It’s almost funny to think about all the “you”s in your life.
As a kid you had (or I’m assuming it’s normal for everyone) dreams of who you’d BE when you grew up. In history class in 7th grade we had to create life timelines – what we wanted to do, who we wanted to be and when. I think is some ways assignments like that are detrimental to children. I can’t even tell you how many “timelines” I’ve given myself. When things don’t work out in your projected timeline, it’s easy to see it as a failure.
There are also the “you”s you give off when meeting someone new. Name. Job title. Age. Background. A variety of adjectives. Or in job interviews, you list three words to describe yourself or your positives or shortfalls. And these aren’t anywhere close to giving an accurate picture of you. Friendly, funny and kind can look like millions of other people.
Then, the really frustrating “you”s: the ones people see. I firmly believe you have less to do with how others see you than society says. There have been people in my life who have thought many things about me which are far from truth.
Even more ridiculous…it’s not even possible to give yourself a one word title. “I am a teacher.” Every teacher is different – different backgrounds, families, personalities, educations, etc.
It’s sad how important titles and definitions of people are in our society. Maybe it’s just because I haven’t liked a lot of definitions/titles people have given me. Or maybe it’s because I can readily see how each person with diabetes or even crohn’s differs. Not a one of us is the same, yet we have the same disease. Our illnesses affect each one of us differently, just as kids growing up in the same neighborhood differ…and siblings in the same house.
I guess I’ve had a lot of time to think about this kind of stuff. I currently have not much going on in my life. It’s not really a true statement, because I guess handling new medications and feeling crappy a lot of the time is a challenge. But, my school has kindly dropped me from all of my classes this semester as they were too much for me and I had missed too much. I am grateful they have willingly dropped me with no Ws. Mostly, it’s due to my registration with DSPS at my school. I forget what the acronym stands for, but it’s the disabled students department. I still have no job. I have an interview on Wednesday. Honestly, I never feel too up to anything though. If I need to have a busy and full day, I can manage, but it wears me out. Not just like, oh I need a coffee. But more like, I helped with Thanksgiving preparations on Wednesday and Thursday and have been in either pajamas or loungewear since. It’s not a huge deal, in that I don’t have anywhere too pressing to go…aside from my need to go to the pharmacy today because I’m officially out of one rx and nearly out of numerous others. And if I ever do need to be busy or stressed or whatever, I’ve gotten pretty good at scheduling enough rest before and after.
As far as titles, I don’t even want one right now. I know who I am, which is incapable of being explained in a sentence or paragraph. But, if you were to give a label, I’m not sure any would fit. Or if it does right now, it doesn’t fit completely.
It’s hard to accept the current state of things in the Realm of Ashley. When I lost my, what most would consider corporate, job in September 2008 it was rough. I took my first retail job…and then took another part-time customer service job. Up until 2008 I always prided myself in having a “professional” job. It was all supposed to be temporary. It’s now nearly December 2010. In the last two years I think I’ve done a decent job accepting a “job” doesn’t define you. But, I have a hard time accepting what other people give as definitions. And an even harder time not believing the validity of said definitions.
But why the hell do I even care? I don’t believe in assigning titles or labels. Why would I care about the ones people give?
I know the answer, it’s human nature to care about what others think. It certainly doesn’t mean I like it though. Or that I won’t try to not care.
This surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, spawned from a recent discussion with my mother and sister. I am incredibly grateful my parents have willingly accepted my numerous returns to their home. It’s not looking like I’m leaving any time soon, so I’ve been working on rearranging and cleaning out my room, making it look like I could actually live in it. In other words, not looking like I’m living in someone else’s room. It’s not my house though, so I have asked about various changes I’d like to make. My most recent request is that of pictures. The most recent picture with people in my room is from my 8th grade graduation from Middle School. The overall most recent picture is from April 2005, a picture from the place I stayed in Hawaii overlooking the ocean. I’d like to be able to put up more recent pictures…one’s with people I still talk to and remember their names. The response to my request was not at all expected, though I shouldn’t have been too surprised. It’s gotten me thinking about labels and titles.
While certain missed or delayed step stones have bothered me at times, I really am grateful and mostly happy things didn’t turn out how I planned. I wouldn’t be who I am, and I like who I am…even if other people don’t.