I think in words. My mind takes information in linguistic form, and this is probably why subjects like math and chemistry never came naturally to me. There’s a lot more to them than the words themselves. The problem with thinking in words is that I label everything. Everything stays in its own linguistic box. Unfortunately, people are more complicated than a combination of letters and spaces. I tend to think of myself in terms of current roles. Graduate student. Friend. Clinician. Single. But I’ve discovered that I don’t fit into that box, and the more I try to label myself, the more I’m at war within my own brain. Yes, I’m a daughter and a sister and a friend, a student and a single woman trying to be comfortable with that fact. But my goodness, I am so much more. I am passionate and capable of so much more than any label could dictate. I may be an emotional train wreck, but I have a great capacity for love and empathy. My bleeding heart may make some events tougher on me, but it also gives me this huge advantage in dealing with people. I’m intelligent, and I love learning. I’m neurotic and a little paranoid, but I have a good head on my shoulders. While I may hold myself to a ridiculous standard, I always manage to accomplish my goals.

And this is all just a mass of words, a linguistic description of an entity who is so much more than a label. I don’t fit in a box. No human does. My life does not consist of roles I serve in the lives of other people. I am a person unto myself, and that in itself is worthy of respect. Everyone deserves to be treated with compassion and integrity simply by virtue of being human. We don’t have to earn that privilege. Don’t take advantage of someone just because you can. People aren’t playthings; they have thoughts and feelings of their own. I’m learning to respect my own feelings and myself as a human. I don’t need to let people take advantage of me simply because I like to take care of people. I’m worth more than a bored text message, and you are too.