This is a guest post by Tim O’Halloran, @canucku2 on Twitter.
From the cradle to the grave, we are all assigned innumerable labels. We come into the world as sons and daughters. We go home from the hospital as siblings and grandchildren. A few years pass and we are preschoolers, kindergartners and “the neighbor kid.” Adolescence rolls around and we become boyfriends, girlfriends, teammates, class clowns and eventually graduates. It’s usually sometime around this point in our lives that we begin our own search. We kick it into high gear in an attempt to discover ourselves. Some will become engineers, mechanics or civil servants. A smaller lot will become doctors and lawyers and such. This pattern of identity assignment continues throughout our lives. We’ve all been introduced by label, as in this is my “so and so,” Tim. For me, being introduced as “my cop friend” or my “detective friend” was a mixed bag. Although, I’ve always been proud of my calling, the label often comes with downsides. All too often, that particular introduction was followed by a legal question or worse a “can you help me out with a ticket I got?” or worst of, an opinion on the controversy du jour. It became cringeworthy. So much so, that I would tell friends, “don’t mention I’m a cop.” I’m just Tim.