I wanted to make a blog post about being short whilst growing up to see if it resonates with others, this is an account of a lad growing up shorter than those around him.
As a child, height is often a measure of how old (or how developed) we are and I found myself constantly being judged and treated as if I was much younger, something I interpreted as being inferior.
Surprisingly, it was adults that made me feel worse than other children. They say that kids can be mean but, in my case, my self image and worth was shaped mainly by adults simply not believing I was the age I claimed to be.
One of the worst and recurring examples of this was at school, each lunch time we lined up to go into the dinner hall, one year at a time. At the front of the line was there was 'dinner lady' that would let people into the dinner hall a few at a time in order to keep things orderly.
Each day was a lottery as to whether I would get called out for being in the wrong line or accused of trying to sneak in with the older kids. Sometimes I would even need to get my friends to vouch that I was old enough, this embarrassment felt like the worst thing in the world and I hated lunch times because of it.
I had to worry about new situations and meeting new people, they would think I wasn't old enough to be in the football team, they questioned 'what my mum had been feeding me' and I was asked to join holiday clubs that were for much younger children, the list goes on. This is all before we even get on to being ID'd to get into the pub!
Over the years there were hundreds of instances of people thinking I was much younger than I was, largely due to the fact I was a lot shorter than others in my age group. This caused me many insecurities and confidence issues and as a result I avoided anything that would bring this into contention.
I carried a lot of these issues with me in to adolescence which turned out to be both a blessing and a curse, It allowed me to empathise with others in a way that I never would have been able to otherwise, I believe this is one of my greatest strengths but it came at a big cost.
I know that being short and looking young are two difference issues, not all people that are short look young and not all people that look young are short. However, in my experience they were strongly linked and if it wasn't for the fact I was shorter than others I wouldn't have been in those embarrassing situations.
Hopefully this has been an interesting blog, if your reading things and can relate I would love to hear from you either in the comments, on social media or even by email. Please note that if you're experiencing this you're not alone and it certainly does get easier as you get older :)