The Weight Of Measuring Up

Friday, January 27, 2017

I always say that in nearly every situation imaginable, most people are the rule, not the exception. That's usually true, except when we're talking about me.
Just kidding. Gotcha though! You almost believed me. I know you did, 'cause I'm the girl who introduces myself to people as "Hi! I'm Channing, and I'm awesome."

Photo Credit: Emily Knight, By Emily Photography
Truth is, I am not exceptional or extraordinary. I am one of millions; a faceless, nameless member of the masses. That is a little discouraging to me. In my mind I am always prefaced with the word "just". As in, "only".
I'm just another middle class white girl from the suburbs of Las Vegas. I'm just one of the thousands of Mormon girls who went to college to get her Mrs. degree. I'm just a wife. Just a mom.
Just. Only.
Part of me wants to fight against the numbers, to scream out, "Look at me! I am special! I can do great things! I want to matter too." But I feel lost in the sea of voices, Facebook posts, and protest signs screaming the same thing.
I wanted for a long time to be someone. Being, as in having written an amazing book that helped a whole bunch of people. As if having the introduction of "Channing Parker, best-selling author of the amazing book Average Advice From A Know-It-All" instead of my usual go-to intro of awesomeness was what would make me into being... alive? Having arrived? Would that finally make me "someone"?
I have an average life. I live in an average apartment in an average city with average people. On the bathroom scale of life, what I do, say, and write has minuscule impact.
Have you ever tried to weigh a pound of apples on a bathroom scale? It doesn't work. If your scale is like mine, it doesn't even register the weight. I don't know why, probably something math and science-y like minimum weight requirements and distribution of mass, but my point is a bathroom scale doesn't weigh apples properly.
That's why there are kitchen scales. Kitchen scales will measure apples properly because they are better equipped to quantify the amount of space those apples take up.

I have been measuring myself on the wrong scale.
The world is a big, fat, nasty bathroom scale. When I step up there with my social media selfies and Facebook posts full of perspectives, it registers a big 'ole ZERO because the world as a whole does not care about me. I am just another Fuji in the orchard.
The people in my life - my husband, kids, parents, siblings, family, and friends - those people are kitchen scales. They measure my impact properly because they can see the subtle, beautiful ways I take up space. They see me cooking meals for sick friends. They see me changing diapers and doing the dishes. They see me loving. They feel it. That is impact.
If you feel like your bathroom scale says zero, don't lose heart. Listen to the kitchen scales and you will always measure up.
© Channing B. Parker. Design by FCD.