From a New Year Resolution in 2016 to the arrival of 2017, TALL GUIDES and #TeamTall has become home to thousands of amazing tall women from all over the world. This diverse group shares only one common theme, height. But with so many different opinions about height in every day life, it is height and our experience of it which bonds us.
One of the things I love most about the TALL GUIDES journey is the endless amount of diversity that thrives here. Yes, we’re all tall women. But we’re a group of younger people, older people, people of different shapes and sizes, people who like heels and people who do not. Everyone is represented, in one way or another.
At our events and in our online community, I regularly connect with super-interesting people who have lived lives that are completely different to my own. After a lifetime of being ‘the tall girl’, it’s so refreshing to be part of a group where not one single person has asked me if I play basketball! On the whole, diversity and difference are embraced by these women. They’re women who all have their own tall tale to tell and it is out of respect for this, that we bond, we learn to love others and accept their differences.
2016 was ‘ My Tall Year‘and the experience was an extraordinary one. These are 6 of the things I learned along the way;
1. Tall women are my people, and (on the whole) some of my favourite people on the planet. As a self-confessed introvert, mass-socialising has never really been my thing but this was ‘My Tall Year’ and as much as it would’ve made life easier, tall people weren’t going to just start knocking on my front door! So I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, I travelled to different parts of the UK, The Netherlands and Germany and I’m so glad I did! I’ve met so many inspiring women, I’ve heard some remarkable stories and I’ve made some life long friends.
2. It’s all about energy. OK, so I know this already but there were a couple of occasions where just because people were tall, I didn’t trust my gut! I like the energy of some people but others, I don’t care for at all. Regardless of someone’s height, shape, size, background or colour, you have to trust your intuition. It shows us how we feel around certain people, telling us whether a connection needs to be stopped or not. Not listening to this last year caused me some grief but there’s always a positive lesson in there somewhere. 2017 Note to self: Listen next time Sallee!
3. Depth of friendship does not depend on length of acquaintance. From kicking off 2016 with my startup tribe to then building a tall tribe of my own, I have been surprised at how many genuine connections I’ve made. As can often be the case when you’re focusing on changing your life, old friends can slip away but we have good memories, so I’m OK with that. It feels like some of the people I’ve met in 2016 are friends I’ve known for years. I always find it astonishing how fast someone can become a stranger. But this this year I have really learned that by when you are authentic and open, it is amazing how fast someone can become your friend!
4. Doing my own thing is ‘my thing’. I went into 2016 feeling utterly lost but as it turns out, I wasn’t nearly as lost as I thought I was! I’ve never been part of the mainstream. I only felt lost because I was trying to fit in with the mainstream! I’d lost my confidence. I was dealing with depression (you can read my story here) and although I’m very accomplished, I had spent years making myself invisible. Quite an achievement for someone who stands in the top 99.998% of the female population! This year has helped me to become visible again, both to myself and to the outside world. In the right way and for the right reasons. ‘She was never on the same page as the people around her. Sometimes ahead. Sometimes behind. Always in a different chapter. Sometimes even in a completely different book’.
5. I’m not even that Tall! I started the year believing that I was tall. Ha! Having been out to Europatreffen in Germany (a tall people convention) and then hosting TALL GUIDES events in the UK & The Netherlands, I’ve met so many people who are taller than me that I genuinely don’t even think I’m tall anymore! I’ve learned to love my difference. And through my journey to body confidence, I’ve been able to help and inspire so many others.
Comments like this are what has made me decide to continue my tall mission. I am pleased to officially announce that ‘My Tall Year’ is now an ongoing thing!
“…When I first joined I thought it would be corny and unnecessary. But I can honestly say how great it’s been to be a part of. I didn’t even know I needed a support group until I joined one! We share so much. Experiences, problems, solutions. The discussions are thought provoking and invaluable. I find now I don’t apologise for my height. I’ve stopped stooping (except where I might actually hit my head!). I defend the tall legion. I want to stand out in the crowd and I definitely want to wear heels more. At 185cm (6ft) I’m not the tallest here. But I am the tallest of my friends and colleagues (even male); because of Team Tall I no longer care. Thank you! It’s been a real pleasure getting to know you all” One of our #TEAMTALL members
6. It’s possible to achieve a LOT in a year. I have done most of the leg work (excuse the pun) myself. Its been unplanned and organic most of the time but it’s resulted in the creation of lots of things. An online magazine (yup… I built it myself and I hope I never have to do it again!), 15 talented writers and bloggers contributing to diverse content, 6 offline events, hundreds of tall women in our private community, thousands of followers on social media, coverage on TV and in glossy magazines… the list goes on! All this because I decided to say yes to all things tall for 12 months of my life. I certainly didn’t know this was how it was going to go. But if you really put your mind to something, the journey can be incredible!
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of it and long may it continue!
…I’ve also learnt that I need help to take this to the next level. So, if you or someone you know might be interested in joining forces, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org