I remember once, long ago, when I was a young 20-something, having a disagreement with a few women I was speaking with. We were a group thrown together via a church (I love how religious organizations always make you feel like you should be able to meld with any old person just because you all believe in God- and give you grief for seeking out like-minded or similar life-style friends... but that's an essay for another day.) and we were discussing personalities/callings (in a much more religious sense, but you get the idea.)
Most of the ladies held fast and true to the idea that whatever you identified with, was YOU for forever. If you were a person who loved to serve- that's you. FOREVER. Or if you were a person with a knack for admin- that's it. I dared to reason that maybe one's calling and personality was more fluid and open to shift and grow as a person developed and grew..
"No way!" was the consensus. Which, honestly, looking back now, translated to what these ladies felt represented them, and made THEM feel secure and comfortable- so it must be that way for everyone. This is the box I've felt pressured to fit in my entire life. The one that someone else has created. This is why I no longer subscribe to much of Christianity.
I am not a cookie-cutter soul.
I do not desire to follow what someone else tells me mindlessly. Even when I was involved in religion, I was always the one in the back with questions. Why? Why is it this way? Why do we say love, but loudly exclude? Why do we preach acceptance, but ban our gay friends from serving in any capacity? Why do we only seem to laud women who want to be mothers? Why is it okay for a 28 year old man to chat-up, then marry an 18 year old girl who was home schooled her whole life? Why is a man allowed to tell a woman that how she is dressing is "inappropriate"?
And why, when courage was found, and I would tentatively address one of these concerns... was I shut down, or made to feel small?
I do not fit in a box.
A one-size-fits-all sweater.
I'm always on the line of at least three personality traits and descriptions on those Myers-Briggs-esque tests.
I used to assume I was a MAJOR introvert... but now I know I need people, and social things, and interactions and don't like being alone too much. I like meeting NEW people! Maybe I was just growing into who I was supposed to be all along, and maybe all those tests and words or generalizations don't work for me.
I get it. Labels make people feel safe. It allows one to feel as though they have someone "figured out."
Words. They hold so much meaning, and yet we throw them around as though they're just a new hashtag or a conversation starter. I want to believe that people are constantly changing. Growing, learning, becoming who they are... and that the process never stops. If you choose to embrace a description or label, that's wonderful. There are many that I love and cling to. But to rest assured in the fact that you are always allowed to shed one and move on, or to try out a few more...
Doesn't that sound freeing?