Stop trying to know everything about yourself.
Lately I've been feeling an overwhelming pressure to take who I am, what I enjoy, the thoughts I have on the world, and boil it all down into 1 tiny little package that's easy to understand and express.
If that sounds confusing, here's what I mean.
Drop the labels
The world asks you every day to label yourself. Republican or Democrat? Vegetarian or Meat Eater? Artist or Entrepreneur? Black or White? City Lover or Backpacker?
I've always taken pride in being diverse and well rounded. I've always hated labels. I find it exciting to appreciate all aspects of life and not walk around stating exactly who I am or pigeon hole my views because the second I do that I'm put in a box.
And I utterly fucking hate boxes.
But lately it feels like the world judges you for enjoying a little bit of everything. Nobody finds it good enough that you just are who you are. They want you to have a label so they can better understand you. Or. Do they just want you to have a label so they can better judge you on what they assume to be true about you, based on that label?
In this world everything happens quickly. Too quickly. We want everything now, in full, please don't make me work any harder than I have to.
But what about getting to know someone? That takes time. And I hate to tell you, but you can label yourself with anything. It doesn't mean it's true. And other people can label you. And that also doesn't mean it's true. So slow down with trying to understand yourself and others over night. It' a process, and if you allow it to be, it can be beautiful.
For years people labeled me as a photographer. I labeled myself as a photographer. I'm slowly learning that the label I clung to and hid behind for over 10 years wasn't who I was, it was just something I did.
Don’t stress over the details
I can assure you with every fiber of my being that the label of a Creative would be accurate for me. But that's pretty broad, which people don't like.
Well what do you create? How? Why? Where?
I don't have those answers! And I don't think I need to.
Because I think it's unfair to me to have to be so damn self aware all the time.
Mystery can be good! It keeps things new, exciting, thrilling. If I ever get to the point where I and the world have me 150% figured out and labeled please just hit me over the head so I can get a concussion and start over, totally oblivious to myself. I never want to know myself so well that I'm never surprising myself, impressing myself, questioning myself, or bored with myself. And you shouldn't either.
There are times when being a bit self aware is good. That helps with morals, finding friends, falling and staying in love, and being capable of moving towards goals.
But knowing EVERYTHING about yourself is unrealistic, and thinking your life has to keep a certain theme from age 30-80 is, well to be honest, both terrifying and depressing.
So here's to trying new things,
being open minded, living outside the box, and scribbling out the words on all those labels you and everyone else has stuck to you. If you want to live a life where you have left nothing to the imagination for people, that's fine. But me.... my brain is filled with imagination for myself and my life, and that keeps me excited and hopeful for each new day.