Monday, 1 October 2012


Today's focus is on labels.
Now, just in case you think you may have inadvertently stumbled onto a sartorially savvy fashionista site by mistake - and are hastily checking your clothing/bags/items in general for their worthiness or otherwise - let me hasten to reassure you it's not those sort of labels I have in mind.

Though society is, indeed, always trying to pigeon-hole us in terms of what we wear, or by our appearance, actions, words and deeds. It can become very wearying trying to figure out just what we might be representing by such things.

Perhaps it's easier by far to opt out and try not to reveal our tastes, interests or desires?

After all, who wants to be held up to potential public scrutiny or ridicule?

When I joined Twitter I hesitated for a bit over my 'profile'. How do you sum up the essence of yourself in a few choice words? An impossible task, or so it seemed.

Unlike the labels pictured above, our 'labels' do not give 100% information about who we are

Believe it or not, it was especially difficult to admit to being an M.E sufferer - mainly because I have tried for many years not to let the fact that I have M.E define who I am. It was already a creeping, invasive leach on my energy and strength - a sapper of stamina and stealer of all career hopes and dreams. 

Why should I allow it to steal my identity as well? But now, I am glad I was persuaded to add it to the picture because it has opened a door for expressing the side of me as someone who has Chronic Illness and is living and thriving despite and (more bizarrely perhaps) because of it.

Twenty years of life cannot be ignored or swept away - sharing is more profitable than hiding

In having M.E I am well placed to describe its affects, discuss its limitations, sympathise and empathise with other sufferers - and 'trace the rainbow through the rain' in terms of coping with it. This perspective is, sadly, far from unique. 

But, although there are certain shared cardinal symptoms, each person's journey is different and the experience of living with and dealing with it will be their own.

In my poetry and in this blog I am endeavouring to share myself - warts and all - with the aim to connect, enlighten,  inform and hopefully reveal the unexpected fruit of creativity that being virtually housebound has unleashed in me -  and which I now unleash on you, 'Dear Reader' (or 'Accidental Tourist' here perhaps - and very welcome all the same!) Oops, I'm at it too. Labelling you already - sorry.

If I was being pigeon-holed and put into a box by others then I would want it to be like this picture

Don't we all deserve to be handled in this manner?

That is not to say we consider ourselves too delicate, weak or fragile to be given due consideration or respect. Being spoken to or treated condescendingly is never a good thing. It's the 'handle with care' aspect that is applicable to us all in terms of being non-judgemental and accepting of one another.

Yet so many of us have been given labels we neither want nor deserve or we pin them on ourselves to explain to others what we feel we are or what we have done

Looking back at my own 'profile' a few months down the line I wonder if it still fits me? Well, I am still a wife, mother, ME sufferer, avid reader (energy and time allowing), poet, blogger, communicator and full-time follower of Jesus. All present and correct - even if the boundaries between the various roles and interests are blurred at times.

Yet the full essence of who I am is not caught in a few words, any more than is true for you

Some days various facets of my life and personality demand priority.

In an effort to respect this (and avoid the label of 'predictable') I am spreading out my interests.

So you may see my tweets or click to read this blog and find just the poet in residence.

Another time it will be the communicator, deep thinker and reflector.

A person keen to share her spiritual journey.

Then again you may find the M.E sufferer touching base with you.

Perhaps the encourager or exhorter will appear.

Or the woman with a sense of fun and humour

It may be a mixture of them all on any given day.

Whatever it may be, I am still being true to myself and will be encouraging you to keep it real too.

Hopefully I will have got you thinking. There will be more on this topic to come.

Perhaps you are fighting to get rid of a 'label' - self-imposed or otherwise - or really want to gain a new one?

Please feel free to share your thoughts here


  1. I wonder if sometimes we label ourselves and in doing so we put limits on ourselves? Sometimes I put a label on my personality, or abilities and so put myself down and limit what I can achieve in God's strength. I am a child of God is a good place to start giving myself a label I think!

    1. You are right in your assessment, Lynda. This post was written to open up the topic of labelling and how it isn't necessarily the best way to define ourselves. The label you have chosen is one I am happy to share and will be writing more about in the near future!