The above picture pretty much tells my whole story. I could stop right here but that’s not what I’m writing about… at least not totally. At a whopping 4’8″, I’ve frequently been the butt of people’s jokes. They think they’re funny or original when they call me “shorty.” Yeah… okay. Things aren’t always the easiest. I always have an excuse to wear heels if I want, but I don’t because heels drive me crazy. I’m not the best in them either so it could be a potential hazard. Just saying.
The thing about being shorter than 5ft that really gets to me the most though is all the preconceived notions that exist out there. I don’t like it when people assume that I must be a Little Person. I can relate to folks who have a type of dwarfism so I don’t want to sound like I’m somehow ashamed of the association. No, that’s not it. I don’t like being labeled because people can’t accept that fact a person can simply be short. There doesn’t have to be something wrong with someone to be super short. *Please note I’m not saying there’s something wrong with Little People either, just that I don’t have a dwarfism.
It stinks having to always have to fix my pants because my legs simply aren’t long enough. It’s not always easy finding good, fashionable shoes because apparently companies don’t believe adult women can have tiny feet. It’s tough because my arms aren’t very long but I have a bit of a bust so shirts aren’t always so easy to navigate. I’m just an odd shape all the way around. My being short but not actually kid sized, complicates things. It’s odd being an adult stuck in a kid size.
Truth is, despite the occasion nuisances and inconveniences, being short is part of who I am. As much as I fantasize that my forgotten growth spurt will suddenly show up and I magically become 5’6″ instead, I couldn’t really be me anymore. It would totally make my life different. My experiences would be different and it would make a different person of me.
There have been some real benefits to my being so short. I have highlighted those benefits in other posts (read here and here). There was an opportunity to make money because I was small enough to fit in a tight space when others couldn’t. I was able to help out with a haunted house once, again fitting into a tight space. There’s some comfort knowing there are things I can do that others can’t because of my “gift.”
It doesn’t always feel like a gift. It’s a nuisance most of the time, but those moments help make it all worth while. As odd as it may sound, sometimes when it comes to working with kids, it can be more of a nuisance but mostly, it’s fun. I think on occasion it helps make me relatable. They’re not as intimidated by me (which could be a little bit of an issue but not really) so it makes it easier to relate to them. It’s easier to communicate and make a connection. I’m pretty lucky that way.
Sometimes having smaller hands and fingers can mean being able to reach in places others can’t – though that does go both ways. Sometimes I wish I couldn’t reach in there. I definitely don’t take up too much space either. That’s a good thing. I’m travel-sized darn it and that’s awesome!
I often wish I weren’t so short because of all the pitfalls. It gets to be so frustrating in so many ways. In the end though, I’m happy I am who I am and that includes being so small. There’s no guarantee my life would be all that much better just because I’d be taller so I may as well just enjoy it and I do.