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.