How we label ourselves

I’ve mentioned it several times during the last few months (and I’ll most definitely mention it again), but this last year has been a game changer in a lot of ways for me. One thing that has been particularly taxing and overwhelming has been the lack of self definition and self worth.
Sounds odd? I mean how we – and I – value and judge ourselves and others using labels. I never quite reflected upon it before, but looking back – and finding myself in a position where my labels yields no power or influence – it’s remarkably clear how much of myself was defined by these labels. I was a university student and graduate, store manager, chairman – all things that carry weight, things that kept up my sense of self-worth. Even when the labels felt too big, or that there were too many of them, I felt accomplished because I knew what I was working towards (namely “bigger and better” labels).

DSC02204Always taking myself extremely seriously, of course.

Now, having tied my sense of self and my personal value so closely to accomplishments and measurable achievements, not having a specific goal or label to work towards threw me for a loop. What was my value if I wasn’t becoming bigger and better? What am I working towards? Does it matter, if the end result isn’t something that will make my resume more impressive?

Who am I without my labels?

Quite a lot, as it turns out. Or hardly anything, depending on who you ask. The obstacle is that the one to value what I am and what I do – is me. There is no one to ask. I’m the one to say that what I do is good enough, I’m the one that says it’s important and noteworthy. Not my boss, not the fiscal budget, not my professors – me. Its frightening and exhilarating and at times almost impossible. I am to set the tasks and live up to them, or choose not to.

kanadakall Okay, definitely taking myself somewhat seriously.

Who are you when you’re not climbing that ladder – for more fame, more money, more influence, more of everything?

I’m still figuring it all out, and will probably continue doing so for as long as I’m alive. I will also be different things as we go along. The labels will fluctuate and diminish and overpower and breathe and exist along with me – hopefully however, I will be able to distinguish between them and myself.

I sleep better that way.


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