Monday, September 13, 2010

A Rose By Any Other Name...

I have come to the conclusion that we Americans love our labels. We have a label for everyone for everything. Upon meeting someone for the first time we want to assign as many of these labels as possible to size up who they are going to be and where they are going to fit into our lives.

For example, one is labeled either a Democrat, Republican, Liberal, Conservative, or now, a Tea-Partier. A mother is either a working mother, stay-at-home mom, single mom, soccer mom, or helicopter mom. Men and women are either married, separated, divorced, single, or "it's complicated." Applications ask if we are Caucasian, Hispanic, African-American, Asian, or Other (which always interests me...Other.)

We are either thin, healthy, obese, or morbidly obese, not to mention tall, pear-shaped, vertically challenged, or short of stature. One is either a homeowner, renter, or lives-with-parents. We are either vegan, vegetarian, or carnivores. Some of us are funny while some of us suck the life out of everyone else as a constant downer.

To have a relationship with God we are asked if we are Catholic, Reformed, Methodist, Protestant, Buddhist, Jewish, or Agnostic. Then we are asked if we are "practicing." This also interests me because I practice the piano (albeit not very well.) I do not practice my relationship with God any more than I practice being a wife and mom. As Alice says in Wonderland, it is curiouser and curiouser...

I have the privilege of working for two absolutely amazing directors (and I am NOT just saying this because they may read this; they know I claim to have the best job at our organization.) However, with this job comes the ever-present task of labeling. Am I their secretary? Am I their assistant? Am I their colleague? Am I their receptionist? Titles and labels don't mean a thing to me. You can call me anything you want - it doesn't change the job I do. And I love the job I do.

That being said, there are some labels that will never accompany my name, such as: Grammy Award-Winning singer...statuesque super-model...American Idol contestant....Nathan's World Class Hot-Dog Champion...

Some labels I don't like for myself are control-freak (which I personally find to be quite ill-founded, but I digress) over-extended (which I most certainly am not; when it's not fun I don't do it anymore) and disorganized (what is one person's mess is another's organized chaos.)

I love being a mom and I love being a wife and I love my job and I love my faith. But what I really love is to just BE.

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