I’m rereading Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Have you read it? The first time, I read every footnote too. This time, I’m keeping to the story.
I love the book even more the second time around. The rhythm of the words and fullness of the characters amaze me. It both inspires and depresses me. I mean, I wanted to be a writer so that I can write such great stories. But sometimes I feel as if my attempts are in vain.
But that is nothing new even if it occupies a great deal of my mental space.
Another thing occupying way too much mental space–not everyone will like you. Or to be more specific–me.
I’m generally fine with this. I don’t like everyone, so it would be foolish to expect everyone to like me. There are a lot of quotes about why would shouldn’t expect or want to be liked by all.
I’ve been disliked for my personality, my politics, and my height. While I may find it weird when someone doesn’t like me because I’m tall (seriously, it happens), I am tall. So…okay.
But I’ve been struggling with being disliked fo something that I feel isn’t true. It’s like someone said they didn’t like because I’m too short. Wait. What? But I’m not short!
Being tall is part of my identity. Maybe that’s silly, but it is one of the many things that have gone in to making me, you know, me. My life has been shaped by the countless comments about my height and the endless challenges. (According to the CDC the average height for women is 63.7 inches. I think that’s 5’3″. Industry standards for things built with women in mind–like kitchen counters and toilets–are often designed for a woman 5’4″. Really. I’m 6’1″.)
Anyway, for someone to insist I’m short is just…indescribable. It has thrown me into a world of self-doubt and self-doubt. Obviously, no one has actually said I was short. But I have recently felt as if I’ve been challenged on a fundamental view of myself. And not in a good way.
And it is bleeding over into other aspects of my life. I mean, if I discovered I was wrong about my height, what else could I be wrong about, right? Have I been blind?
Sure, I have friends who assure me I really am tall, but…you know how it is. Friends are supposed to assure you. It’s like when as friend tells you your writing is great, it feels good to hear. It does. But…
Now I’m worried I’m going to be walking through doorways and under ceiling fans like a person who isn’t sure how tall they actually are. (Yes, I have hit my head on ceiling fans before!) I’m now thinking about this in a way that may very well make me do something ridiculous or regrettable.
My height metaphor may not work well, but it’s what I’ve got at the moment.
So, I truly am 6’1″ and I am, in fact, a writer.
Other people may see me differently. I can’t control that.
Thanks for reading.