Friday, March 7, 2008

And Though You Protest Your Disinterest, I Know Clandestinely...

Why do we still long to be popular? Why do we want so badly to be liked?

I was asking myself that I wandered the floor of a trade show today, feeling distinctly out-of-place and far from accepted. I stood in a group of my colleagues, wondering why suddenly my hair felt really big, my shirt (unflattering as it is, thanks, man-clothes,) felt even more boxy, and I wondered if I looked as inept as I felt. I'm here to cover the show - covering being the journalistic term used for fast writing and desperate quote-seeking. As Ike Graham said in Runaway Bride: "Journalism is literature in a hurry," and nowhere is that more true than when covering a trade show for an online publication.

When I step back and look at the situation, I see my insecurity for what it is - a foolish indulgence of my own fears. I know, in my head, that I'm a competent writer and editor, that I can hold my own in this industry and that I don't really care about what people think. I know that I have good friends, a great family, a wonderful boyfriend and a blessed life.

So someone please explain to me why the coldness of my colleagues leaves such a mark on my spirits. Why can't I live in what I know versus how I feel?

We're sharing the Convention Center with a Cheer/Dance competition this weekend, and walking past these societal microcosms reminds me of how I felt as a gangly teenager (or 24-year-old... I mean, what? I'm totally secure.) watching the pretty, confident girls strut their stuff and giggle their way into popularity with a toss of their impeccable hair.

I feel the same ache when my colleagues leave me behind as I did on the playground as a child. Don't we outgrow this stuff? Aren't I mature enough to not compare myself to "perfect" bodies and clusters of friends?

Here's what I know - I am a daughter of the King. I am loved and created uniquely for a divine purpose that I am still discovering. Now I just have to walk out and live in that truth... simple, right?

PS - Sorry that this turned into a giant public therapy session - it probably wasn't the best idea to start writing "out loud", but it's done now. Thanks for "listening".


Adam said...

That'll be $100. And you're welcome.

Katie said...

I feel that ache too, Dani Lin. I think this all stems from a basic human longing and design for community...but we're so scared of not finding community (and so often we don't find it) that the fear really tears us up. And it hurts to be rejected, plain and simple. And we tend to refract other people's reactions in the light of our own perceptions - so that sometimes we totally misconstrue others' reactions. But even knowing that, it still hurts.

I bet that inside every one of those impeccably-coiffed, lip-glossed cheerleaders, or those "successful," incisive journalists, there lurks that ache too. In fact, I'm sure of it.

Love you.