Labels are for Cans, but Language is for People

I had a teacher tell me once that labels were for cans. As a little middle schooler desperately trying to fit in by denouncing labels (fighting the proverbial man, if you will,) I adopted this phrase as my life motto. I shook off any label anyone threw at me. Calling me "emo" was offensive to my little emo heart. I was not a choir kid, I was a kid who liked to sing. Anorexic, depressed, anxious, traumatized, if you could label me with them, I was anything but that.

For years I fought off any kind of label. I did not want to be put in a box. I met any labels with a dramatic "you don't know me!" I told myself I would not be defined by these words and any stereotypes that came with them.