The gaps between the labels

It struck me that my list of labels, which is fairly comprehensive as far as labels go, left out quite a bit of who I am.

Take the “reader” example. That only counts as one label on the list. But what does it really mean? Does it mean I read books or comics? Or both? If it means books, what kind, fiction or non-fiction? If comics, the kind in the newspaper or the kind that show up on Facebook?

As it turns out, I don’t read the newspaper. I don’t really read news at all. But I read online a lot, probably averaging close to two hours of that each day. It’s what I do when I’m home without anything else to do.

On top of that, I enjoy reading books, like 20 to 1, non-fiction to fiction. Right now, I’m reading a memoir set in Dubai, but I also read about business, economics, education, philosophy, Christianity, religions in general, language learning, cultures, psychology, relationships… the list could go on and on.

Yet in the list of labels, it all gets reduced to one term: reader. And that’s just one label. The missing pieces increase exponentially with each added label. ‘Splains why no one wants to be labeled, huh?

Labeling leaves out so much of who we are.