I get caught up in numbers. There are millions of them, and we are defined by them. We decide how we feel about ourselves based on numbers. We organize our lives and our feelings around the categories created by numbers. Enough money (an unconscious number) in the checking account and we feel safe. A high number (based on whim or medicine) on the scale and we suddenly are in the category of fat. We sit at our 39th birthday party about to turn 40 and we become “over the hill.” There is an unconscious tyranny in numbers and the categories they so neatly produce. For this writing prompt, I want you to think of a number, maybe it is the first one that comes to mind, or maybe one that is looming on the horizon making you feel uncomfortable. Write about the container of that number, what it means and doesn’t mean, its edges and shape, what happens when you bump up against it, what happens when you surpass it or let it go. What number doesn’t define you? What number attempts to define you that you would like to get rid of?
How to dress for your age.
How much to have in savings when you turn X.
How many steps you should be taking every day.
How many children should you have?
At what age should someone be married by?