I’ve been thinking about the things I tell people about myself. I tell them I’m an educator, I tell them I’m a writer, I tell them I’m a vegetarian. I’m imagining, you do something similar. There are labels you carry with you and offer up to new people when you meet them. They might also be labels you count on as the fascia that binds you to your network of friends and colleagues. I wonder, though, if your labels are anything like mine.
When I say I’m an educator, I hope no one notices it’s been a while since I’ve had to write up unit plans, counsel a student through a tough decision, or any of the day-to-day I remember so well. And, it if’s down to memory, that’s telling.
When I tell them I’m a writer, I hope they don’t notice my contributions have largely been twitter-related in the past few months (and many of them retweets) and that this is the first post up on the blog in nearly half a year.
When I identify as a vegetarian, I hope no one’s around who saw the last time I ordered a tuna salad sandwich for lunch.
Those are the big labels. To open up the smaller assumed characteristics and claimed habits would be a longer conversation than I’ve time for.
In short, I’ve stolen my own identity from a past version of me who got much more use out of it and who might have been a more authentic version of me. It reminds me of when I would call my students “writers” or “readers”. The difference is, they would then read and write.
While this isn’t really a resolution, I recognize and am taking advantage of the spirit of new beginnings that springs forth from this side of New Year’s Eves. I’ll be writing here daily. Hold me to that. I’ll be working on reclaiming some of the other pieces of who I’ve been telling myself and others I am for longer than I can remember.
What about you? Who might you reclaim from the labels you’ve been using, but not necessarily living?