On labels

via Etsy
Do you have this urge to categorize, classify and label everything in your life?

“I’m an introvert, he’s a OCD, we’re a couple.”

Because I definitely do.  I’m a <bit> of a control freak and labeling things lets me put this crazy world in some type of perspective.  Labeling everything allows me to try and make some sense of it all.  Obviously I’m not alone in this feeling as Facebook has over 10 categorizations for “Relationship Status.”  Clearly people feel a need to define what is going on and make it clear to everyone else as well.  With Instagram and Twitter, you feel more in the know with little hashtags giving you the labels around something, like you have a little bit more context.  Even this blog post has a label (you’re welcome control freaks).

But what if you mislabel things?  What if your need to define and categorize everything gets in the way of what the purpose of that thing is?  What if you spend your nights, much like in middle school and high school, having DTR* talks with everything in your life?  Do you toss and turn trying to slot everything into a mental cubbyhole in your mind?

Recently, I’ve been trying to let it go.  To not focus so much on calling things by their appropriate names but by what they are, even at the time.  And maybe in my head, those things are still bouncing around, trying to find a cubbyhole but not succeeding (it’s like mental musical chairs up in here).  But since letting go of that manic need, it’s surprising how much time I have left to enjoy things, just for what they are instead of worrying about where they belong.  It has been a hard habit to change and I still have a long way to go.  But maybe someday in the near future, I’ll be able to put down the mental labelmaker I have and just let everything be.

*Define The Relationship for those of you not familiar with teenage-speak


  1. Oh Rooth, why must you make me think??? You know I'm no good at that! :)

    Do I label things? Yes, I have to admit I do. But I don't spend too much time thinking about 99% of them (thinking = hard). However, that 1% can be kind of pesky...and that's okay, those are the important things that matter most to me. It's upsetting when I get one one of those wrong.

    Thanks for the definition. I thought DTR stood for don't trust relatives. :)

  2. Love your blog! Maybe we could follow each other on bloglovin or GFC? Please leave me a comment or follow me and I will follow you =)



  3. Rooth, totally understand what you're saying. I'm like you. I like to define things too. I guess coz so many things in life are out of our control, that I feel like labelling puts some sort of order into things. Sigh...letting go of this habit is a hard one indeed.
    Hope you're having a fab weekend so far:)

  4. Not any longer, I was worse when I was younger. It´s a relief not doing it as much nowadays. :-)

  5. same here. exactly the same here. but I've started to let go, too. and re: facebook... I wan't them to introduce 'none of your business' as a relationship status!!

  6. I agree that categorizing makes things easier and it's really hard to let go. Maybe you could have an "undefined" label so you have labeled it but not placed it in a box it might not fit.

  7. Hmm. . . now that you mention, I do tend to categorize. I haven't really thought about it before . . . now I'm probably going to be all neurotic about it. So. Thanks for that . . . :)

  8. I have a similar sort of problem with being too critical of others. I'm not quite sure if it's related to your DTR-compulsion, but I guess we can all hope that with some conscious effort we can improve ourselves :)

  9. Life would be easier if everything were black and white and everything fit neatly into a category or label. Obviously, life's not black and white, and everything is in multiple categories. I've learned it best after having my son. At first, I wanted to label or categorize him as fast or slow in developing/reaching milestones. Then I realized that was silly because every kid is truly different.


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