I've recently thought a lot about identity, how we identify ourselves, others and how others identify us. I hate being labelled and yet I do it to myself indirectly all the time.

Have you ever tried to sit down and describe yourself in one word? I don't mean airy adjectives, I mean how do you describe yourself to someone who doesn't know you when you first meet them. What's on your Twitter profile? Who are you?

marshallexi on Twitter

I think this is probably a pretty good simple representation of who I am (especially that last sentence) but I'm aware I've used some geographical locations in there, mostly for a rhyming purpose, but still, that is defining me.

So who the hell am I? What am I? What are my labels?


There's my history in one word - Yorkshire. Born and raised Yorkshire to Irish and English parents. Dig a little deeper and my Yorkshire side can be traced back to my Danish ancestors who invaded in the 9th Century. That ancestry is an important part of me; it's what named me (my family name is Danish in origin) and it's where my lovely blonde hair came from. 

I've also slowly moved myself down the UK; from Yorkshire via Worcestershire for a decade and then to London in the last decade. I identify as someone who lives in London but isn't a Londoner, which is odd but I like to keep that seperation there. Maybe I'm just really proud of my roots or maybe I'm less inclined to identify with the locals. I don't know, I just feel right in London, it feels like my home city, so maybe I'm a Londoner after all. 

I like to think I'm also a product of the places I've travelled. Italy for my love of pasta and prosecco, Chicago for my love of hot dogs and sandwiches, New York City for my busy city lifestyle, Greece for my love of sunshine and summer days ... every adventure that I've had impacts on my person, like stamps in a passport. 

Florence is my happy place

I never identify my career on social networks but that's because working life and social life do not cross paths and that's just my personal preference. I've had many different jobs. I have a career but I identify myself as a writer more than anything else. But what about everything else that I do with my time?

Sci-fi nerd who reads a lot. I love learning and have a really hungry mind. I love theatre and live music. I dance everyday even if it's just in the kitchen whilst making coffee. I'm a feminist who is passionate about equality. I love science, in particular astronomy and love gazing up at the night sky. I read tarot cards and think I'm very intuitive in myself and with others. All these things make up shards of my personality, but no one thing defines me wholly. So you like science and then go all woo-woo with your tarot cards, Alex? Yes I do. Yes I do.


Then there's how the outside world view my physical appearance. I'm just me, so I can't think of a word that describes my appearance - blonde is probably most accurate - we could throw it out to the media. Am I fat? Thin? Average? Curvy? Normal? Still, this wouldn't define me, it'd just be someone else's words used to fit me into a box which makes them comfortable. Is that all labels are? 

When it comes to my writing I opened that up a few years ago. I qualified in diet & nutrition in 2013 and for a long time I identified as a health & wellbeing blogger. I stepped away from this as I felt it was starting to take over my life and I had so many other aspects of me that I wanted to focus on, not just being the one who was 'always on a diet'. I choose 'lifestyle blogger' if I must do, but even then I'm being vague. The idea of having this blog was to have somewhere I can write about anything I wish to do so. I prefer it that way. You should see how long it takes me to design blog business cards - eventually all I wanted to say was hello!

Moo Mini Cards

I've not even touched on other things that people use to define themselves, like marital status and offspring because I find that weird. I don't want to be defined as 'wife of' or 'mother of' when it comes to my personal business. I want to keep my individuality as it's something which is really important to me, not give it to someone else. I can take someone's surname at marriage if I wish but that doesn't change who I am. 

Recently I've been made aware of political identity, which we can thank the General Election for. As I'm a protest voter I don't really have a political identity as I don't agree wholeheartedly with any of the political parties on offer but plenty do, Twitter showed me that daily!

There's really not a one word answer to who am I?. There's so many parts of me that I can't label myself as one thing and I'd hate to have to do so. I'm so much. I'm everything at once. You can't even psychologically label me - I'm not even and introvert or an extrovert - I'm a mash-up of both

Next time you label someone or even try to label yourself, sit and think it through first, you might be surprised at the amount of labels you could want to wear or force someone else to against their wishes and your better judgement. Just be you and just accept others as just as they wish to be as well. 


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1 comment:

  1. Such a great post! I think people are so quick to 'label' others these days. Also, its surprising how few people could actually identify themselves.