Do I Wish I Were Taller?

The other day I was walking through Walmart buying groceries.  I was dressed pretty casually in jeans and a Clarion University t-shirt.  A guy walked past me and noticed my t-shirt.  He asked me if I was a student at Clarion and I told him I was a freshman.  He then preceded to look amazed and said, very loudly, “YOU LOOK LIKE YOU’RE TWELVE!” He then said that phrase a few more times, laughed, and walked away.  


I shouldn’t have let that silly situation bother me, but it did.  I thought about my outfit and how casually I was dressed.  I thought about my makeup and how I hadn’t worn any that day.  I thought about my height and how I’m shorter than most people my age.  For a long time after hearing that comment, I judged myself.  I believed a stranger who I will probably never speak to or see ever again.   


I wish I could say this was a one time occurrence, but it isn’t.  Too often, people will say things without any filter that are rude and sometimes offensive.  And I listen to them.  I allow their negativity to affect my view of myself. They make me want to be prettier, more fashionable, and taller.


Why?  Why do I let other people define who I am? Why does anyone?


Society presents us with an idea of who we are supposed to be and too often we try to fit that mold.  But heels don’t really make us taller and makeup only changes the way we look until we wash it off.  Nothing is going to magically transform me into a different person.  We can try to fit this mold that society has created for us but ultimately, we are still who we are.  That truth is one that I still haven’t yet mastered, but I’m trying to get there.  

I wish I could just tell you to screw society or tell everyone making mean comments to stop being a douche, but that will never solve anything.  The only thing I can do is try to love and accept who I am. Easier said than done... Do I wish I were taller? Most days, yes I do.  But that's not something I can change about myself.  And honestly, there are lots of things about myself that I love.  Things that no stranger can see but that I know for myself.  


Maybe in a year or two someone will tell me I look like I’m twelve and I’ll just laugh along with them and say “Yep, I know!”  Because truly, it’s a funny story, and it’s crazy to let someone tell me who I am.