Now this is not an original idea for a blog post. I actually got this from Megan Lukens the former President of Tall Clubs International and good friend of mine. She had posted this idea on the Facebook page of the Tall Blog and I realized that this is really a great topic of discussion. It’s also a great idea for thinking about because I think there were many times throughout my life where I had the ‘Aha! I’m having a TALL moment’.
The very first one I can remember goes back to about 6th grade. I started taking dance lessons when I was 4 years old and they continued through my 12th year (6th grade). In total, 8 years of dance lessons. I was 5’7″ in 6th grade so I was quite tall. Much taller than my dance instructor and many of the other students. It never fazed me until it came time to buy dance costumes for the yearly Dance Recital. My costume had to be made longer particularly through the leotard. This made my (and my sisters) costumes a little more expensive on a really tight budget.
In junior high I was 5’10”-6’0″ and this is when size began to matter. Sports really came into play during this period of my life. I learned about volleyball and basketball. When you are tall and have some semblance of control over your gangly body (thank you mom for the 8 years of dance lessons), coaches love you. My ‘aha’ moment was realized when the coaches seemed to give me some preferential treatment. I’m not sure I was any better than anyone else, but height mattered in sports. In any case, it scared the other teams.
High school and college I had many moments. You’ll recall my spitting on the UNI wrestler and telling him that it was ‘raining’ when he asked me how the weather was up there. Lots of crazy things like that happened to me. I was a magnet and my friends and I liked it that way. ‘Aha’ moments actually felt like a way of life.
My first job is when I had another ‘aha’ moment. I’m a pretty fast learner and I learned the job very quickly. I also tend to speak up in my attempts to make processes better and more efficient. I was quite confident in my ability to assess the situations and this caused many people to mistake me for the boss. This happened many times throughout my career. I had a phenomenal supervisor when I worked at Principal and she always told me that it was my height and the way that I carried myself. I knew my job, I was confident, and I was taller than everyone else so without meaning to, I commanded attention. Her advice to me: “Use your power wisely”. She was a great supervisor.
I had another ‘aha’ moment when I joined my Portland Skyliner Tall Club. They’ve heard this story a million times but I enjoy telling it because I think it has value. The first event I ever attended was a pizza party. There were probably about 20 people or so there one of which was Megan (whom I mentioned above). Megan is 6’4″ and one of her questions to me was ‘What are you known for?’ I didn’t really understand what she meant and she had to explain.
When you are in a tall club, height becomes normal and you can no longer be ‘the Tall One’, You have to be known for something else. I said that I was going to be known as the Funny One.
Holy Crap! I’m no longer the Tall One. This means when I’m at a Tall Club party and someone says, “Which one is Holli?”. You can’t answer, “She’s the TALL one talking to so and so”. It’s a crazy thought!!! In order to fully understand, I had to post a picture of me and some of my fellow Portland Skyliners in one of our Parades. You can see, we are all about the same size. None of us are ‘the tall one’.