As I go through the daily adventures of being tall, people have always asked me the same question and made the same statement. “How tall are you?” and “I wish I could be that tall”. I have always answered them the same way, “don’t wish for something you don’t have”. This is what I believe. Let me explain what I mean.
My standard answer, “Don’t wish for something you don’t have” started in the summer of 1992 when my family and I took a trip to Walt Disney World in Florida. I had just turned twenty-one and reach my full adult height. Boarding the plane was one of the many hoops I would have to jump through on this trip. Squeezing through the little door opening on the plane was like a miner going down a small mine shaft. After squeezing through, I started heading for my seat keeping my head tilted to one side to avoid hitting the fasten seat belt sign. After finding my seat in the back of the plane, I went to sit down and smacked my head on the overhead compartment. That gave me a headache for the entire trip. The next three hours would be the worst time one could imagine, kind of like pulling your finger nails out. Sitting there with a big headache, knees up into your chest and no room to even breathe, I felt like a mouse squeezing through the smallest opening in the wall. Then relief, we landed but I still had to navigate my way out of the plane the same way I got in.
Walking around the streets of Walt Disney World is an adventure in itself. With so many things to see and do it’s a wonder anyone would notice you. When you are as tall as I am all of that goes out the window. On one occasion I was walking down the streets of Walt Disney World, and a total stranger came up to me. It was a woman, she was by herself, and I thought she was lost and was going to ask for directions. Little did I know she wanted to take a picture of me with her family. After I agreed she took off running. I did not understand where she was going. She ran down the road to grab her husband and drug him back to where I was standing. They took the picture and went on their way. I never saw them again.
I can say without hesitation that being seven foot tall is a great way of going through life. I would not change who I am for the world, nor would I wish being seven feet tall on anyone else. The next time you run into a tall person or start wishing you were taller, take a look at this paper and see some of the things you will encounter. Remember that the grass is never greener on the other side it only looks like it is.