Harajuku snapshot, originally uploaded by manganite

When I was younger, and I suppose this is common adolescent behavior, I spent lots of time evaluating a list of labels to define "who I was."  I defined myself by what I did, or how I dressed, or who I hung out with.  It was an easy way to pick a pre-defined identity without bothering to develop a unique personality.  Bicyclist, hippie, punk, Christian, hipster, father.  Just slap on a label, and you're done.

The problem with labels is that they didn't make me a more complete person once they were applied.  To the contrary, they limited my freedom by restricting my own definition of who I was.  Gradually I'm realizing that I didn't need labels to define myself.  In fact I don't need to define myself at all.

I can just be what I am, and that is enough.

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