I was born into a pile of identities: Girl, White, American, Minnesotan, and Mormon. Throughout my life, more labels collected: “A” student, Swimmer, Lifeguard, Swim Teacher, Bank Teller, High School Graduate, Missionary, Spanish Teacher, College Dropout, Certified Personal Trainer, Wife, Homeschool Mom, Apostate, Single Mom.
Which labels do you carry? Were they assigned to you, or did you choose them? What good are they to you?
I know a man who has such tiny ears that you’d imagine he’d been teased about them at some point. He has. However, he was teased about how big they were (presumably many, many years ago when his head was much smaller.) So, now he is a man with tiny ears who is embarrassed at “how large” his ears are.
This shows how a label, even if accurate at the time it was assigned, can get stuck and warp one’s “reality.”
I discovered my own labeling mistake after gliding through life- letting decisions make themselves for me based on who I had convinced myself I was. By the time I fully realized my error, I was a 40-something mother of 3, about to ask for a divorce.
20 years earlier, I went to college subconsciously working toward my “MRS” degree. I found a “good Mormon boy” to marry and then made as many Mormon babies as I could before my body rebelled in a formidable way. No longer able to make babies, I focused nearly exclusively on raising them.
I have been a Wife for 19 years, and it might hit 20 before this divorce is final. Life has been great, but I DIDN’T CHOOSE IT! My life chose me based on prescribed ideals that I had never questioned. Please don’t make the same mistake- don’t defer to the default. I am writing this blog to help you design your life.
About a year ago, I discovered the FIRE movement. It stands for Financial Independence/Retire Early. It sounds like it’s all about money, but it’s not really. You see, money is how we exchange our life energy. So, money is basically just a measurement unit that shows what we value. I learned this from Vicki Robin’s classic book, Your Money Or Your Life. I highly recommend it.
Things are changing. I make my own decisions now, based on the things I value most. You’ll learn my values if you read this blog, but we can start out by saying that I value love, tolerance, equality, generosity, and thrift. Please join me on this journey of self-discovery and life optimization. I am so excited to see what the future brings.