For a long time, whenever someone would ask me what my religion is(which comes up more often than you’d think) I’d usually just say, “I’m a recovering Catholic.” It usually got a polite chuckle but more importantly, it gave me a chance to dodge the question. Only a small part of that was uncertainty about my faith. Mostly, I’d answer that way because I really dislike labeling myself.
It’s not that I hate labeling people in general. It’s nearly impossible NOT to. I do it all the time to other people and I’m sure they do it to me. I’m ok with that part. My issue is how I see myself. How I label and categorize me. I can’t consider myself a part of a group, idea, movement, whatever until I know as much as possible about it.
It’s like trying to find that elusive “perfect” pair of jeans. You have try on a hundred pairs before you find the ones that you like most. And even then, they may not be perfect. So you’re happy with this pair for now, but you’ll always be on the look out for a potential replacement. That’s how I feel about the labels I’ve chosen to put on myself. I try them on, see how they fit my lifestyle and belief system.
I guess my point with this particular ramble is basically this: shop around for an ideology/group/movement/whatever that fits you. Don’t force your lifestyle to fit your label. And before you buy into a particular label, try to know as much as possible about it. Try it on. You wouldn’t buy a pair of jeans that gave you camel toe, muffin top, made your ass look fat and made you feel miserable when you wore ’em – would you? So why would you “wear” an ideology that does the same to your personality and how you feel about yourself?