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".