Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Power of a Number

So many things in life and our identity is tied to a number. What's your age? Height? Weight? $ in your bank account? How long have you lived here?

I've never really given much thought to all the numbers in my life (sans money... I worry about that pretty much every day) with the exception of the ones that make me super happy/proud.

11: The number of years I've been teaching
85: The number of pounds I've lost and kept off
12: The number of years I've kept that weight off
4 and 7: The ages of my best friends kids who I love so much there just aren't words

Today I was surprisingly blindsided by the simplest number there is: 1.

I've been attending a 4 day conference and an activity we did today in discussion of some math implementation had everyone collecting various data. One of the questions was "How many people live in your home?"

As we started collecting the data and I saw a majority of 3's, 4's and 5's, I found myself silently willing another person to have responded 1. But as the data collection finished, I returned to my spot trying to fight back tears.

1.

Just me.

The only one not married or living with a boyfriend/girlfriend. The only one without kids.

In that moment I felt about 3 inches tall. I felt myself curl inward as to protect the bleeding heart that it felt like everyone now saw. My insecurities came rushing out with that bleeding.

"Look at that loser! I wonder what an ice queen she must be to be her age and alone! No kids either? Man. What a pathetic life she must have."

My practice lately has been to force myself to sit with my feelings rather than push them aside so that hopefully I can gain some more insight on this whole SMC journey. So in the midst of misty eyes and trying to follow along with the speaker, I probed the awful thoughts spewing out of my momentarily shredded heart.

"Why is this hurting now? It isn't any different today than it was yesterday that it's just you at home. You were 1 then, too. Why the tears?"

And I got a little glimpse of a little beacon I have desperately been looking for to keep me on the path towards one day soon being an SMC. It hurts because I don't want it to be just me. I want to share my life and love with a child. I want to wake up every morning and be so in love that the first thing I think of is them.

I want that.