Every single person on this planet has at least one secret that could break your heart. If we could just remember that, there would be a lot more compassion and tolerance in the world

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Getting out of my box.

"Whats in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

We as human beings are lable makers. We are taught from a young age to categorize and lable. Laundry: whites and darks. Food: breakfast lunch dinner. People: strangers, friends. Friends: best friend, other friends. And as we grow we expound on this. High School: Jocks, Nerds, preps, cheerleaders, goths, drama geeks, band kids, officers, smart kids, debate kids, cowboy kids. People: rich, poor, fat, thin, pretty, ugly, nice, mean...etc. We put lables on things. And its pretty clear which ones are right and which ones are wrong. We know classifying someone as a "nerd" is not correct, we do it anyway, but its not right none the less. But what about the lables we create for ourselves? What about the boxes we put ourselves in? The lines we draw in the sand for ourselves that we never cross?

I have been realizing for the past little while that I created boundaries for myself without realizing it. I classified myself so specifically that there was not possible way for escape. I boxed myself in with lables. Bipolar. Homosexual. Singer. Actor. Dancer. Obsesser. Sassy bitch. Etc. Never in a million years did I think these things would trap me... but lately... i've felt trapped. I feel like its imposible for me to change or grow because I have me pinned as "the guy with a mental disorder" or "that singer guy" or "sassy gay friend." So from today I am finished trying to define who I am. Because once I define it I slap a big lable on my forhead and put myself in a box. Maybe someday I'll fall in love with a woman... not likely but you never know. Maybe someday I won't have to worry about being mildly bipolar. Maybe someday I'll get in an accident and lose my ablilty to perform. All those things are possible for me because I am ripping off my lables.

I understand that other people are going to lable me. I'm ok with that. Those lables don't restrict me. Its the ones I put on myself that keep me from reaching my full potential as a human being. So what am I? I'm a person. I love singing, acting, dancing. But I'm not A PERFORMER.  I like boys. I'm not a HOMO. I am a good listener, I'm not A THERAPIST. I like to sit at home and watch sex in the city with a bucket of chicken on occasion, but im' not A SLOB.

Why is this important? Because now my possibilities are endless. I can move in any direction. I can truly live in the moment. I can take advantage of LIFE. So really, what IS in a name? For me, its a little trap that holds me back. Keeps me from moving forward and making new discoveries.

In William Shakespeares classic "Romeo and Juliet" the thing that keeps the "star crossed lovers" from happiness is a name. A lable. "Tis but thy name that is mine enemy." Were it not for a simple lable they could have lived full and happy lives. And I let this happen to me. For example, I let my lable of "gay performer" keep me from trying new things. Who knows if I really hate all sports!? I never really tried them all because I let a lable define what I liked. I let my lable of "bipolar" give me an excuse to hide from the world and ignore friends when I felt depressed. And that is NOT acceptable to me.

So my new goal is to not let my name be my enemy. I am going to stop searching for things that DEFINE me and start experencing things without holding back.


Amanda said...

Love it.

Bonus points for using Romeo and Juliet. :D

Marci Robison said...


You are my hero. Many people can't admit stuff like this, even to themselves. Just remember something, okay? No matter how alone you feel, you are not. And even though you may feel like you are the only one with any particular problem, you are not.

It has helped me to seek out people who have had my problem and have overcome it (personally or through books on the subject or whatever). I really enjoy reading your insights. I believe in you. Have a great day!

Linda said...

Some people go through their entire lives without having the realization that they label themselves or other people. They live their whole life in that box, and putting others in their boxes. You are so young and you have already awakened and are awakening others. I am proud of you, I love you, and I continue to be amazed at the depth of your understanding of life and people.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your life like this. I really respect you for doing so.