The simplicity of the statement “I am tall” belies how important this fact has been in my life. I’m 5’10”. That makes me taller than 50% of the men in my country and 6″ taller than the average woman. I cannot blend in in a crowd.
I hit 5’10” at the age of 12. This made me feel awkward, ungainly, and horribly uncomfortable in my own body. I couldn’t imagine how boys could ever like me since I towered over all of them. (Although I didn’t know him then, for reference, my husband was 4’10” when he was the same age.)
While I’ve worked hard to get over some of the negative effects of being tall, there are still residuals – I think twice before wearing heels, I sometimes struggle to feel feminine.
In recent years I have worked hard to focus on positives and my height does have many positives. I may not be able to blend in, but people remember me. I can reach things on kitchen shelves that most people can’t. I can wear a broad selection of styles and shapes.
I think the thing that most helped me get over a bunch of my height issues was a conversation with my husband, who is several inches shorter than me. I was asking him if it ever bothered him that I’m so much taller than him. He told me that when a tall woman walks in on the arm of a short man, people look at the man and think “dang, he must be a rockstar to attract and keep a tall woman” so it’s an ego boost for him that I’m tall and he’s not. And that’s super sexy.
For me, the most important legacy of being tall is the fact that I sew. I started seriously sewing my own clothing when I was 12 because I couldn’t find anything that was long enough for me. It helped me relate to my dad’s mother – she was an amazing sewist who sewed all her own clothes for many, many years because she was 6′ tall in the 1940’s – who helped me sew my first pair of pants. Sewing is one of the most important things in my life and I’m not sure that that would be true had I not been encouraged to sew so much because of my height.
Is there an aspect of your physical being that encouraged you to start sewing? Or an aspect you have better been able to respect or appreciate because of your sewing?
Each week this year I’m going to reflect on an aspect of myself and how it affects me as a sewist, crafter, or blogger. It may get deep, it may get emotional, it may get totally silly. It may be something I’m proud of, it may be something I cringe at, it may be something I aspire to. I may say a lot, I may say a little, I may ask questions, I may not answer them. I don’t quite know where the project will take me, but I’m excited about the journey. I’d be honored to have you join me on this journey. Chime in any time this year in my blog comments, on Twitter, Instagram, or your own blog. Join me in my theme for the week or make up your own.