Nearly every teenage themed movie has some variation of an unpopular kid trying to be liked.  One of my favorites of those movies was “Can’t Buy Me Love” which centered around a guy paying the prettiest and most popular girl to date him.   She scoffs at his plan at first, not believing that her cool friends would be so easily fooled.  But sure enough, all it takes is him showing up on her arm, for him to earn a new spot on the high school status ladder.  There are a few problems and in the end he falls from glory, but of course still wins the girl.

When I was growing up, I was always just on the perimeter of the popular circle.  I had plenty of  good friends, but spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to cross the threshold into the circle.  I was friendly acquaintances with most of the kids in the circle, but not enough to call them friends.  I often regret that I spent so much time wishing to be somewhere that I wasn’t.  I probably missed a lot that was right before my eyes.

These days I still feel that pull.  Wherever I am there seems to be the “cool kids.”  When I used to take Bella and Callee to Babytime at the public library there were certain moms that just had “fabulous” stamped across their foreheads.  It was obvious to me that I wouldn’t fit in with them seeing as my clothes were wrinkled, my face make-up-less, and my daughters didn’t own a single big bow.  But that didn’t stop me from wondering what life in their world was like.  I feel the same thing at church sometimes.  There are wonderful  members who are embedded in the very fabric of the church.  They’ve volunteered their services and taken every class at least twice.  They could recite the Unity principles with their eyes closed and hands tied behind their backs (I suppose they don’t really need their eyes or hands for that huh).   Me, well I still have to read our church motto on the wall behind Rev. Jean just to remind myself.

And then there is the blogosphere…

What I really want is to just be content with where I am here.  The reality is my ego gets the best of me and I find myself still walking the circle and desiring more popularity.  I try to figure out how to get more readers or Facebook Fans without being a pest.  I wonder if there is a certain kind of post I could write that would lure people in and keep them coming back for more.  I question myself on the days when the numbers are down.  I worry about offending people and causing them not to like me.  Even as I am bravely sharing my deepest thoughts, I am scared to death that someone somewhere is laughing at me or turning folks against me.  And worst of all I read other people’s blogs and I see their popularity and I wonder how I can be more like them.  I don’t move on those thoughts, I just acknowledge them. I know deep down that this is not what life is about.  I can’t make myself into what other people want.  I don’t even know what other people really want.

So I keep moving on my path.  I remind myself to feel good as I am, to be grateful for this amazing life I am blessed with, and not waste the precious time I have wishing for that ever evasive “more.”

Also, I must say as I conclude this post, that has been more or less a confession of a life-long weakness, I feel a little like “Ronald” as his drunken “girlfriend” announced to an entire room of party goers that he had paid her to go out with him.  But before I go crawl under a rock, I decided to share these feelings in the hopes that I’m not alone.  Maybe some of you reading this will totally get me and we can both feel a little less alone on the journey.


13 thoughts on “Popular

  1. Renee April 28, 2010 / 7:58 am

    I love that movie!!

    Anyway, about your post. 🙂 I am forever grateful for the high school I attended. There really wasn’t a “popular crowd.” There were just groups of friends and for the most part, we were all at least aquaintances if not close friends. So I was always content with my “place.” I always had somewhere to go and people to go with and most of those friendships have transcended time. I watched the teen movies back then and loved them, but they were not a representation of my personal experience.

    And if you want more readers, just write about Shakira. I get 50-100 hits a day from Google searches about her.

    • lesleehorner April 28, 2010 / 10:03 am

      Yeah Renee, sounds like you had a nice experience. My high school class had 465 people in it, so with that many it was almost impossible not to form the stereotypical groups. I will say that by senior year I didn’t care anymore b/c my boyfriend didn’t go to my school and all I wanted to do with my free time was hang out with him.

  2. Kiva April 28, 2010 / 8:51 am

    Hahahahah! I was a black sheep throughout middle and high school and actually did my best to stay off the radar in HS. I HATED it! Can’t say I try to stay off the radar these days but I can tell ya now, you’re way more popular than I am when it comes to this whole blogging thing. LOL I’ve been at PD for about a year and a half now and I’ve barely gotten the number of comments you get in a week! So it could always be worse. 😉

    I’ve had those little pangs of wanting to fit in with the cool kids but, over the years, I’ve figured out it’s a lot more fun to be the weirdo! 😀

    • lesleehorner April 28, 2010 / 10:06 am

      I was also incredibly intrigued and “drawn” to the weirdos in high school too. I don’t think I was quite “cool” enough for them either….

  3. Karen Thurston Chavez April 28, 2010 / 8:54 am

    “I often regret that I spent so much time wishing to be somewhere that I wasn’t. I probably missed a lot that was right before my eyes.”

    Indeed. I sometimes wonder if it was high school or just me at that time in my life that I hated so much! Probably a combination. Wouldn’t go back in time to that part of my life for anything. Ugh.

    You’re not alone!


    • lesleehorner April 28, 2010 / 10:08 am

      Thanks KT for stopping by and commenting. And it is all so much about how we feel about ourselves on the inside that creates the outside…

  4. Kelly April 28, 2010 / 9:03 am

    Hey…this is exactly what the path to self discovery is all about, right? It takes work to be at peace with who you are, and happy with what you have. That’s the path. And as for the big bows, I see those same ladies and feel sorry for those poor kids! It’s a materialistic and image-seeking lifestyle, you don’t want that. I know you’re not Buddhist (neither am I, but there’s a lot to be learned…), but Buddhists believe desire is the source of unhappiness. Be happy with who you are Leslee, you are a very talented and beautiful person, a warm and loving mother, a friend who is lots of fun to be with. 🙂

    • lesleehorner April 28, 2010 / 10:05 am

      Yeah, a friend of mine told me a really funny (or not) story about one of those “big bow” moms. Basically the mom told the child she had to wear her bow b/c God would be mad at her if she didn’t. She was using the “honor your parents” commandment as her reasoning on that one.

  5. ray y April 28, 2010 / 11:03 am

    Your station in life is being the best Leslee Horner that you can be. All that other “stuff” is just ego self-talk. You are great just the way you are!

  6. Marcy April 28, 2010 / 12:37 pm

    Heard something on Barney—yes Barney–today while watching with Carmie. “The best thing you can do for the world is be yourself.” I heard that this morning and realized, it is not about fitting it, it is about shaping your world and your children’s world to be indivduals. Life would be bland if we all conformed to the “soccer mom/big hairbow kid” paradigm. Remember, there are people out there, like me that love you for who you are—and p.s. I read your blog everyday and try to tell people on my FB to read it–got some good comments back too! Keep writing, and keep being who you really are! Hugs-M

    • lesleehorner April 28, 2010 / 6:12 pm

      Thank you Marcy and yes Barney is full of wisdom. I know someone who refused to EVER let her kid watch Barney, but I say it’s worth the little bit of annoyance for the lessons taught. And it was really funny to see the young teenage wife from Big Love as one of the Barney kids one day…

  7. rageomatic April 28, 2010 / 11:04 pm

    I remain the most popular person for me to hang out with it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s