Tuesday, 1 October 2013


And no, I'm not talking about the Dymo labels kind. Though the labels I'm talking about also have the tendency to stick. The labels I'm referring to are those that others give us. Some labels you never ask for like being "detailed'. I'm actually just thorough (there's a difference) and would prefer it if you gave me an executive summary, ideally in five bullet points or less. While others somehow become part of your identity like a self-fulfilling prophecy such as "serious" or "proper". Just because I can be and I'm mindful of my manners, doesn't mean that I don't have a wicked sense of humour or that I can't swear like a trooper (if the occasion calls for it).

Then there are the labels that we give ourselves. These are sometimes the most difficult to peel off and throw away. Here's a simple example. Just recently, I participated in a nine kilometre fun run for the second time. I used to be that plump little kid who turned my nose up at any form of physical activity, primarily because I was the one who puffed my way through a 100 metre sprint and wheezed after swimming a lap of a fifty metre pool (actually the wheezing probably started after I swam five metres). I never thought of myself as someone who runs, let alone someone who runs nine kilometres, let alone someone who now needs to run for my health, fitness, sanity and enjoyment. Despite all that, it has taken a while to shake that 'plump little kid' label and come to the realisation that things have changed.

So who am I now and what labels do I associate myself with? I look in the mirror and see a completely different person. I am:
  • A wife who thinks the world of her husband;
  • A committed family member;
  • A loyal friend;
  • A working professional who is no longer so obsessed with her career;
  • An aspiring writer;
  • An avid traveller;
  • A food fanatic;
  • A coffee snob;
  • A clothes-horse (I could probably stock a dress shop);
  • A germaphobe (never go far without my trusty anti-bacterial wipes); 
  • An accident prone person who can wreak havoc in a single bound;
  • A wannabe singer (even if I'm no good at it);
  • A recovering perfectionist; and 
  • A runner. 
I am not ashamed of any of these and proud to be all these things. As the years go by, I look forward to adding some new ones and perhaps changing a few. 

About that nine kilometre run, I actually beat my time from last year. While I am incredibly pleased by that, there's a part of me that wishes I did even better. Well I did say I was a recovering perfectionist. Some labels still find a way to stick...

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