ideas of what I wanted to be when I grew up (a handful to a now certain one)
math scores (pick any number between 50-100)
high school fundraiser “popularity gauge” candy canes (one year, one, another year, twenty)
invites to attend Homecoming in high school (one year, nine, one year, none)
people I could call close friends (a roomful of rockin’ moms from a church mom’s group I led in Ohio, one old neighbor lady in Georgia)
digits on a scale (in my adulthood, a 30lb spread)
social networking stats on any given site on any given day (changing every day)
moments I’ve trusted in God’s love above what any number could reveal (hoping for an exponential increase on this one)
Numbers are concrete. I’m a novelist. I create imaginary worlds and make believe characters.
Numbers are concrete. More often than not they scare me because they don’t speak to me. They aren’t words. I adore words. Words fill the playground in my brain. I tend to kick numbers to the curb.
However, I’m aware numbers can be valuable at times. In publishing, for example, I’ll want to keep close tabs on how my books are selling. If I notice a lull, I’ll work harder to sell more books. I’ll pay attention to the numbers. I’m not blind to them. I pay attention now, too (sometimes more than I’d like). But numbers also tend mess with me. (Scale anyone?)
There are days I’ll see a number on one of my social networking sites and I’ll feel the lure to compare, but then I remember how much more gratifying it is to compete against myself (and my own current numbers). I remember how passionate I am about uplifting other women, even if that means their numbers get elevated and mine do not. I recall my deep desire to move forward in this industry with integrity, establishing genuine relationships based on something more than a notch on a computer screen. I remember why I’m here and the One whose opinion I care about most.
There will always be someone out there with more significant numbers, whether it’s more candy canes stacked on their desk or more pounds stacked on their hips. Someone with more friends or better scores. We are all created and gifted uniquely. I get so tired of all that weird competitive stuff that goes on between women. So what will I do, the rebel I am…I plan to celebrate the gifts I notice in other women, as I grow in confidence and strength whilst doing my own thang.
Who’s with me on this (because sometimes there really is power in numbers)?
*photo by flickr