So while I was in the shower the other day, I was just thinking about the labels we give our self and how this affects our identity.

I was just thinking about my clothing style and the things that I am interested in and started thinking about my identity and what label I am. I was also thinking about something that my brother-in-law recently said to me, where he said that I act “black.”

After a couple minutes of pondering this, I came to the realization that no one label can be used to define me because I am so many things. I am an Asian-Canadian who really likes hip-hop culture and basketball and really likes Asian culture. I’m also really into nerdy things like comic books and Sherlock Holmes.

I am a bunch of things and all these things combine to make my identity as an individual. I am no single label.

Now, this is probably a really simple concept. All of you probably already know this. But I didn’t really think about it until I started to think about it.

I think this realization of mine is something that kids should be taught because so many of them just pick a label and do everything that that one label does rather than explore all of their interests.

For example, when I was younger, I really wanted to skateboard. But since my group of friends or people that I thought were super cool didn’t skateboard because it contradicted their label, I too didn’t skateboard because it wasn’t something that my label did.

It wasn’t until I became a full grown adult that I realized I can do whatever I want. So when I was 28ish, I started skateboarding, and boy is it fun. I really missed out on a lot when I was younger!

So, to conclude, just do whatever your interests are and teach your kids the same thing too. Show them that we are all unique individuals and no one label can define us as we are a bunch of things.

For more from Nam, check out his main blog,, where he talks about being a student of life.