited financial resources, so all of my graphics were made in Paint. They were not great. Well, for Paint I suppose they were pretty impressive, but. They were not great.
I moved onto Photoplus in 2007, which was a nice transition, though admittedly I had no idea how all of these new tools worked, so the quality still wasn't fantastic, to say the least. For the most part I made (and enjoyed making) static pages for websites like Mibba (when it was relevant), Quizilla (when it was up), and Webs (when it still had a decent userbase). I grew better at both Photoplus and actually knowing how to make things look nice. This was also the time I used a lot of iframes.
I transitioned to my first subdomain in January 2009. My motivation for the site name and subdomain Wonderland was simply because I wanted to leave "Alice[in]Wonderland" in the Name field of people's cboxes. I used a lot of imagemaps and Cutenews, and began to blog like other people, though the site was still mostly content-centered.
In July 2009, I decided to move to a domain instead, as I felt that I was getting better and enjoying design even more. So for my birthday I registered moon-strukk.net and got free hosting from For Always (foralways.info) and later Parade Hosting when For Always shut down. Both sites are now closed.
Moon-strukk.net was supposed to represent for my love of the moon (I do, still, love the moon); a frequency to describe myself as weird, crazy, or random, which is more or less the definition of "moonstruck"; and a reference to 3OH!3's song "Starstrukk", which isn't even my favorite song by them. I used the site to blog and post visitor content, and attempted to create a subspace for my writing.
Then, er, I got into k-pop.
Moon-strukk.net eventually expired in July 2010, and I moved all my designs to a (Free)Webs site called Heartknot, just for the sake of archiving and in the case anyone stumbled upon my designs and wanted to use them.
In August 2011, I began to miss design and code — never blogging, really — and so I registed a subdomain with Bubble.nu (now closed), called rice.hugs.nu. I wanted it to be both a blog and content hub in equal part, though as time went on it began to get cluttered. It was fun, though; it was the first time I ever used WordPress (and learned how to), and actually tried to keep my blog regular.
I kept rice.hugs.nu (referred to as "ricehugs" in my mind) for about a year and a half. Despite its oddities and lack of organization, it was easily the most fun of my websites at the time. Eventually, though, I decided I wanted my own domain, so in June 2013 as a(nother) birthday present, I registered ricetard.nu. That was when I began separating my content (make.ricetard.nu) from my blog (the main domain), as well as putting in a separate contact form (contact.ricetard.nu), a portfolio (eat.ricetard.nu), and my collective (fan.riceard.nu).
However, I also began to struggle with my mental health, so I had very little motivation and focus, and my blog posts were not too cheerful. Eventually my general association with the site, as well as my growing discomfort with the username, escalated to my wanting to abandon them both.
In 2014 I purchased the domain arose.nu — this particular domain to signify that I was attempting to "arise" from my various mental illnesses. Additionally, it has the same vowel-consonant pattern as my given name; contains both my current alias and a previous one; and phonetically sounds like "aroceu." I was relatively satisfied with it, as I had been able to move all the previous subdomains I still cared about, while adding some others such as my Pokémon collective, and my OTP shrine.
Over the next couple of years, I purchased a few more domains for various uses. At this point I had taken a break from college due to health, so I had a lot of free time to start many projects... and not finish them. I had attempted to blog on arose.nu for a few months since I had purchased it (December 2014), but my usual guilt and laziness that came with blogging once again took over. Then I transformed it into a writing blog (August 2015), but that also proved to be another futile attempt.
So, eventually, it became a portal to my other sub/domains. And then I realized — I wasn't incredibly attached to the domain, and I wasn't doing anything substantial with it, so there was no point in spending $30/yr renewing it when I was content with the other domains I had, which were much cheaper.
I released arose.nu in December 2017, and decided that aroceu.com was a satisfactory primary domain, since I am now — thankfully — best known as aroceu on the internet. I do have other domains for various other purposes, but regarding blogging and working on web projects, I've reached a point in my life where practicality trumps aspirations.