Labels

Have you ever felt like you struggled to fit in? All through junior high and high school I felt that way. I’ m not sure which group you would have classified me in. I certainly was not part of the popular crowd, nor did I belong with the jocks. I also wouldn’t have put myself in with the geeks. For awhile I would have said I hung out with what I’ll dub as the Bible thumpers. So where did I belong? I have no clue.

Growing up I always had friends. That wasn’t an issue. For me it was more trying to figure out my own identity. I felt shy, especially when put outside my comfort zone.

In high school I decided I really wanted to play basketball. It was for my own sake, not to try and find new friends. I eventually made the team, and at times I felt awkward. I felt as though I kept to myself and simply observed those around me and gave it my all when I was allowed to play.

Once I moved away to attend university, I knew I needed to make friends. I found a student club I was interested in, and decided I simply was going to be myself. I did end up having a bit of an identity crisis here as well. It was an international student club and the majority of people came from strong ethnic backgrounds. They weren’t of the Heinz 57 variety as myself. Yes I can identify my ethnic background, yet I identified myself as simply being Canadian. I had no fancy dance or costume, I had the flag.

We tend to rely on labels too much. Instead we need to first act like ourselves and be confident in who we are. Second, we need to accept people as individuals and stop trying to fit them into a particular mould. Be friendly and be happy. Have a fantastic weekend!

J

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