Literary Life Moment #1: LABELS

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You know what I truly don’t understand and never really have?

Labels.

More than that, the NEED for labels. Maybe it was my unconventional upbringing. Or maybe I was just born with the ability to see the world in my own unique, strange ways. Whatever it is, as I have had time to do much self-reflecting lately, I have realized just how little thought or care I give to labels–especially compared to others.

You see, some people are so confused by their own identities that they feel a need to cling to labels just to know who they are—and even then, they usually are still completely lost. I pity these people; alas, it seems that the need for labels plagues many people, especially young adults who are told they must be this or that to be something.

But identity doesn’t lie in labels.

It lies in self-confidence, self-worth. In being entirely comfortable with who one is, no matter how weird, odd, or even crazy one might be perceived by the general population, or by anyone.

There are many labels I could give myself, based upon the world’s stereotypes:

White girl. A blonde. Middle-class. Pan-amorous. Nerd. Dork. Klutz. Girl with glasses. Girl with asthma. Part-time hipster. Religious. Only child. Child from single-parent home. Health fanatic. Hopeless romantic. Obsessive. Or my favorite that people like to toss around so lightly: “crazy.” Peeps, we’re all crazy in our own way. That’s what makes us unique.

But the truth is, I really never seriously think of myself as any of the above. People call me weird and I just smile and politely thank them. I know I’m weird, compared to most folks, and that’s cool. People call me creative, smart, nice, obsessive, passive-aggressive, ambitious, passionate. All are true. All can be seen in a negative or positive light. I’m not saying we shouldn’t try to work on our faults. But if we have a characteristic and it ain’t hurting us or God Himself or anyone else, why be ashamed? Why try to change it? We are what we are; the truest friends will accept this, and the rest can move on.

The most I might call myself is “Christian” or “author,” but to me, these are not labels. They are my essence, who I am at my core.

I am me.

I am Christine Elizabeth Schulze.

This is all I need to know.