I am six feet five inches tall. Almost six feet six inches tall. Wherever I go I am met with the same four letter statement, “you are so tall.” I often shake my head, smile and say, “yes, I have effectively committed myself to self growth.” It is at this point that people laugh a little, smile and then assume a look of puzzlement. I know that they are trying to make sense of my awkward reply- but can not. I see them thinking, “what the hell did he mean by that?” Maybe this is why I say it- to seek revenge on all those people who greet me by stating the obvious. Yes, I am tall- no shit, but honestly being so tall has nothing to do with diet or genetics. It has everything to do with my belief that the point of living is to learn and growth.
When I first became interested in self growth I was twenty-two years of age. I was also five feet seven inches tall. Up until that point in my life I had been heavily depressed, at odds with my mother and father and on a steady diet of marijuana and Budweiser beer. Every man and woman reaches a point in his or her own life where they can no longer tolerate what the sixties generation refered to as “negative vibes.” Torpor, melancholy and self-deprecation become so unpleasant that one begins to search for ways to stop the pain. At the age of twenty two I read a book called “The Autobiography Of A Yogi,” and it was this book that began my long sessions spent sitting under an oak tree in my parents backyard….. in quiet meditation.
As I grew older and taller I continued to read self-help books of all kinds. I read “Men Are From Venus And Women Are From Mars” (which is true by the way) before I had ever had a serious relationship. I spent my twenties drinking beer and seeking out ways to enhance my self growth. I attended meditation classes, did yoga, ate raw foods, engaged in all kinds of shamanic orgies and sweats and even did nothing for a year but focus on my breath. By the age of thirty I was still depressed and melancholic, but I had grown to over six feet two inches tall, which was all the proof I needed to believe that I was growing as a human being.
To make a long and mostly uninteresting story short, I am now thirty-nine years of age and still growing. At this moment as I type I can feel my ligaments and joints stretching. Sometimes in my meditations, if I listen closely enough, if I become quiet enough I can hear the sounds of self growth. For the past year I have been seeing a therapist on a weekly basis and even she has observed that I have grown taller since we first began our sessions together.
Even though my marriage is permanently flawed, my financial life in a state of dis-repair, my work is as a bartender and my relationship with my parents in a chronic state of tension- my self growth has not been stunted. Life is a complex experience and individuals are always going to be met with adversity and obstacles. Such is the human condition. But self growth allows for individuals to grow tall enough that they are able to get a good view of the shit that surrounds them. I myself am able to see all of the dysfunction and negative energies that imbue my life. I stand taller than anyone else around me and this allows for me to make more effective choices than those who do not have a clear view. I wade my way through all the dysfunction- if I fall, I have more time to respond effectively before I hit the ground.
I have no intention to discontinue my journey on the path of self growth. Even though I am aware of the fact that I could grow to tall for my own good, I will carry on. I live in a world filled with small people. I feel like it is my responsibility to grow, to take my self to heights that very few men and women have been to before. This way I can help those who are confined to the five foot and four foot realms make their way up into higher levels of self growth. Once I can convince others to grow, that there is no limits to the heights they can soar- then maybe there will be less people in the world who say to me (while arching their necks to the sky), “you are so tall.”