Please Don’t Label Me

Please don’t label me

Let me grow up tall

Let me choose for myself

Who I want to be

I was labelled a difficult baby

Subsequently so, a child

Then an awkward teenager

An adult with disorders of the mind

I don’t like labels

If I am labelled

It adds to my load

Emotional baggage

Which goes charging

Through my life

Like a buffalo

In the Wild West

Or like a stranger entering

The Last Chance Saloon

To encounter a low-life

A corrupt villain with a blade

Who stares me out

As the midday sun gleams

And catches my eye

Through semi-closed shutters

Let me choose

Whether I live or die

If I choose to live

Let it be my decision

Don’t pin me down

Or tie me to a post

With shackles and chains

And take my options away

Don’t take my choice away

Don’t take my voice away

Let me shout out loud

My opinion counts

Let me run free

Across the dusty plains

Let me choose who I am

Don’t label me.

(Photo by Erwan Hesry on Unsplash)

39 thoughts on “Please Don’t Label Me

  1. Sounds like the inner energies are changing and you are finding freedom!

    1. Thank you, Tamara. I wrote this poem with slightly different thoughts in my mind. Your previous advice is always so helpful and wise and I appreciate you sharing your expertise with me. Have a great day. Xx 🌹💕

      1. Thank you, Tamara. Hope you are having a good day today. Thank you for all your advice. I will still be learning from your books as they are full of so much sense and wise advice and direction. Xx 💖

      2. Wow, that makes happy to hear! For you I’m happy you are able to extract valuable information for your journey, and for me it helps me see my value as a teacher and a writer. Keep going!

    1. Thank you so much, Brian. That’s kind of you to say. Thank you for liking my poem – I appreciate that a lot. Hope you have a good day. I’ll try and catch with your post from yesterday if I can, although you’ll have to forgive me as I’ve got my final therapy session this afternoon and really don’t know how I’ll cope till later on. I always enjoy your posts, too.

  2. I have a problem where I label myself. I’m such a black and white thinker, I can only be one thing at once. A runner, a writer, an alcoholic, a touretter. I think you do an admirable job of not labeling yourself.

    1. I’ve always been told I thought only in black and white, too. I have different, but kind labels when I’m being a Mum, a Nanny, a sister, a friend, but perhaps, less so kind ones as a writer, as an opinion of myself etc. I’m just trying something one of my very knowledgeable readers suggested about being kind to myself. I don’t feel much like it right now with my therapy ending this afternoon, but hope this will be something I can incorporate into my life as time goes on. Thanks for your comment, Jeff.

  3. You know I love to read your poetry, but you also know I love to read between the lines. Again, I would like you to change one line for me — well, because one certain line occurs twice, I want you to change the second occurence, the last line of the poem. Just remove one word, and read it again. Out loud. See if it feels better. If you have to, give it a minute, maybe a second reading, out loud.
    Please, try taking away the “Please.” Try this:
    Let me choose who I am.
    Don’t label me!

    Did that change the way you read the second last line? Did it put the emphasis on the word “me”? I certainly hope it did.

    1. I appreciate that you like my poetry, J and that you read between the lines, as you very often find something in my words that, perhaps, I can’t see at the time of writing. I have changed that last line and will read it aloud a few more times to see if it sounds more direct. ‘Don’t label me’ as opposed to ‘Please don’t label me’ has more assertiveness to it, and is more empowering. You make some good points about my work. You know me well, J. As I said earlier, I appreciate your blogging friendship. 💜💕💙💕💚💕💛

      1. The assertiveness was what I saw “could be.” I just wasn’t sure you wanted to be assertive so I hesitated to even mention it.
        But in the end I figured, it was your choice to ignore me or not. I like an assertive you.
        Good luck seeing Chris today. I hope that worked out well for you.

  4. We are all such complex characters, it’s ridiculous to label us. Even the labels we give ourselves tie us down and hold us back. In reality we should be able to focus in on whichever facet of our character we wish to bring to the fore.

    1. You are quite right, Mick. You make a very good point about not even labelling ourselves. I would have said I have different labels for being a Mum, a Nanny, a friend, a sister etc., but I think you are right in that this is better looked at as a facet of our character at any given time. Thanks for your wise comment, Mick.

      1. In my own case, I find it useful to remember this on those days I feel frustrated at an inability to be creative, or when I find I’m wanting to do or be something I usually reject (sorry if that doesn’t make much sense).

  5. Once again, great poem. I can identify as a very lonely child who was bullied and never fitting in with anyone growing up. Girls didn’t like me either. But the good thing about age is you don’t have to let other people’s baggage be yours.

    1. Thank you, Brian. It sounds like we both had a tough time at school with bullying and not fitting in. Boys didn’t like me, but then, neither did the girls – I was I was a weed and useless. I was always the last child to be picked for the school sports’ teams. Thank you for that last sentence – you are quite right. Take care, my friend.

  6. Brilliant. Yes! Nobody should have to live by the labels assigned to them by family, schools, friends, even complete strangers. Every person is a unique blend and the trick is to see the beauty and celebrate our differences! May you be able to wipe off those labels given to you, like a chalkboard, and write new ones for yourself. You get to say who you are.

    1. Thank you, Bridgette. Your comment makes me think of your precious daughter and her difficulties. She too, is unique and beautiful, just like you. Labels are for tins of beans, not people. Thank you for your kindness. Xx 💓🤗💕

  7. Absolutely powerful poem, Ellie. What resounded with me was that you were crying out to not be silenced; that you wanted to make your own choices and not be chained down by labels.

    Probably not the right response considering your heartfelt post but I have labels for you, my friend:
    Talented writer
    Compassiomate Empath
    Beautiful inside and out

    Sending you lots of love ❤️

    1. Thank you so much for the kindest of words, Janet. I love that you’ve given me new labels, and very touched by those that you’ve chosen. I think the one I identify with most is Warrior. Sometimes I feel like my life has been one long battle, and although every day isn’t always easy, I’m mostly in a better place and fighting tooth and nail to stay that way. Much love to you, also, my friend. Xx 🌷💖🌼💝

    1. Thank you for reading and being kind enough to leave me a comment, Sedge. Labels belong on cans or clothes, not on people. Thank you, too, for liking a couple of my other recent posts. It’s appreciated.

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