awareness

Self-Labels

Maybe I’m just not a fan of labels.

I wrote a few days ago about how we shouldn’t define ourselves by our jobs, that our actual selves are something beyond “architect” or “woodworker” or “environmentalist”.  We don’t get to be labeled petty fucks because we’re a lawyer or a bland because we’re accountants.  We don’t have to be flighty because we’re artists or drug addicts because we play punk rock.

Fact: you are who you based on your actions, not your job title.  Not some externally applied label.

You’re also not necessarily how you label yourself.

For example, if you’d asked me through my teens and twenties, I was a genius, a ladykiller with punk rock rebel roots and a mind that functioned outside of the normal scope of human behaviour.  I thought of myself (or pretended to), and told others that I was a Tyler Durden, a Jackass level punk with an Da Vinci intellect.

I am none of these things.  People generally saw me as a soft-spoken nice guy, except when I was loaded, during which time I was an overbearing and overly crude loudmouth.  I don’t necessarily see crudity as a bad thing, but I recognize a lot of shitty behaviour during that time.  I wouldn’t even say I was a particularly nice guy.  I can be empathetic at times, but I was so lost in my own head (and still am, today, at times), that I couldn’t see past my own troubles (and still can’t, at times).

I call myself a writer, in my head.  I write, sure, but nobody reads it, so am I, really?  I see fame and fortune in my future, but my choice of career is diametrically opposed to such a thing, and even if it won out, I’m not really comfortable socializing with people I don’t know, or fake folks who blow smoke up your ass for their own purposes.  And all that supposing that I haven’t chosen to pursue, in the writing life, one of the most difficult fields to break into and be successful at, let alone make actual money.

The thing they don’t tell us, or they do and we ignore, is that the writer’s life is a pauper’s life.

I don’t want to be labelled a pauper (though I’m little better than one now).

Of course, there’s nothing but to try, because not trying is a guarantee of failure.  Try and succeed, yay.  Try and fail, learn.  Do not try, gain nothing at all except fear and unhappiness and a lot of what-could-have-been regrets.

That’s the equation.

And no label can sort that.

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