Am I a mother? What about a Christian? I’m a woman, but I’m also a wife. Are these the things that dictate me? Are these the labels that I must live under?
After posting my very well received blog last week, I started to really think about the labels that are me. The ones that are suppose to define who I am every day. You know what I mean right? When you tell your friend how you feel about something and they go, “Girl you’re his wife, that’s what you pose to do.” Or like when you going to a church service and you try to figure out if you need to wear a dress rather than the jeans that you have picked out. When because you are a mom, you have to remember to ALWAYS put your kid’s needs before your own.
Is this who I have become? I think back to my childhood and when I would get in trouble at home and my parents would say (and still say actually), “you are a representation of this family, you have embarrassed me by doing this.” So I guess that even as a child we are conditioned to always act and react based off of labels. I am expected to act like a mom, wife, daughter, sister, Christian, and woman. At whatever cost.
During my monthly Mastermind Meeting with other great women in my life, I was telling my truth about my day. And in telling that truth I said over and over, “I’m a wife…”. It was like because I am a wife my life was suppose to only be in service to that. I sacrificed how I felt because the label of being a wife was bigger than how I really felt. One of those powerful women at the meeting pointed out that even though I am a wife I am still a person.
That stuck with me. I’m Erica first! With that all the labels follow right under It. Because I am a Christian, Erica doesn’t lie, steal, kill, etc. Being a Christian comes with so many expectations. Some man made and some that I live by. But being Christian doesn’t mean that I don’t get to feel. I am a wife and I will always support my husband. But that doesn’t mean that when he does something to hurt me that I don’t get to be upset or express how I feel because of my position. Being a mom is just the same. The needs of my kids will always be a priority, but I have needs too. I have to learn that I am no good to them if I’m no good to myself.
I am so tired of always having conversations with people and having these labels thrown in my face. I’m sorry for all the people who live by them. But as of this day, I no longer live under the stigma of a label. From here on out, I am ME! I’m Erica. My labels have shaped me as a person and because of that they have an impact on there person that I am. But they will by no means, continue to keep me in a box.
From this day forward the only label I respond to is ERICA!