When I go for a check-up and the nurse insists it’s okay to leave my shoes on while she measures my height, I vehemently refuse, socks already in hand.
I wore flats to all proms and sorority functions so I wouldn’t be taller than my date.
I’m more than familiar with the disappointed look following, “No, I don’t play sports.” And my favorite comment from my high school gym coach: “You have the legs, you just don’t know how to use them.” Oh. Ok.
So I think that somewhere along the way, while I played along with jokes and usually made them about myself, I began to believe my height was a problem to be solved rather than a truth to embrace.
While, no, this wasn’t something earth-shattering or even a topic I actively thought about daily, I continued to passively create a list of limitations and parameters for myself to solve the “problem.”
I’d sprint past the shoe aisles with heels, because they clearly weren’t meant for me.
I’d intentionally make myself look shorter in pictures with other people, because obviously tall isn’t cute.
I’d plan my shoe choice based on who I would see that day. I mean, seriously.
PEOPLE OF THE WORLD, it was all a lie. Duh. I think I knew that all along, but I just thought it was too dumb to even rethink my vain attempts.
But if dumb little things like shoes and height and my appearance are keeping me from believing truth, what else is?
Over the summer, I was playing dress-up in my sorority sister’s closet, trying on her heels and wedges, because clearly I had no intentions to wear them in public. I tried on a pair of super cute wedges, looking longingly at them, beginning to remember my rules.
Maybe I’ll just wear them for one night, I thought. So, I did. And ya know what?
Nothing changed. Yes, I was tall. Yes, I was an eensy bit taller than usual. But I loved it. I was literally allowing myself to walk in freedom.
Once I did, I realized maybe this mentality could be hurting me in other areas I didn’t consider. Am I allowing the parts of my story I wouldn’t choose to hinder the parts I already love? Am I spending too much time fixing or running from the things I’d like to change? Is this keeping me from making much of my life and the story I hope to tell?
Friends, let’s own every single shattered piece of our story and walk fiercely in freedom. (And maybe wear heels while we do it?)