I am HOPZ

If you’re reading this, you probably know me by my given name, Ryne Benjamin Nelson. Well maybe, the middle name is new to you—but that’s me.

Chances are you think the name “HOPZ” is kind of strange. You probably laughed when you first heard it.

You might have thought, “The name sounds unprofessional.”

Well, you’re right.

But you see, I never gave myself a name. Not Ryne. Not HOPZ.

Ryne… you know how I got that one. HOPZ… I received that name when I was 24 years old, hanging out at Prospect Park in Brooklyn with a group of kids who live in Brownsville.

I might go into the whole story another time, but one guy (who would eventually become a friend) gave me the name because, well… I had hops. I could jump!

Different people told me throughout childhood and adolescence that I could jump. So this wasn’t something a new. But this was the first time someone called me HOPZ. And it caught on.

So, in short, HOPZ became an alter-ego. And then eventually, my main ego. HOPZ, to me, became who I am.

Ryne Nelson was attached to a byline. A final exam. A credit card. A driver’s license.

Most people are given a name at birth and clutch tightly to it throughout their lives. HOPZ is a name unfettered from those shackles.

So for my reintroduction—and I think my third official blog/website—I chose to begin with my origin story. HOPZ’s origin story.

As you read this blog, you may come to think of me as not just Ryne, but HOPZ as well. Eventually, maybe, we’ll laugh at the power and absurdity of a name.