Celia Smith – Assistant Editor-In-Chief
For a long time, I struggled with figuring out how to define myself. In my mind, I felt like it had to be black and white. Over the past few years, I’ve come to realize that social labels are so misleading.
I have a love hate relationship with being labeled. On the one hand, being labeled makes me feel like I fit in with a group of like-minded individuals. Labels can make us feel less alone and feel like we belong. But on the other hand, labels can put us in a box. Labels can give us preconceptions of how we should act, what we should wear, what our interests and talents should be and even what kind of music we should listen to. Others expect us to be a certain way simply because of the label they slap on us.
Personally, I’ve found labels to be pretty problematic. I feel that when I am labeled, I tend to steer away from who I really am and jump into this infatuation with whatever everyone else in my so-called “group” is interested in. But, people are complex and it’s pretty much impossible to sum up a person in one word.
That isn’t to say that I’m a perfect person, it’d be hypocritical to say that I never use labels to describe myself or other people. I do embrace parts of certain labels; I mean I’ve spent the past two issues obsessing over gothic subcultures and even wrote a column about my newly discovered emo-hood.
If you know me, you probably know that I’m basically always a giant frantically chaotic mess. My mind is constantly in overdrive, thoughts springing to my mind faster than I can write them down or even remember them. I think I have more ideas in my mind than I’ll ever have time to express or sort through. I enjoy having this creative flow, even though it can be overwhelming and a huge factor behind my anxiety.
I’ve always felt a bit out of the ordinary. Growing up, my mom always told me that I “live in my own little world.” I mean, I think its safe to say that all kids live in their own world, but I just don’t think I ever really grew out of that. I tend to be more infatuated with what’s going on in my own mind than in the world around me. I’ve felt that labels have always held me back from being who I truly am. I’ve never felt that there has been a label that I fully and truly resonate with, I feel that my idenity is based off of a million little pieces of a puzzle, rather than one broad term.
In my experience, I’ve always felt like people have seen this as a negative thing. I think the people I’ve encountered throughout my life so far that have really made a difference are those who admire and encourage my eccentrics, rather than criticize and judge me for them. The best kinds of human beings are those who accept others for who they are and encourage their “weirdness,” rather than treat them as “freaks.”
As I’ve become more comfortable with my own sense of self, I’ve kind of come up with my own label to describe the collage of labels that I am, I’m just a “Celia.”
I enjoy living in my own world. The past few years I’ve discovered that I really like it here; I’m a lot more comfortable in my own skin than I used to be. I’m okay with not conforming to what everyone expects me to be. I’m okay with being eccentric and free spirited. Being in my own world doesn’t mean I’m out of touch with reality, it just means that I see reality a little differently.
Celia Smith, a senior, studies Studio Art and English. She is the Assistant Editor-In-Chief of Le Provocateur.