Label Maker: Real

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I can’t be anything other than what I am. I don’t wear “fake.” I’m not the type of girl that will smile and pretend to be your BFF and then tell everyone what a terrible person you are. It’s just not in me.

There’s several levels to this personality trait. I’m not a social person, but I don’t view being sociable as counter-intuitive. It’s good etiquette. Therefore, I normally behave as one ought. I’m helpful and courteous by default, even if I don’t like you. Because, ultimately, you’re a human and you deserve that kindness.

Where this largely comes into play is after a relationship, a bond, or even trust is broken. The husband tells me that I hold grudges, but honestly I simply agree with Mr. Darcy, “My good opinion once lost is lost for ever.”
Life is too short, and my energy is too precious, to spend it on people that have shown their true personalities. It’s not that I’m unforgiving; I’ve just become wary of insincerity and weary of the drama.

Another way this manifests is through my interactions with others. I have what I call a Reflective Personality, meaning you get what you give. This is a latent personality quirk. Without trying, I treat you exactly as you treat me. I can’t fake it. It just is.

The final way, and likely most relevant to you, readers, is through my creativity. Ultimately, if I’m not feeling it, you’re not getting it. Which is why I will sometimes go dark on this blog. I may disappear. I may not post for weeks. Ii just can’t share something that is forced or feels less than genuine.

So, I’m real. As Popeye would put it, “I yam what I yam.” What makes you real?

Label Maker: Wonder

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BBEricaWonderThe more I explore these labels, the more I find different facets of my personality. This one has the balance of kind of always being there, yet I’ve never really thought much about it. The word, “wonder,” has such an exquisite meaning. It feels full and beautiful, and altogether inspiring. None of that ever really felt like me, but it is exactly me.

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GUEST POST – Label Maker: Not Other’s Half

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When my friend Erica asked me to write a label maker I was so pleased by the invitation. Then my brain crashed! I’ve been always against labels, at least as much as I can. I’m not saying that I don’t use/wear them. That would make me a liar. However, I grew up surrounded by them, being harassed by them. But I made it through, and successfully I must say. Not bragging, just saying.
Nevertheless, for this post I’ll choose the one that changed my perspective of life. For the purpose of this post I am going to call it “Not other’s half”. Why? Well, since I was a teenager I heard everybody looking for their “other half”. However, thinking logically, if you are looking for your “other half” it implies automatically that you are an incomplete being. I never felt that way whatsoever. I grew up knowing that I always have to keep improving myself. Therefore, any change will be up to me, any decision or move will be based on my best interest and not someone else’s. So why should I be looking for a part that I did not feel I was missing? Weird when everybody seems to be looking for it. I know it sounds cocky but that is how I feel every time I hear that phrase. No more than a negative social tag, created to make us believe that dependency is OK. But it is NOT.
Now I am not a teenager anymore, and I am pretty sure that the way I trained myself made me the person I am. I have tried all I wanted without fear for failure or to disappoint others than me. I experimented with every aspect that I could in my life: my career options, the people around me, and even the people I dated to, and so on. I was obviously the “black sheep”, always running against everything. I became a sort of outcast in a society full of “incomplete” people looking for another half. People used to look at me with a shocking face, even with a disapproving face because I could not create any link with them because I was not in tune with them. All of these little issues just because I decided to change my perspective of life, and stop believing in a simple social construction/phrase.
Thanks to this change, I am the person that I am today. I think that I have achieved a lot of the goals I set for myself, and it does not stop. I am a successful person, I truly believe so (this is the key; I do not need my “other half” to tell me so). I am in a very happy place in my life, not my comfort zone but the place that challenges me every day. I have the partner I wanted (every single thing in my check list_), a loving family, a great group of friends (not a best friend), I live my life at its fullest, I enjoy traveling, I enjoy learning, I enjoy smiling, I enjoy teaching, I enjoy being a whole and not others half.

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This post was graciously submitted by my dear friend, Leo.

Label Maker: Geek

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BBErica.geekLet me preface this post with the caveat that the word “geek” here does not mean what you think it means. Yes, I just quoted Inigo Montoya. I’ve been watching Criminal Minds, so I guess Mandy Patinkin has wormed his way into my subconscious. Continue reading

Label Maker: Educator

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BBErica.educatorStanding before tables that are knee-high (at best). Looking into little faces: some eyes wide with wonder, others gleaming with joyful shenanigans dancing in their heads. This is the spotlight for a teacher. It is both thrilling and draining. It carries with it an untold amount of stress and gratification. The balance is tough to achieve and even more difficult to maintain. That is why I am not a teacher. I’ve been to the brink and back. However, I still live with the heart of an educator. That beat is as strong and rhythmic as ever.  Continue reading

Label Maker: Defective

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Imagine walking along and finding an oil lBBErica.defectiveamp sticking out from the dirt and rubble of a nearby urban decay. You pick it up and dust off the debris, a plume escapes the spout and a person stands before you. This person offers you wishes, anything you desire, and as you gaze at your reflection in the lamp in a moment of introspection you notice the scars again.

These scars have always been there. They are the remnants of a defect you had at birth, and their existence has caused continual strife. Would you wish them away? Would you spend one of those precious wishes to live the rest of your life without the reminder and the ridicule? That’s a scenario I’ve often pondered. And while I consider the choice, I have to say I’d keep the scars.

They have always been there. Sometimes they stand out in stark relief, while other times they fade into the white noise of life moving forward. Whether they are a focal point or a forgotten remnant, the scars are a part of me, and living without them is not something I’d ever choose to do.

I was born with a cleft lip and cleft palate. Specific details of my early days elude me because my family never really gave me many. I know I had my first reconstructive surgery at four months of age and my final one (so far) was the summer of my 16th year. It completely shaped my childhood. It continues to affect my life as an adult as well, even as recently as last week.

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Label Maker: Woman

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First of all, my apologies for being away so very long, dear readers. With school starting once again, I’ve returned to work. Work leaves me too weary to blog, and I’ve only just adjusted to the new schedules in my home. I appreciate you sticking with me during it all.

I don’t often like to speak about myself as a woman simply because the label has become a seesaw of identity. To discuss life as a woman is often seen as either an excuse to whine about inequality or a chance to prove the opposite. I would rather ignore both of those.

For the most part, the label “woman” for me is simply biological. Women have different anatomy, of course, but understanding our chemistry and other biological differences are far more interesting to me than the superficial “attitude” of being a woman.

The main thing we can look at is the brain. Men and women’s brains work very differently. While men, on average, have more volume, women seem to have faster connections. So comparing the two is like comparing the RAM of a CPU to the processor. Furthermore, women are more adept at language and problem solving, while men seem to be more skilled with spatial relations and socializing. Interesting that women are the better communicators and men are better at engaging in social conversation…

Our body chemistry is another way we are different. Women naturally produce more oxytocin than men. Oxytocin is a chemical that encourages attachment and bonding. It’s produced during specific times in childbirth and infant care for women to help the parental bond grow. Men and women also produce the drug during intense feelings of love or jealousy. In recent studies, this chemical has shown different effects among the genders. Women use it to build relationships, while men can use it to identify competitors to better secure their relationships.

This information may not be new to you, and I don’t share it to box anyone in. This is meant to help us understand our differences. For example, I know I am not the most confident driver. (Right now, one of my relatives is laughing…) But knowing that allows me to strengthen those skills. Understanding my quirks and nuances allows me to better adapt for what I need.

There are many ways that men differ from women. Stereotypes abound. However, our diversity makes life interesting. I don’t view myself as trying to compensate for not being male. Nor do I view men as being less than women. I think the only way we can truly be equal is by admitting just how different we are.