labels + false identities

"Who are you without all your success, failures, relationships, etc.? Who are you when nothing else matters?"

Who am I when I strip away all the labels? I asked myself in my journal prompt. I had seen the quote above as a caption about two weeks ago and didn't resonate with it much. While obviously I did because I remembered it and went searching for it again.

Who am I went I strip away all the labels?

"Well I am a person in desperate need of help", I wrote. "I'm a good person but I'm sinking slowly in quick sand. Loosing grip. Falling in slow motion yet falling quickly if such a thing was even possible. Loosing sense of my real self and I mean away from constructed ideas and identities".

At school, at home and literally anywhere I go or anywhere where relatives can be found, I am a student. I am a person that everyone is waiting on to do something unbelievably spectacular. Like a swear some people will get up and leave if I don't triple backflip off stage with my degree and certificates in hand during graduation. This is the reason I'm scheduling a graduation party then cancelling it, then starting it back up again. The idea that I have to have all my shit together by the time I graduate and know what to tell the guest about my future plans. Part of me wants to celebrate this overdued win and the other part feels guilty for reasons I'm not exactly sure about yet. I guess feeling like I didn't do anything groundbreaking or brilliant...

To celebrate something millions of people have done and have done better is one reason. Another reason, feeling embarrassed about my major even though I don't regret not doing nursing. But wouldn't it be easier to fit into that little "nursing" box? Have that label instead of this one? Have a label that is more appealing, more acceptable, more someone else?

I find myself waiting to be happy or carving a career path to make someone else happy. The idea that I will be happy when I will be known as x or y. I know that's all crap, you know that's all crap, but here we are. Waiting.

Putting my hope in the far off future. Not allowing myself, and equally not being allowed to be proud of myself. This probably being the reason for my 4th year depression, the self-sabotage and the months of staring at a wall not working towards anything meaningful. A deer in headlights.

I was doing a lot but nothing that mattered. Like running full speed on a stagnant hamster wheel. Part of me was unmotivated and discouraged because I wasn't running towards a specific goal. And the other part of me believed the lie that I should know the exact coordination of where I'm running to in order to keep going.

I love my program, I love my school and I'm not sure where life will take me next year but I'm going to keep going. Not for a title but simply because it feels right. Jen Sincero encourages readers in her book How To be a Badass to follow good feeling things. To follow what feels good and what feels right. I am looking forward to doing a Master's a little outside my field but it feels sooo damn right. And maybe that's the Cancer sign in me leading with my feelings or the Disney princess movie lover telling me to follow my heart but me, myself and my intuition are all on board!

As much as anyone will tell you to be a realist and to make calculations and come to a logical, reasonable and sound decision. Don't. Don't strive for something attainable, tangible and basically paint a picture that other people can understand. While doing light research for this post, I discovered that synonyms for realistic include "unemotional", "unsentimental" and "unromantic". Unromantic??? Like have you met me?

This reminds me of those quizzes we had to do in highschool to determine what careers we should pursue. And as controversial as they are for being unhelpful; if they want us to be unemotional realistic beings we definitely should plug our interests, personalities, hobbies and who we are into a computer. But I trust my intuition so I will skip on shutting down and letting other people make decisions for me, thank you very much. I will skip on your questions about what do I do or what do I study as an ice breaker to get to know me and essentially put them in a box. Don't get me wrong post-secondary studies is a beautiful thing and I'm grateful for everyday I have attended, good or bad. But approaching it as a make it or break it thing that will better me or distinguish me is quite sickening...It takes the magic of learning and notion of knowledge as power out of it

Because at the end of the day (and at the end of this life), I am not a health studies student with that certificate and that minor and this amount of job offers. I am person. I am person who is currently dealing with a lot, but nonetheless, a person. As a black woman I can tell you that those prescribed attributes mean absolutely nothing and also contrary mean everything. These titles are empowering yet carry a lot of weight. I am aware that I never chose any of those titles and the negative connotations that come with it. So believe when I tell you that "graduate student", "doctorate student", "single", "married", "wealthy", "brilliant", "attractive" are only as meaningful as some else makes it.

Labels are external. Happiness is internal. Temporality is external. Eternity is internal. False identities are external. Success* is internal. Trust me.

*In every essence of the word. Financially, physically, mentally and spiritually speaking.

wishing you a happy, fulfilled life guided by the spirit of Love,