I live in Kansas. To answer questions that I have literally been asked before: No, we do not use horses and wagons to get around still. While there is a western side of the state geographically it is not "wild" and no there are not shooting duels in the streets. Yes, I have been in the same area as tornadoes, I have seen one in person, and no I have never been "carried away". And the most common; no, where I live it is not flat.
Not only is it not flat, our neighborhood's hills are so severe that our driveway sits even with the neighbor across the street's roof. And the house distantly behind them looks as if it towers above us all. I could not even tell you how high the "top" of our street is from the entrance but I do know when I say I am driving "down the street" it is an accurate description.
I live in a large suburb outside a major city. While some houses have land, most of us are in neighborhoods more crowded than I would personally prefer. And yet we are not without our wildlife. From deer running through our backyard to fox, groundhog, rabbits, coyotes, and a plethora of winged friends, I have a beautiful connection to nature right at home.
I am a blonde woman, though I will admit my hair has both darkened and gained noticeable amounts of grey in the last couple years. I am neither dumb nor ditzy though I will admit to not having the best memory sometimes.
Stereotypes and labels are so limiting. They put blinders on us to how much more beautiful and complex each person and each place can be. When we let go of all the labels and open our hearts to the individual we gain so much.
I'm so grateful for my diverse group of friends. I'm grateful to not care about the labels other people use to describe them. I'm grateful to get to know people and view them through my heart's lens, not some predetermined and narrow view. I'm grateful for all those people who accept me as I am and get to know who I am as a unique person. I'm grateful to see how unique each one of us truly are. I'm grateful to embrace my quirks and release labels. And I'm grateful for every person in this world who strives to do the same.
What labels and stereotypes have you heard about yourself? Do any of them fit? We are so much more than any simplified stereotype, so how can we take that knowledge and apply it to others we don't yet know?
May today remind us that everyone is unique and deserving of love and respect. May we let go of stereotypes and labels and embrace ourselves and the people we meet. Have a beautiful day!