The problem with politics and activism is that they encourage you to take up positions - to avoid evaluating situations (and people) as you find them, because there's a set ideology that you are supposed to espouse as a tory, greenpeacer, Christian, etc etc.
Throughout my life, I have found labels to be very comforting, but I am realizing a need to move beyond them. I met a guy once who told me that I couldn't be a feminist because my father walked me down the aisle when I got married. This man had got his definition of feminism, I believe, from Foucault (another man). I was deeply offended. Several times, people have assumed I was a vegetarian, because I "look like a vegetarian." I was deeply amused. I was just discussing this with Melissa. Apparently, people are often surprised she doesn't eat meat, because she "doesn't look like a vegetarian." Apparently vegetarians don't wear make=up?
Anyway, from the ridiculous to the laughable, these experiences of having other people label me has encouraged me to look at the way I label myself, at the pigeon-hold I put myself in. When I was a teenager, and into university, I thought of myself as artsy. Then I went to law school, and realized that I have a very logical sequenced brain (or else my indoctrination was so complete that my brain was rewired through the process . . .). My image of who I was, where I fit, kept me from experiences that I was fully capable of, and being able to offer my talents to the fullest to causes that I care about.
When I lived in Scotland, it was the first time I removed myself from everything I knew. It wasn't so much that travelling was a chance to reinvent myself as some kind of wild and crazy party animal, but it was, as cliche as it sounds, a chance to find myself. I could strip away all of the identifications that I was scared to leave behind, because they were what people at home knew me as and counted on me to be = and I examined who I really was. What I believed. What I liked. What I wanted. It was scary - I almost lost my faith. But I came out stronger, and by being willing to self=examine, I realized that being honest with myself was worth disappointing, and maybe even losing, people I cared about. I didn't lose anyone, but gained a precedent of honesty and trust in my relationships.
So, since then, I've realized that being honest with myself involves seeing myself as a very multi-faceted individual. I don't fit into pigeon holes, and I guess I don't fit into a group that can be defined or identified by their clothing or the muic they listen to or what they do for a living. I am a thinking and caring (most of the time) human being, in all of my contradictions - and I pray for the courage to look beyond the labels and treat every person I meet as the same.