Labels can make you feel vulnerable….exposed…unsafe.
Labels can make you feel happy….secure…comfortable.
Labels can change and turn and no longer apply to us. Labels can stay the same and never change.
Its how we look at it. It’s okay if one label offends you but another does not. It’s okay to say I prefer the term… It’s okay to not be okay with a label. It’s okay to be okay with a label. How you label yourself does not reflect on others.
I personally label myself in the following ways : Woman, Wife, Mother, Photographer, Writer, Readaholic, environmentalist, chronically sick, disabled, Chronic pain patient, survivor, Ecologist, housekeeper,babysitter, nail-biter, Wiccan, teacher, animal lover, Rule enforcer, mental illness patient, giver, lover, Driver, chef, Unitarian Universalist, Friend, Democrat, naturist, explorer, typist, volunteer, caretaker, listener, talker, activist .Over protective, Paranoid,OCD.
Some are good, some are funny, some are touchy subjects. They are also labels. I am actually okay with every label I have up there. Will those labels be the same in five years? Probably not. Some will stay, some will go , New ones will be tried out. Old ones discarded.
I was raised with the idea that you only had a few labels and you kept them for the rest of your life. So this has been a challenge for me. I tried not liking Labels. Nope I felt undefined. I didn’t like it. Not one little bit. I may change my definitions, but I like them. Others do not. That’s okay. They are not about them. They are about me. This is one area that it truly can be ALL ABOUT ME. I have found the more I am okay with change the more I grow. I want to keep growing.
I typically don’t have a filter. If I think it…it comes out of my mouth. Sometimes it puts people off. That’s okay too. Sometimes though it starts open honest conversations. Sometimes they are about labels that people think its not okay to talk about. (Whispered shockingly) Especially out in public. When my filter is hardest to even attempt to control is when I am also curious about something. Its hard sometimes. I feel like I have just said. Darth Vader is my father or Lord Voldermort. Sometimes it offends people and they never talk to me again. That’s okay too. Its who I am. I am okay with that. It makes me value the conversations that go very well all the more. When I meet someone else that asks the hard questions or makes me think about why I said that or why I did that….watch out…We are often fast friends.
I know some people who are offended by certain labels. Who are offended for me for certain labels. They would never want THAT label associated with them. That is okay too. Some people don’t like the tidy little corners that Labels can put you in. For me, I need it.
Even if they are constantly changing and evolving.
Add some more labels to me……changer and grower. Some people are okay with not changing, not growing. I am not one of those people.