My entire life I’ve been getting to know myself, but still there is always more to learn. This past weekend I spent some time with loved ones and it made me realize that I get hung up on definitions. If I decide something about myself, that’s that–it’s set in stone (even though I know that nothing is set in stone and even if it is, stones have been known to change or erode).
For example, I’m tall. I’ve been tall for as long as I can remember. In elementary school I was always the tallest in my class. In my family, I was the tallest kid (and later, the tallest adult). I finally stopped growing at 5’10″. I didn’t always embrace it. Sometimes it made me feel noticeable in a bad way, but at some point along the line I made peace with it and accepted it as part of my identity. I’m just tall.
Most of the time I don’t think about it until I stand next to someone and they say, “Oh you’re so tall!” I say nothing, but I think: Why yes, yes I am tall.
Last weekend when I spent time with my loved ones, I wasn’t tall. Nope. I wasn’t even the second tallest or even the tallest woman. I was the third tallest, which made me feel kinda short–and I’m not used to feeling short. How strange that not being the tallest woman in the room made me feel uncomfortable. How strange to talk about my childhood and say, “I was really tall in 6th grade,” and then feel like I had to justify it because there were other people in the room that were way taller than I am, and who were probably also taller than my 6th grade self when they were in 6th grade.
It made me realize that some things that I hold to be at the core of who I am don’t actually define me. Being tall isn’t who I am, it’s just an attribute that I have. I shouldn’t get so hung up on certain details and neither should you.