My life looking up

Castleton student Matthew Chornyei is flanked by his high school best friend, 7'2 Dren Dedushaj and 6'8 teacher Papa Lo at his high school graduation. 

People always ask me, “what is it like being a dwarf?” and it’s the hardest question to answer. For me, it changes every day and some days it doesn’t even come into my mind.

It has its ups and downs. Some of the ups include that everyone respects you because of it and no one you know personally ever says anything negative to you about it.

Working with the Castleton hockey team as manager has been amazing because they do not see my height – they see how I do my job better than taller people.

However, there are days you wish you were someone else.

When you go in the streets, everyone looks at you and makes you feel so different.

During the summer, I go to many baseball games and when I go, I show up early and attend batting practice. I have had people jump on top of me and swipe balls that a player intentionally threw to me.

Don’t get me wrong; I am fine being a dwarf because it makes me feel unique. Being at Castleton, everyone knows who I am and every one respects that I am a dwarf.

People always help me when I need help reaching something or when an obstacle comes in the way.

But going to college parties is not fun being so short.

You feel alone down there while all of your friends are talking to everyone else who is their height.

I think this is common for anyone who has something unique that they deal with every day of there life. My best friend in high school was 7-foot-2. We had every class together, and we had fun with it.

But sometimes just being around so many tall people makes you wish you were their height.

The biggest struggle a lot of us dwarfs have is that no one wants a short person.

It happens to me all the time to us where girls will say, “if only we were taller.” But that doesn’t make me wish I were tall. For me, it makes me mad that people say to me I need to date someone who is a dwarf.

Dating a dwarf is so hard because there are none around me. We do not have dwarf friends around 24/7. I have to travel once a year across the country to find another dwarf.

Overall, if I were asked whether I would pick staying short or being tall, my answer is to be tall. I feel like there is a lot in life I have missed out. I stopped playing sports because I could not keep up and the sports I wanted to play were to rough.

I hate being looked at as just a dwarf.

I want to be looked at as a person.

I never see tall people give the look I always get to other tall people.

Being my height, I am scared for what my future holds.

I want to leave Castleton and be an equipment manager, but will teams higher me because I am short?

And finding a girlfriend is hard because everyone wants a tall person.

Am I going to die alone one day?

Being a dwarf is not hard, but being a dwarf in a world designed for tall people is a challenge.

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