Measures (written in response to Creative Seeds)

Nov 21

I’ve been thinking a lot about measurement, measuring, measures.
Measurements of success and failure.
Measuring up.
The necessity of measures.
Inseam. Arm Cye. Waist.
Teaspoon. Pinch. Dash.
Quantifiable measures.
A larger paycheck.
Being published.
100, A+, 99th percentile
I have struggled with not being able to quantify my mind or my thoughts or my drive or determination, and thus have at times been obsessed with quantifying my parts. The ones that I can see. The ones that can be measured.
But I have started to understand how that feeds into the culture of measurement that I can’t understand, and don’t want to. I see how that makes me become the person that is easily put into boxes and placed on hamster wheels. I see that “success” is false, and that happiness can sometimes mean taking measures out of the equation.

Did I mention that I work in fundraising?
And that I’d like to be a teacher one day?
You see my dilemma.

Can we find a new word? Like, kittens? On a scale of one to ten kittens – one kitten is still really amazing and really cute, and you’d probably go a little crazy if you had ten kittens, so you’re gonna be just as happy with one kitten as with ten, and maybe even happier?
Can we all just take a day off from measures?
Then I guess here’s my conclusion:
Stop measuring yourself, if you are. And stop allowing others to measure you.
Measurements belong in recipes. Measurements belong to parts, that make up a whole, that is beyond the sum of the parts. Whether you ate organically grown kale in your salad, or iceberg lettuce, the beauty of the inner-workings of your mind are still the same.
One of my recent favorite quotes is from scientist and writer Jonah Lehrer.
It goes, “Like most great art, we exceed our materials.”

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

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