I’ve always been teased for what makes me different. As a female, being just under 6 feet tall, I get a lot of looks and comments because of my height. I’ve been called it all, from skyscraper to giraffe girl, the comments about my height were never kind.
“Why are you so tall?” I would hear.
“You must play basketball!” as if playing the sport made you grow.
Even my love for horses became something for me to be self-conscious about as I was called “the horse girl” at school and would feel like I could never talk about the sport and the creatures I loved so much as I would just get laughed at. It’s funny how the same animal that gave me all my confidence was also the reason for a lot of it going away.
I became very introverted, spending most of my time alone, and enjoying it. I was protecting myself from the people around me. Being the person who was always alone just made me more of a “weirdo”. People used to offer to come to the washroom with me and I thought it was so odd to need to go with someone to pee, but for young girls, going to the washroom alone was strange and there were constantly groups of girls in there talking and skipping class. I was never the type.
I always drifted towards hanging out with the guys growing up as I was a tomboy and the boys were always much nicer than the girls in my opinion. Best of all, they weren’t afraid to get mud on their clothes as I used to love hunting for snakes and salamanders. Having a lack of friends who were girls really started to hit me when junior high came around and we were getting older.
Boys started to make me nervous and I spent a lot of time alone again.
It was hard.
I finally made a best friend in grade 9 who moved away in grade 10 and another in grade 11 who turned out not to be the person I thought she was.
I hit an all time low in grade 12 feeling very lost and alone which, for the first time, I didn’t like the feeling. As my graduating class partied every weekend, people would often ask why I was never there. Although nobody would ever choose to invite me or tell me when the parties were going on.
People were often only nice to your face.
I never felt like I fit in.
My boyfriend has been the saving grace through every hard day, being there for me like nobody ever had, understanding me like nobody had ever tried.
Over this last year I have grown.
I have gotten myself on a better path and I am finally able to call myself happy.
And has it ever been a journey. (Just ask Mom.)
All the things that have made me different over the years, all the comments I have received, all the nights I’ve spent alone, have shaped me into who I am today. My morals are strong, I am true to the friends that I have, I love immensely, I am confident in my skin, I work hard, I’m creative as hell, and I am motivated to succeed and surpass all the people in my life who made me feel inferior.
People throughout your life are going to tell you “not to worry about what other people think” and to “stay true to yourself.”
These things are MUCH easier said than done.
If I was to give one piece of advice, no matter how old or young you may be, it would be to remember that every single person on this planet is different and that is a good thing.
In order to be happy, it is necessary to surround yourself with positive and like-minded people. If someone doesn’t like something, it is okay for you to like it, and to voice that opinion, or vice versa. People repeat what they hear and often choose to base their likes and dislikes off of other people’s opinions without any other reason or validation.
Think for yourself, build your beliefs based on facts, do what you love and most importantly remember, you are your biggest critic.
I’ve found the key to happiness, just by being me.