you are made up of bones filled full of sun juice. Pulse pulse pulse goes your heart and whoosh go your lungs with the in and out, in and out. You've got arms and legs and you were raised by grown up man cubs that taught you how to be a man cub kinda like the rest of us. You eat cereal probably, you have a desk maybe, you have a fetish for wheat thins or maybe a core metal band. You like your hair in a bun, or maybe you shaved your head. Maybe you've got posters on your walls and sweaty sports gear piled in your closet. Maybe you have blue eyes or green ones or brown ones that have green flecks mixed in. Or maybe one is a different color than the other one.

You're a mixed bag. You are a mosh pit of growing pains and squinting at the road signs trying to figure out where the heck you're going.

You're a drifter, a stumbler, an in and out breather and you're digging through the labels like

"Which ones mine??"

And labels can be anything. Labels can be a condition or a career, or they can be a number on the scale in your bathroom, or a set of letters that tell you whether you're "outgoing" or "introspective". Labels can be the band tee shirts or the Twitter bio or how you judge the appearance of your Instagram feed. It can be the food you eat or how many countries you've been to or whether you stutter or not. It can be clothing. It can be gauges. It could be what school you went to, or where you come from.

They are all shards of this world and I want to pick them up and admire them in the sun because clothes and bands and food and style and the way we carry ourselves can all be beautiful bits and pieces of all this life around us.

But when we become the clothes or the food or the numbers or letters or how many people like our photos, we're shrinking like Alices in our own Wonderland's to fit the stickers we're plastering to our foreheads.

Fan of _______

I have followers on Instagram and I've taken Myer's Briggs and I'm a fan of various things. I've done all of that, but I come to this keyboard on my phone in the backseat limping— dragging a broken leg —because so often I let these nouns become adjectives that I identify with to the point of that— that four letter combination or that clique or that way I dress —actually become who I am.

I'm introverted
I'm extroverted
I'm shy
I'm loud
I dress this way
I run
I have freckles
I drive this kind of car
I went to this school

We are not the cars we drive, and there are far more than 16 personalities out there. Every time I've taken Myer's Briggs I get a different result. Because sometimes I want to be around everyone and sometimes I'm nothing beyond a hermit.

So what?

We are loud and quiet. We can lead conversations and also be wallflowers. We can play sports or be in the limelight or give lectures and at the same time feel like awkward, geeky man cubs.

So what?

A test doesn't define us. Neither does where we grew up, or whether we've traveled. The "aesthetic" of our faces or our pages or our names isn't us.

If I had no followers on Instagram and if Myers Briggs didn't exist and if all my clothes were burned and if my favorite band went off the deep end I would still be me. And I would still want to feel

like I was myself.

Cars and music and "personality types" are ok nouns but lousy adjectives. Because if we woke up somewhere else tomorrow morning with a headful of permanent amnesia, we would still be


Us without all of that.

we are students. We're treading water and wearing long sleeve shirts and listening to rock music and doing ballet and eating tacos and dealing with acne and riding in the back of cars and getting nervous and afraid about stupid stuff and important stuff. We like to be with people and we like to be alone and talking is difficult and easy and we lead and follow and we're squinting at road signs trying to figure this out.

We're learning, we're learning, we're learning and we don't need the

stickers on our foreheads

to tell us what we are and what we are capable of. I just want to keep reaching and learning and peeling off the barcodes. Because I am quiet and loud. I am zxyt. I am

treading water.

I am keeping my head up.

I am.