Worst Idea Ever: Putting a Label On A Person

I love this rambling piece of me that I wrote back in January. It’s from a writing prompt called “Worst Idea Ever” from Writing Class Radio and it screams my personality. Yes, there are times when I wish I weren’t like this but then…I wouldn’t be me, would I? A label is for an object, not a human.

A Label is for a Bottle
Photo by Matt Briney on Unsplash

This morning I’m scrolling through Instagram, instead of writing or doing anything “productive,” wondering if I should eat before yoga, or am I just procrastinating. Yes, I am procrastinating but I am also hungry. The sun has come up already, I won’t do my yoga practice. I may still spend some time meditating…I should, it really helps my mood for the rest of the day. But, then again, so does getting something accomplished.

I have that writing prompt. (scrolls more, answers a text) And I have a new read post to add. (checks email) I am still hungry. I should eat more than a stupid granola bar. (hears husband check the coffee pot, it’s empty) The wind is blowing, I probably won’t go for a walk today either. I hate the wind. (opens blog stats) Why can I not stick to any routine for more than a few days? (opens Instagram again)

I do have good habits (mostly) and I am productive (usually), but I’m also easily distracted, and I crave novelty. My sons tell me I’m a special kind of weird. I fear change AND I’m bored by routine. I want people around, but I don’t like them. I like peace and quiet, but I’m excitable. I love my rural home but drive into the city every week. I could go on forever.

You can’t put a label on me! I’m independent, like Rudolf and Hermie.

I’ve never “fit in” to any label completely. I can’t seem to “find my tribe.” Any time I have tried, I find myself compromising, hiding one aspect of myself to fit in and look like the rest in a group. And it’s been this way all my life.

What’s the worst idea ever? Finding an “identity,” putting a label on a person other than human. We can’t be separated into genres, brands, or subjects and put on a shelf. It only makes a mess of things when we do. We’re all Ven Diagram of interests, styles, and personality. I’m imagining a huge machine of overlapping gears, a Borg cube of humans intersecting, multiple facets of human traits running up alongside each other, moving each other in ways we don’t even notice or imagine.

I wrote the previous paragraphs back in January, but never posted them. Cleaning out my drafts folder this morning, I stumbled across it and was reminded of David Epstein’s book “Range: Why Generalist Triumph in a Specialized World” which I just added to my TBR list. I heard him interviewed on People I Mostly Admire this week and loved what he had to say. It’s nothing against specialists. We need them. But there is something different about a person that has a working knowledge about a broad range of things.

When we’re working on a problem, it helps to have other tools to work with. If we only have a hammer, we’re going to want to use it even though a there may be a better tool for the job.

“General” knowledge is great and so is being a “general” human instead of a specific kind of human.

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