Worrying about being popular is something you do as a teenager in high school. Only, I never did. Above is a picture taken at the Saddie Hawkins dance my senior year (which I shamelessly took off of facebook. Dude, if you put it on facebook, I have no problem stealing it and putting it on my blog). I am not in it. Most of my really close friends are not in it. The picture shows a large proportion of the popular kids of my high school class (the smart/class officer popular, not to be confused with the jock popular. They were dumb). As you might deduce, given my absence, I was not popular in high school.
I was not bothered by that.
During my sophomore year, my best friend since fifth grade decided that she didn’t want to hang out with our group anymore. We weren’t meeting her needs—her need to be more social, her need to be more popular. And while there was some hurt at her rejection, I remember thinking, “it is ultimately her loss because we have way more going for us. But hey, if she wants the drama, the interventions, and the parties, I won’t stop her.”
And I wasn’t bothered.
So tell me, why is it that as a mature, grown woman, I suddenly have this desire to be popular? I look at other people’s blogs and I think, “Why don’t people look at my blog? I am just as funny as they are.” I sneak peaks at other blogs’ statistics and comments and compare them to mine, causing me to despair at the discrepancy. At church, I look at the cool woman everyone just absolutely loves and wants to hang out with and wonder if I will ever be liked in that way.
You would think that by now, I would have picked up on the fact that I Will Never Be Popular. I was o.k. with that in high school. Where did all that self esteem go? Isn’t one’s self esteem supposed to exponentially increase after leaving high school? What is mine doing? I seem to be having a mid-life crisis at 29.
The logical explanation is that I am just at a cross roads in life. I am no longer a student, I don’t have a definite job lined up, and because I have been so busy with graduate school and (*ahem*) Mr. F., I don’t feel like I have a strong group of friends in my local community. I suspect though that soon the ground will stop shifting from underneath me, and I can once again spit in the face of popularity and be content with doing my own thing. Or at least, that is my hope.
Has this every happened to you?
(Oh and don't think that I don't appreciate the irony of having all of these people, who were too cool for me in high school, suddenly want to be friends on facebook.)