I’m a lot of things. I also seem to gravitate to labels (I think because they help me be more organized, internally, which is something else I gravitate to).
Sometimes I make lists of the labels that might apply, and I never find one that does it. Here’s a sample list:
Comic book fan
And the list goes on. I’m not too terribly worried that there are so many words that fit, because all my past experiences make me who I am today.
One of the words that used to define me very strongly was “Episcopalian.” I have come to realize that it’s a fairly cultural definition, and it still applies somewhat, because it influences my opinions about things, and my sense of humor. My family has a strong Episcopal background. However, it’s been eclipsed (though not totally replaced, at least in a cultural sense) by “Hindu.” So I’m a history geek, a trekkie, a nerd, a bookworm, a comic book fan, and also a Hindu.
Now, I realize that adding it at the end makes it look diminished, when it should be the center of all the other words. I’m getting there. I have started on a long journey, and it will be ongoing and evolving and will become a larger and larger part of my life.
The other reason (and perhaps a more relevant one) is that I feel a sense of connection because of it. For example, when I started this journey, I did a lengthy search for other folks who had come into sanatana dharma from other backgrounds and traditions. And when I found them, I thought to myself, “he/she is also a Hindu!”
I think maybe I have always been “also Hindu” but didn’t realize it. Deep down somewhere there was a part of me that understood. It was waiting for the less perceptive part of me (which I wrestle with constantly) to realize it.
So here we go!