In the current digital age, labels are a weird topic of discussion. Whether it is defining yourself with a certain hashtag on Instagram or attaching a group defining descriptor to your Twitter bio, labels appear everywhere. Even the revolting against labels creates a label within itself.
It is very easy to say I hate labels. Labels are destroying us by using segregative techniques that exclude some and place harsh chains on others. They force us to choose one aspect of ourselves to place so high above the others that people forget we are more than one thing. Why are we cropping ourselves down and asking peers to place vignette edits on our personality?
I can tell you why. We like the comfort of being able to define ourselves. The beauty of being a dynamic entity is that everything has the capacity to change. Unfortunately, change brings about fear and reluctance. When we can say “oh I am this thing” we relieve parts of that self-doubt plaguing the back of our heads. No one, at least no one I know, understands the exact person they are and want to be for the rest of their lives. So being able to claim this one thing as “who you are” is low-key relieving. Those who have finally been able to own their sexuality utilize their labels to gain the confidence they need to walk the world with their head held high. People who have truly discovered themselves through religious experiences want to proudly express their beliefs. Thinking back to the high school days where cliches ran rampant and labels were strict social guidelines, it was better to be labeled and a part of something than untagged and alone.
But I am sick of it. Sick of feeling that I am not enough to be a stand alone figure. Sick of feeling that if I don’t have this one “thing” that I don’t belong. We need to discover the spaces in between the labels. The spaces unclaimed by our greedy society. The areas where you truly exist. You may be a horror movie enthusiast AND an environmentalist. You may be a college of business student AND a passionate writer. Make your label you. Define yourself with your given name and be proud of the fact that you are alive. That's right! You are alive and in the position that you are able to choose who and what makes you, you. Live in the blurred lines of your resume because you are more than someone who can operate an excel sheet. Live in the collections of your memories because you are more than one defining moment. If labels are your thing then yes use labels, but use YOUR label.
I want to live in the label of Liv, my space in between. My preferred name is my label. I am claiming my name, who I am, and who I will eventually be. I don’t have a label as simple as “coffee lover” or “college student” or “bisexual” because I am all three and so much more. I am going to stop pretending that I can wrap my life up into the same amount of characteristics allowed in tinder bio, because I can’t and I hope that you can’t either. Starting today, label yourself as you.