If you just want contact info: talithamichele is my primary handle on both gmail and twitter and I now have a github account with that handle.
You can call me talithamichele and I will respond to that, but if you want to shorten it, it is better to shorten it to Michele. Practical, busy people who just need to know a) how to contact me and b) what to call me can stop here.
Folks who need to understand why for some reason can read on.
This post is inspired by two recent events. For one, I started a new Github account because I could not remember the login credentials of my little used existing account. I ended up with the handle talithamichele because, of course, Michele was taken and the other thing I tried was taken and I figured I could easily remember talithamichele because it is my email address and I did not want to spend all day on setting this up, so I lazily went with that. The other thing that occurred is that a total stranger emailed me and opened the email with "Hi Talitha."
Although Michele is actually my legal middle name, on my birth certificate and everything, Talitha is not actually my legal first name. It is sort of an old nickname that has fallen out of use. There used to be people in my life who called me that, but those people are no longer a part of my life. These days, the only people who call me Talitha are total strangers who email me out of the blue and assume it is my first name, a very understandable but mistaken inference.
And then it feels really awkward to me because they haven't done anything wrong and I do not want to crab at them, but I also feel like I have misled them and they deserve to know that is not really my name. On the other hand, I don't really want to bother them with what amounts to a derail of the discussion.
So, in practice, I typically ignore it and say nothing about it and just respond to the content of the email. My email signature says Michele and many people pick up on that quickly and it usually ends up no big deal.
The other thing I will mention is that, yes, Talitha is a biblical reference.
From what I gather, it is a sort of obscure reference, but I am not Christian, yet I seem to know a fair amount about the Bible largely due to a combination of growing up in The Deep South and having had several close personal associations with people who were quite knowledgeable about the Bible. The nickname was gifted to me by one such individual.
Coincidentally, the name was gifted to me around the same time that I also briefly attended church in my mid twenties. But these events are mostly unrelated. I was not nicknamed Talitha as a consequence of briefly self identifying as Christian.
Once in a great while, someone devoutly religious who knows the Bible well will email me with questions about that aspect of it. In short: No, it is not my legal name. No, I am not Christian.
The name was a nickname granted to me by a very religious acquaintance. They are no longer a part of my life and the name has fallen out of use.
I have had the email address in question a really long time. It would be a hassle to change it. I like it better than being something like Michele3427 and I feel that if I did change it, there would be some other nuisance involved, so why bother?