It was the resumption of a new session. Infact the last session. (Senior Secondary School) SSS 3. I wore my uniform and was baffled. How come my skirt is shorter and a little tight? And my shirt … Well that wasn’t short. But this skirt. What had happened? I knew I had grown taller in SSS 2 and my skirt was still normal but 2 months long holiday and I was no longer comfortable with how my skirt looked. Anyway i got a knew one.
But that began my dislike for my God given height. I wasn’t so worried about it by the time I was leaving secondary school but when I got out, I was hit by the look I got for been tall. Too tall.
The name calling began, Tallee, Longtitude, omoga, aguntasolo, ogogomulala and so many funny native nicknames. Now one thing most people don’t know was how much effect these names have on people. The name callers don’t see it has anything wrong. Infact they don’t expect you to get angry. But why won’t I get angry. Call me “Joke” full stop.
So I fell into a complex. I felt like i didn’t make sense. I didn’t want to sit amongst females. They weren’t as tall as I was and they’ll just abuse me sef. So I’ll sit with the male species, most of them were tall. I sometimes tried to bend and I’ll look awkward whilst feeling uncomfortable. Sebi it’s because I’m too tall. Then I was trying to get a cure for a further increase in height because I was definitely going to be taller. I was just 17. Then Adeola suggested something.
Adeola and I were age mates. She stayed with my aunty’s neighbour and was also as tall as I was. So on one of our ‘TALL discussions’ she told me the secret to why she is no longer growing taller. She fetches water daily by putting the bucket on her head. So the bucket has been compressing her height and have put a stop to her vertical growth. Wow! Why didn’t I think of this life changing trick that I alone knew a trial will cause me pain.
I tried this trick. Firstly, I couldn’t seem to balance the bucket on my head even with my hand without having half of my sweat gotten water on my body. Secondly and lastly I always had a life threatening headache after each episode. And so I stopped and reverted to my normal way of carrying the buckets of water with my hand.
The last move was when I stopped eating beans. I knew that I was suffering in silence. I loved beans and since it was a growth element, I knew I had to stop eating it. So I stopped eating it for a long time.
Until … The right words were said to me. My aunty said “It’s not beans that is making you tall. Look at those women selling ewa aganyin in Lagos, are they all tall? Your parents are tall that means it’s in your genes. It’s not a crime to be tall. You better start eating beans and stop deceiving yourself”.
And Eureka! A bulb lit in my head. I was tall because I was meant to be tall. Will my parents have short children? No. And will God make a mistake? No. Her words were not exceptionally motivating but it was what I needed.
I repackaged myself and let my life flow. I still had bouts of inferiority complex especially when people’s mouth run but I never tried anything to change my God given height.
And guess what? The complements came in droves, the modelling suggestions came and the look of envy at times. I knew I was born to be this way. I am Joke and it’s either I am Tall or Tall!
Did you learn anything from this story? Do you have a comment or question? Or you want to share your story of how you overcame something similar? Kindly share in the comment box.