I am more than who you say I am...
Disclaimer: My thoughts and opinions are that of my own collaboration with myself, when I speak about topics my intent is to share and to evoke deeper thinking, it’s never to throw shade and/or demean any positions, titles or other thoughts or opinions. With that being said let’s jump right into it.
This week in the news the infamous Hoda Kotb, television news anchor became a mother and what joy it brought to all of the morning Today Show watchers. We cried and gushed with pure jubilation as Hoda announced her news of adopting a beautiful baby girl as I listened to her share her wonderful news you could hear the sheer elation in her voice as she spoke of her new baby girl she shed tears of joy she said some very poignant words. Loosely paraphrased she mentioned “when asked if she was a mother by anyone (prior to the adoption) her reply of no was both “an ache and an ouch” at that moment of hearing those words I began to ball my eyes out because I too understood and share the same sentiments.
Women of a certain age have gone through their lives with so many labels and often those labels have been used to define us and/or esteem or demean us. When I look at Hoda’s life (and this thought is not solely about Hoda, she’s just a good point of reference) her life looks very fulfilled she has many accomplishments and triumphs yet the adding of “mother” to her repertoire set the media world a blaze.
So I got to thinking about my own life and how sometimes people can be a bit uninterested in me because I’m not carrying “certain” titles. Often times it’s a blasé shoulder shrug that I usually give to the thought and then there are times where it stings a bit but I can’t hold it to heart too long. Our society has programmed us to praise, judge, accept or not accept people based on the labels we know about them. It’s done in business all the time someone who carries a lot of letters behind their name gets revered far more than a person who doesn’t and far more than not the person who doesn’t have those letters is more valuable to your business than the person with the letters.
When I look at my own life I realized there’s so much depth to it that I stop placing labels on myself, the labels were hindering me from being the best “me” that I could be, so whether I’m a mother, wife, sister, chef or writer. I’m a woman who is nurturing, giving, and caring, teachable, cooperative, and piquant.
I don’t want to be limited to just the labels anyone places on me. What happens when I break that label I don’t fit in the mold anymore, the perfectly wrapped label you gave me to seal me in position of inferiority or passiveness. All the labels we place on people are just another way of controlling what they can and cannot do or even what we think of them.
The next time you decide to place a label on someone go deeper than the label. Mother, go deeper this is a person who has brought forth life nurtured it, wife, oh she’s your life partner she covers you in prayer protects you from ill rebukes of others, friend, the one who is in your corner cheering for you sharpening you making you better as a person.
Labels I get it, they are necessary sometimes just for identification purposes but when we begin to use them to hold people hostage and in bondage to our own perceptions of them we have abused the label. This is just a little something I was thinking about.