I want to tell you all a story—a story about a young Bree with a dream.
As my growth accelerated, a lot of pressures and expectations from both family members and friends were imposed upon me. It appeared as though everyone had made a plan for my life. The sad part was I was not part of the discussion.
“You should really pursue basketball, Bree, or at the very least volleyball. Just try it! You are wasting your height!”
No regard was given to the words that were coming out of my own mouth. Instead, people would say to me, “You’re young. You don’t fully understand it now.”
I would respond, “But I don’t like basketball, I really would love to try dancing.” Still, scouts would show up at my high school gym classes and teachers would apply their share of pressure in addition to what I was already experiencing at home to do the things they expected of me instead of what I was dreaming about. “Why was no one listening to me?” I asked myself. The general consensus seemed to be that I was only capable of creating a prosperous future for myself pursuing sports, which was both puzzling and confusing for a young teen.
“Why was no one listening?”
“Am I making the biggest mistake of my life?”
“I suck at sports, why do they want me to do this?”
“Would I have to move away from my friends?”
As women of height, many assumptions are made when it comes to our career choices and what we are “meant” to be doing with our life. The general public assumes that ALL of us are either a basketball player, a volleyball player, or a model.
In conversation with a current WNBA player and fellow Tall Sister Kiah Stokes, I remember discussing that it is quite humorous when we are asked these questions. We being those of us that have chosen another career path. I have tremendous respect for our Tall Sisters in the WNBA and those that play basketball or volleyball professionally—for all professional athletes, for that matter. It requires natural talent, determination, extraordinary willpower, and I can go on.
An interesting thing happens when people look at us. They seem to lose all common sense and most people default to said assumptions. It is quite silly, really. Is it that far outside the realm of possibilities that we can be doctors, lawyers, moms, scientists, teachers, entrepreneurs, etc.? I think not.
Thank God for my mom. I say that because she fiercely protected me from these pressures as best she could. When I said, “Mom I want to be a dancer,” she put me in dance classes. Was I destined to be a professional dancer? Probably not, because although I do believe I have some mean moves, I was not the best of the best. But that was not the important part. The important part was that I had a blast dancing and made many friends. The blessing was having the power of choice. Having the knowledge that my beautiful mom would allow me to do whatever my heart desired when it came to extracurricular activities, and she would “fight the fight” for me when people in our environment passed their judgment on my choices not to pursue something in direct relation to my height.
Now, fast-forward a few years and here I am: 33 years old with a great career in IT and I am the proud founder of this INCREDIBLE community. I would say that I turned out all right 🙂
So to all my younger Tall Girls that read this, there are some things very important for you to know:
- You are beautiful, powerful and unique— a “unicorn’
- You can do and be anything you want to do!
- Don’t be afraid to try something new! I promise you will always learn something in the process.
- When in doubt about what you want to do, ask. Talk to your family and friends.
- It sometimes takes time and experience to reveal what your true passion is. And guess what? That is OK!
To our beloved readers, what have your experiences been? Have you found that those around assumed that sports were your only option as a Tall Sister? What happened when you told them you wanted to do something else? Please share in the comments!
Photo Credit: aQut Photography