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You know those little white lies your parents told you as a kid to make you feel better about yourself? For me, the most frequent lie was that I would hit my growth spurt “next year.” I believed this lie until I was 16, when I finally realized I would never grow to be taller than 4’10.

Save your white lies, because being short is the worst.

At my height, even the most mundane tasks require an inordinate amount of effort. Getting into the shower requires not a little step, but rather a high jump exercise. On my way out the door, checking myself out in the bathroom mirror is fruitless, since I can only see the top half of my face—even while standing on my tiptoes. When I get on the bus, I’m forced to swing my legs back and forth like a child because my feet don’t touch the ground.

People also tend to abandon social etiquette when they meet someone my size. No matter where I go someone will blurt out, “Wow, you’re so little!”—as if I didn’t already know that.

Worse than these people are those who use your height as an open invitation to turn you into a convenient piece of furniture. No doubt every short person has heard from a stranger, “Your shoulder is the perfect height for an armrest!” Well you, my friend, are the perfect height for a kick in the shins.

The good news is that your lack of length can have its advantages. If people assume you’re incapable of doing something, it only makes it more satisfying to succeed. Just remember that you have all the vivacity of an average-sized person compacted into your smaller frame, giving you more personality per square inch. Besides, they say God only lets things grow until they’re perfect, and some of us just take longer than others.

My advice? Own your height. The next time someone remarks that you’re short—with that inexplicable sense of amazement—make sure you respond by saying, “Yes, I know! Isn’t it awesome?” That should shut them right up.