“My life is measured by the due dates of projects and homework squeezed into the margins of a worn down agenda. It’s measured by the weight gain that accompanies the two weeks leading up to midterms and finals. It’s measured by the nights I lie in bed at 2 am, trying to remember whether the day is in fact, truly over yet.
I am measured by numbers. It’s something I’ve never let myself forget.
There’s a two by four rectangle in the corner of my room that houses me, nine textbooks, and five binders. We’re competing for space, and somedays I feel as though they are winning. Post-it notes on the bathroom mirror with the anti-derivatives of trigonometric functions and the rules for naming complex ions are a more familiar sight to me than my own father’s face.
My mother and I don’t interact with each other, except for our twice-daily screaming matches that make our house shake on its fifty-year old foundation. I don’t mind that, I guess. It’s hard to make conversation with a stranger who refuses to learn anything about you except your GPA.
My father and I didn’t speak for four days after my SAT score came out and for those four days, there was a part of me that missed the man who had been my best friend since I was three and a half, but an even bigger part that was relieved that I didn’t have to hear his disappointment in words the way I could see it on his face.
I’m sixteen and I’ve never kissed a boy the way they do in the movies, with tongue and passion, which really doesn’t feel like that much of a loss until I remember that my cousin met her husband when she was 15 and great-grandmother probably had two children with a third one on the way when she was my age. It was a different world, I tell myself.
I do not know what fuels me. My only ambition is to reconcile with the restless soul inside me and some days even that seems like a hopeless cause. Maybe I am not destined for happiness. Some women just aren’t.
But I also know that I am not destined to be this. I am not destined to be a doll, a faceless doll, with a barcode on my back.
I know that numbers do not define me.
My current grade in chemistry is not my intelligence. My weighing machine can not give you an accurate estimate of my beauty. The number of extracurriculars I am involved in will not tell you whether or not I am interesting person. My age is not synonymous with “naive.”
I am a person, not a collection of numbers.
Do not try to simplify me into a binary code. Maybe you are content leading a life with 0s and 1s but I live in a world with words and colors and sounds and the feel of sunshine on my face.
I am sick of people trying to take these things away from me and throwing poor substitutes back at me. I am sick of numbers that attempt to sort me and categorize me and place me where I supposedly belong. I am sick of people telling me that I need to live in the real world because it is you who do not understand what the real world is.
I have news for you. The real world is here and now, and it is full of people with hopes and dreams and ambitions and thoughts that you do not know about because you spend too much time trying to box them into your neat little columns.
Maybe I do not want to fold gracefully into the space you have left for me in those cramped and crowded boxes.
Maybe I want to spread out and take over the entire page, leaving spaces and gaps in whatever quality I don’t deem worthy to define me. Maybe I do not want to be as simple as you try to make me.
Maybe I am not a number.
Have you ever considered that?” ~ Source