Getting it Together
I've been having a struggle lately.. with categories. This is odd for me since I have been a chronic compartmentalizer since as far back as I can remember. As a child, when I put away my toys I put like things together. When I started keeping a journal as a tween, I divided my journals into sections - school, home, boys, etc.. The tendency followed me into adulthood, and explains why I have three blogs, six email addresses. I have even been known to categorize people. In my mind I have always equated this behavior with being organized and, if I'm honest, it's also about control. Compartmentalizing, I believed, brought order to my potentially chaotic life.Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with categorizing. It is necessary and it has its benefits. The problem is in becoming obsessive about it, as I surely was.
Recently I was asked what type of writing I do. I hesitated for a moment then replied, "Well, if I had to categorize it... I'd say I write Christian fiction." Even as I said it, I was uncomfortable.Not because I have anything against the genre, because I don't. The thought of being pigeonholed into one genre of writing has always been a fear of mine because I have never believed creativity has limits. I am very zealous about my creative freedom, so I have been reluctant to put a label on my writing. [Note to self: next time it comes up, I'm going to say, "Oh, I'm an eclectic writer."]
I have no idea why, but I'm very different in my writing life than I am in the other areas of my life. This started me thinking about why that might be and whether or not it was time to make some changes. In the weeks that followed, I started to reevaluate my "compartmentalizing tendencies." After years and years, it finally dawned on me that those categories I have tired so hard to maintain represent the fragments that make up the whole me. By separating them, I may have had the illusion of control and organization, but in actually I limiting myself and infringing on my own right to just "be" - if that makes sense.
And so I have started the process of integrating the components I have kept separate for so long because, after all, they are all me. My faith, my creativity, my journey to health - they are all me. They don't exist in a vacuum and I refuse to continue to treat them as such any longer. As I think about what this is all going to look like when I'm done, I am excited about the transformation ahead of me. As I remove the limits I've placed on myself, I look forward to a greater degree of freedom and creativity. I can't wait!