You Know Those Thoughts That Wander Through My Head? This Is Another…

Yeah, this is another “not a clue” post…

I am still pondering “labels”. I wonder why we insist on having them? I write these because of labels and descriptions and find myself trying to get away from them. If I were to wear every label that fit, I’m not sure I could even finish the list. I’d just keep adding stuff. Defining who I am is based on the needs of the moment. Here, it is important to point out the fact that I am different than the people I defend and the same as the people I defend them from. Other places and times THAT context doesn’t matter.

I met a nice young Lady, today. She defined herself like this ” I am a bisexual, ex-Mormon, now neo-pagan? (hasn’t really figured out exactly what she is), 23 soon to be 24 year old who is a full-time nanny.” That’s not what I would have said about her. My first thought was what I said. “a nice young Lady”. I still think that. The description she gave also fits, and does not detract but, it isn’t all of her…

Labels are never all of a person. To an outsider, they may be all we want to see. To the person living them, they confine us and restrict us. I can, and sometimes do, wear the label “ex-addict” or “Meth Survivor”. That is nothing close to all of who I am…

The converse is also true. How and what we think of ourselves, how we define ourselves, helps us to fit in. By calling ourselves something, we find community with others like us. We are able to find a place to be in a world that seems endless…

I still don’t know where I’m going with this…

We can use labels to divide. Are you an “us” or a “them”, friend or foe? We call people horrible things without knowing them at all.

Usually, these posts are about being LBGT or Pagan and an “outsider”, me, saying it’s ok to be those. They, the posts, are support for groups, labels, that I am not.

*editorial, usually, by this point in a post, I have an idea of what I’m trying to say. This time I’m really bumping into stuff in the dark…*

I think what I mean is, we ALL have things that define us, our labels. Being LBGT or Pagan or Christian or Straight or any other fairly narrow group is just a bit of who we are. We might pick some of those bits to identify with but, they don’t come close to expressing the whole…I use “straight, Christian, married, male” to define myself here, in this context. I use “Texan” to define my attitudes and heritage. I use “husband” to define the most important job I have and “butcher” to define the next most important. I may use “meat nerd” to define some of my interests. *editorial, I love cooking and what I get paid to do*

*sigh*

Context. Sometimes our own labels depend on the context. I can be a “goof”. That’s what my wife calls me when I’m being one. Sometimes, I can be “you a$$hole”. The labels we pick depend on the context of the moment and the interactions we have. Here, I’m an author. There’s a group of real artists I belong to that call me an “artist” even though I disagree. I have a friend that thinks of me as a “protector” because I pray for her and write for her. In that context, I suppose I am.

Outsiders also impose their own context on the way they define us. They rarely see all of us and NEVER the inside. Yet, they insist that their view and, by extension, definition, must be the correct one…

*sigh again*

This is making my brain hurt. Ugh. I’m not really confused. I’m just finding that, as I write this, that even putting the way that people are labeled refuses to fit into its box…

Where I started was, way up there, with this…”I am a bisexual, ex-Mormon, now neo-pagan? (hasn’t really figured out exactly what she is), 23 soon to be 24-year old who is a full-time nanny”. She gave me what she thought I would think was important. She gave me what she thought was important. She gave me some context for who she was, is, and where she’s going “now neo-pagan? (hasn’t really figured out exactly what she is)”. She defined  herself in the barest of terms giving me reasons, if I chose, to either accept or reject her based on those outlines. Interestingly enough, to me, most of the things that she thought were important to me, aren’t. We all are some form of sexuality…or none. We all have faith…or none. We were born. We have some type of way to generate income. I’ll stick with my view, for now, “nice young Lady” and find my own labels for her. Perhaps, given time, the label “friend” will replace “acquaintance”…

Labels and boxes seem to defy reason. I think I’m going to just let this one taper off here and let it be food for thought. Feel free to tell me what I missed.

Thanks for bearing with this one.

 

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