Monday, July 22, 2013

The Thing About Labels

Three years ago I transitioned from saying, "I'm a Department Manager at Nordstrom," to "I'm in Grad school." Each time I said it I felt a little less naked, careerless.

A year in, I took a trip to London, and in getting to know two people I'm now lucky to call friends, I was asked what I was going to do. "I'm a writer. I want to write," I replied. The words were still new to my mouth, sticky like caramel, resistant to dissolve and sticking to the back of my throat. I imagined the stickiness in my words wasn't apparent as I chewed them out.

Three years have passed and I'm now left with the label, "I'm a writer," and I find that this is one of the labels I've enjoyed the most. I want to wrap myself in all its letters and cozy into them like an over-sized blanket. I want to knit the multi-colored blanket larger with my own words and stories until I'm completely surrounded by them. I want to breath and live with only the sounds of pens etching words into paper and the clicking of fingers against keys. In a world of labels: Gucci, Christian Dior, Lawyer, Mother, Brother, Teacher, Wife, I've found something more than just a label. I've found a love of words and books and the worlds they create.



When I was seventeen a gypsy woman in the streets of San Francisco offered to read my palm for free.

"One question,"she said. Her deep voice sounded like knees against gravel.

I presented my right palm to her, "I want to know about love," I said.

She looked at my palm and cupped it between her warm wrinkled brown hands and nodded, bobbing her head up and down, gold hoop earrings shaking

"You have a writers hand," she said and released it. The ocean air cool against the back of my hand left hanging in the air.

"But I wanted to know about love," I said wrinkling my nose and pushing my palm in her face.

She looked at me and laughed, eyes shinning, and called out to the next passerby, "Want to know your future?  

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