I am not a fan of labels. Labels, to me, are what you affix to a box after you have stuffed something inside of it and sealed it shut. And I have a slight to moderate case of Pygmachophobia, that is, “fear of boxes or of being sealed in a box.”
In a metaphorical sense, I am the polar opposite of Maru the Cat, whose affinity for stuffing himself into boxes has made him, and his owners, internet famous. If anyone tries to stuff me into a box – or, ahem, a mould – my immediate reflexive response is to bust out. Expect me to stay in said box long enough for someone to affix a label to it? Do you like the taste of label glue in your face?
So, when I saw this business about November 21st being “International Label Day,” invented by the Blogosphere’s very own Rarasaur, my initial reaction was to scoff at it. I have received many labels over the years that have contributed to my distaste for the boxes they represent:
Nerd. Geek. Goody-Goody. Freak. Four-Eyes. Shy. Tomboy. The Girl. Blonde. White. Religious. Divorce Child. Ex-Band-Girlfriend. American (I’m not one). The Foreigner. そのひと (that person).
To name just a few.
But one of the things I love about Rarasaur is her ability to redeem anything with a bit of creativity and love. Where I see labels as a source of anxiety, of limitations, of emotional baggage, as something to be proven wrong, she sees an opportunity to celebrate.
So, in the spirit of #rawrlove and Maru the Cat, here are a few of the labels I guess I don’t mind that much:
Wanderer. Traveller. Adventurer. Gamer. Snowboarder. Motorcyclist. Teacher. Sensei. Leader. Sempai. Creative. Good Student. Writer. Editor. Thinker. Christian. Canadian. Girl. Woman. Lady. Daughter. Step-daughter. Granddaughter. Niece. Sister. Cousin. Wife. Friend. Best friend. Neighbour. Winter Person. Duck Enthusiast. Genki Duck.
On second thought, Maru never lets anyone force him into boxes. He jumps in freely, sometimes makes himself comfortable, busts out when he feels like it, and seems to have the time of his life. Maybe some boxes aren’t that bad after all.
Happy International Label Day! What labels do you resist, or embrace? Are you comfortable in boxes, or terrified of them, or maybe both at the same time?