Recently I’ve been thinking a bit about labels. The labels people put on us, the labels we choose to embrace, the labels we can’t escape, the labels we cling to in order to define ourselves when the night draws in and the times are tough. Funny little creatures that we humans are, we love to compartmentalise, to sort, to try and make sense.
So, what labels help to define you? I say help because they are only part of the picture really, aren’t they? As useful or un-useful as they may be, the labels can’t cover all the shades of grey…but they can certainly help set the lines we colour between.
Well, I’m a daughter. I am my parents and I’m not my parents…sometimes I think I’m their greatest joy, at others I’m certain I’m a cross they have had to bear. But they’re my parents. I love them, they love me, the rest we make up.
I’m a sister – and a big sister to boot. My siblings are truly amazing and I love the time we shared together as children and getting to know them all over again as adults. I am so pleased for every great thing that happens to them.
I’m a friend, and I am truly blessed to have such a great group of friends. I say that often, and it’s true. Every day in myriad ways my friends make my life fantastic, and I am so lucky to know such a talented, amazing, and truly gorgeous bunch of girls and guys. Whether it’s a cup of coffee, a week stay or a year of living together; a letter, a phone call or an email, the time I spend with them and communicating with them enriches my life more than I ever think they’ll know!
I’m a teacher. There, I said it. I am deep down in my core, a teacher. I love the way that a child can grow and learn and thrive when someone believes in them, and I’m so lucky that I get to be that person to my little gang. Yes, there are other things I want to do. There are other things I want to achieve. But by heaven I love teaching and working with children, and my long, exhausting, rewarding, paint spattered days.
I’m a singer. I’ll probably never play a big venue, true. I may never hold a CD in my hands featuring me, also true. But I *love* to sing. In a choir, in a band, karaoke, in the shower, or just chucking some Liza and stuff on youtube and singing the blues away. I can’t even begin to explain how I feel when I sing…it’s like going to another place. How I hope you all have a thing like that.
I’m a survivor. Of what, I don’t need to go into (it’s probably somewhere south of what you’d assume but north of what you might expect), but it’s part of who I am, plaited into me, running through me. Every time I’m congratulated for being happy or strong, I know that surviving is a big part of it. No matter what storms may come, I’ve weathered enough to have faith that I can get through the others. Here’s hoping, right?
I’m a daydreamer. I can while away far too many hours just thinking and planning and dreaming. I love to lie around and make my castles in the air… I can take a flight of fancy like you wouldn’t believe! And yet I rarely remember my actual dreams.
I’m a girlfriend. This is one of my newest labels, and I’m sure I’m messing up left, right and centre, but I’m so glad I’m getting to try it on with a guy who’s so wonderful (stop blushing if you’re reading, please!). I hope I can get good at this label – I hope I make him happy. I want to make him happy.
I’m a writer. When I was younger I dreamt of writing a great book, or an epic poem, or newspaper columns which challenged the world. Now, however, my writing is far more down to earth – I write notes, and blog posts, and letters, and stories for my class. And I still love it.
I’m a liberal. I’m a liberal in that I love liberty, I believe in human rights, and I believe in the amazing potential and wonder of the human spirit. I want to believe in good more than evil, and I believe that taking part in the process counts.
I’m a Joinee. I love being part of a community of such cool and inspirational people, and I love our Random Acts of Kindness (I love that every Friday I wake up ready to launch another RAoK). I love our Join Meets and being surrounded by people I love and admire, and I love our forum too.
I’m a Christian. I believe in God. I might not shout it from the rooftops (but I do defend utterly the right to do so), and it certainly doesn’t always mesh well with my liberal bent, but again, it’s part of me. A part I cherish, and I’m happy to share with people.
I’m a blogger. Which may be why I just wrote this whole thing…
So come on, friends. What are you?
PS I’m also someone who always cries at sappy movies, for what it’s worth. And a big league hugger. 🙂