We humans love our labels and our groupings.
We have those who fit the label ‘Senior’. We have, young adults, millenials, GenXers – GenYers – GenAnthingGoes.
That last one is a label of my own making.
It feels right for this age I find myself embodying with mind, heart, body and soul – I’m ok with who I am and how I am because I choose to love who I am and how I am becoming completely.
And in that statement, recognize that no matter my age, I am always becoming – more of who I am, less of who I don’t want to be, all of me – beauty and the beast, yin and yang, darkness and light, imperfectly perfect in all my human imperfections – with or without a label.
Year ago, when I was preparing for my first talk at a major conference about how I learned to live with joy and love after an abusive relationship, the organizers, after reading my talk outline said, “Okay. You fit into the “Victim Stories” category.”
No I don’t, I quickly replied. I am not a victim. I am a victor.
That distinction was extremely important to me. The label ‘victim’ is an emotionally charged one that says to me, I am weak. I am beaten. I am the underdog. I DO NOT want to be a victim. I AM NOT a victim. (and yes, I am sure there is a whole lot of unconscious bias going on in my head around that word!)
To be a victor is, for me, empowering. I can handle carrying that label. It feels expansive. Empowered. Strong.
Just as being labelled a baby-boomer feels open-ended. It says, I am of the generation who marched for women’s rights and burned bras. Who stood up to authority to ensure, ‘anything goes’ became a reality for gays and lesbians and so much more. It is full of limitless possibilities and as long as my ‘anything goes’ creates better in the world, is fair, kind and does no harm, then my anything goes is powerful!
The label ‘senior’ on the other hand… that is an emotionally charged one for me too. I don’t think I was ever a ‘junior’ human so why am I suddenly a ‘senior’ one?
It’s a challenging realization for me – perhaps my unconscious biases are preventing me from living into the possibilities of ‘seniordom’ whatever those possibilities are.
Or, perhaps, my resistance to living into the label ‘senior’ is actually my rebellion against doing ‘the safe thing/right thing/expected thing’.
I’m not sure.
What I am sure about is, I do not want to live up to nor down to an arbitrarily applied label of ‘their’ construction (whoever ‘they’ are.)
I don’t want to live ‘the label’. I want to live my life.
I want to live free to be, to express, to become all of me – consciously aware that my becoming is an evolutionary process full of possibilities.
Labels are handy for prescription drugs and supermarket shelves.
For we humans… labels can act as limitations to how deep, wide, wild and free we live our lives. And, until we confront the unconscious or conscious labels we carry, collectively or singularly, we will not see beyond the limts of that label all the beauty, mystery, magic and wonder life has to offer.
So here’s to the GenAnythingGoes – no matter your age!