In my family gene pool, I came up short (pun intended). My parents were average in height and my grandparents were actually quite tall except for one – my paternal grandmother. She was the shorty and guess whose height genes I inherited?
Growing up, I was always one of the shortest kids in the class. All of those years of having to stand in the front row of everything made me long for one thing – to be taller. I often wondered why I couldn’t have been blessed with at least some of the height that my oldest sister has who is several inches taller than me.
Because of my short stature, I couldn’t wait to wear high heels as a kid. Wearing heels made me feel ‘normal’ which was important to me as a teenager and college student, especially when one of my best friends was 5’10”. Heels became a staple in my closet.
I dated a couple of short guys and this sounds really superficial to say but part of the reason those relationships didn’t go anywhere was because they were just too short. All I could imagine was if I were to fall in love with one of them and marry him, we’d have the shortest children and I didn’t want to wish that on my offspring.
Of course, I really didn’t love either one of them, and that’s the real reason those relationships ended. But my constant hope was that I would meet a tall, handsome man who would become the love of my life. I even dreamed about this unknown guy. In my dreams, I fell in love with someone who was significantly taller than me but neither his face nor his name was ever revealed. I would awaken, remember my dream, and wonder who it was I had just dreamt about loving.
And then one night during my junior year of college, I met a tall guy. He was handsome. He was kind. He was funny and sweet and shy. And the dreams with the faceless man of considerable height stopped. I had finally met the love of my life – my future husband who was 6 feet tall.
Of course, I still wore my high heels. It was the 70’s and platform shoes were the rage. I loved them because they seemed to give me a boost of confidence when I wore them. Except when I fell off of them! My hubby and I still laugh about all the times we would stroll along while holding hands on our college campus until plop! I would literally fall off my strappy, platform shoes. I’m really fortunate I didn’t sprain an ankle during those years!
Even though they hurt my feet and scrunched my toes, I continued to purchase high heels and wear them everywhere – not just on a night on the town but to work, church, shopping, wherever. Heels were the natural choice without even thinking. I just had to appear taller than I really was and I also wanted to be fashionable even if I wasn’t comfortable.
But something transpired as this mama got older. You can’t run after three little children in high heels. I still wore them to church or to a dress up occasion like weddings, funerals, or a special dinner out. But the shoeboxes that lined my closet floor started sporting more flats and lower heeled shoes. Comfort became more important than fashion and even more imperative than my desire to be taller.
Somewhere along the way, I embraced the fact that I’m short. Some people will always tower over me. I’ll never be able to reach the top shelves of my kitchen cabinets without a step stool. I won’t be able to read the words of the praise songs on the screen at church when a tall person stands in front of me. And sitting in certain chairs, I may have to slide a bit forward so my feet will touch the floor.
But that is me. That is the way God fashioned me and to accomplish His work and venture where He wants me to go, it doesn’t matter what kind of shoes adorn my feet or how tall I am. All that matters is that I go. And I’m going to be comfy on my way.
“Short people: We maintain a great perspective on life because we’re always looking up.” (as seen on Pinterest)