Thursday, October 09, 2008

See the Art in Me

We all do it. Don't even try to deny it. I do, you do, even my sweet Grandmother *probably* does. We label each other. The good girl, the bad guy, the handy man, the mommy type, etc. You get where I'm headed. I've been doing a lot of thinking about these labels over the past week and I wish I could say it was because I'm feeling convicted about labeling people, putting them in little boxes. No. It's because I'm feeling very labeled myself these days.

It's a very devaluing feeling when you think about it. You just put someone in a category in your mind before or despite getting to know them, so you don't have to think about who they really are. Instead of seeing someone as a person, we can conveniently see them as a member of a group, real or made-up, therefore assigning them the identity that we want them to have in order to fit into our social frameworks. For example, I find myself at gatherings of my husband's co-workers labeling their wives as "military wives," and, for me, that means a certain set of traits. And, to be quite honest, traits that I feel I do not possess so I must not fit in and I must be different (read: better) than them. Does that make sense? I want to distance myself, feel special in a group that I clearly fit in well with, and therefore I label these women before I even know them. It's sad, I know.

If it makes it any better, I hate labels because they totally get in the way of relationships. When we put each other in boxes, it is convenient but we fail to see one another as fellow human beings with struggles, victories, and needs. Some of the greatest friends I have in this world have lives on the outside that could not look anything less like mine. And this is because we've gotten beyond who we think each other are to who we really are. So I'm no longer a housewife and my friend is no longer a single in the city girl, we're Kels and Bran, and we can talk for hours because we see past all of the divisions of life and really relate to each other as people.

Mostly this is my round-about way of telling you that just because I am not currently working and am expecting a baby, I have not hung up all of my hopes, dreams, talents, and individualism. Life has put me into a joyous position that I could have never dreamed up for myself. I thank God for the blessings that I have, but I have not lost my identity in them. I have the sneaking suspicion that He knows my hopes and dreams better than I and that my life probably won't even resemble something that I could have planned. And I'm guessing that yours won't either.

"Sculpting every move, you compose a symphony, And you plead to everyone, "See the art in me." - Jars of Clay

1 comment:

heather ryan morse said...

I am so so bad about labels! I think all of my closest friends didn't pass the box test when i met them..and i wrote them off..then the Lord had a different plan for me and for them :) thank God that He still puts us in relationship with folks despite our unwillingness to cooperate! :)

i love reading you kelly!