I never thought that I would be the poster child for anything. Maybe I thought that I was too unique to have the weight of a whole label on me. Wrong. You too are a poster child for something. How so, Jane?
Today I was was at Job 2 when someone there that I did not know or had ever seen leaned over and without being creepy whispered that she had lost weight and had gotten into 2 sizes smaller than she had been. She was thrilled and had a little cry in her voice as she went off to find smaller sizes. She felt that her personal victory was safe to tell me just as the hour before a guy told me how his being short and small was his greatest plague.
Mostly I am happy to be the soft place that they can set down their sads, happys and worries. People tell me a lot of things at Job 2, come to think of it people tell me a lot of things at Job 1 as well. Some of it I am happy to hear and some of it that makes me want to walk off. Someone followed me around telling me about their stomach flu. I am a poster child for whatever the person in front of me thinks I am.
I can be a poster child for the following: happy person, friendly person, not quite retired person, grandma type, someone’s mom, someone’s daughter, aunt, sister, determined person, servant to you person, Christian person, horrible example of a Christian person, writer, librarian, a teacher, the delusional, super angry, academic, idiot….. People tell me things based on how they think I will react, what I can help them with, and most importantly how I present myself to them.
Labels are sticky and lots of time in my teaching career was listening to people reminding all not to slap a label on anyone so they are not stifled by it. That is important to not throw someone into one pot and put one sticker on it. People are many things and although we might bristle at the thought of being labeled, we are poster children for whatever is needed from us from another at that moment.