When I was younger, I really liked math. It was simple, uncomplicated, and I could rattle off my multiplication tables without a problem. Yet as I progressed in my education, math became exceedingly difficult, and those pesky numbers started causing problems. Soon, math and I became sworn enemies; multiplication tables were a thing of the past, and Algebra II was lurking over my shoulder.
The same goes for other numbers in my life. When I was younger, I didn’t think much of grade point averages, weight, height, or how many followers my nonexistent social media page had. I didn’t care. I knew who I was: an overachieving 8 year old who loved peanut butter and playing freeze tag. Numbers had little to no effect on my identity. Yet with age, those numbers continued in their pesky habits, and started to creep into my life in negative, detrimental ways. My age told me what I could do. My weight told me if I was pretty or not. My grades told me how smart I was. The list goes on.
I’ve noticed a trend in social media campaigns throughout the last year: You are more than a number. I’ve seen it a thousand times, and each time, I’ve nodded in agreement. Yeah, I know I’m more than a number…but then I go right back to my mirror to see if my waist is smaller than it was yesterday. Numbers are still there, and multiple aspects of my life remind me of that.
So how are we to fight those numbers? We can’t get rid of them – we all still have to put how much we weigh on our licenses, and resumes generally need a GPA to go with your education.
What we can do, is stop saying what doesn’t define us, and start noticing what does define us. When you talk to a toddler, you have two options: you can tell them what not to do and leave them stumped and wondering, or you can give them ideas of other things to do, sparking their creativity and bringing new perspective.
So no, I am not a number. Instead I am…
I am kind, and genuinely care for those around me.
I laugh with ease, and enjoy simple gifts.
I treat my friends with love, and am always able to lend an ear.
I work hard at everything I do.
I am persistent, and do not give up easily.
I love to play board games, and cherish fellowship amongst friends and family.
I have big dreams, and can’t wait to see where they take me.
But most importantly, I am created by the Almighty God, the Creator of the universe. That is my defining quality.
Written by: Lily Moe // Editor in Chief of the Odyssey @ GCU