The older I get, the less I find myself caring about the stupid things that used to matter to me, like being popular.
We all know that person or group of people that have a “popular” – the ones that get invited to every party, wear the latest fashion trends, the ones that everyone wants to grab brunch with, or be seen with, or date…whatever. I remember at a point in my life, I thought, “do people feel that way about me?”. The answer was an obvious “no”, given how little hangouts I was being invited to. And, I’ll admit that coming to the realization that I wasn’t popular in my social circles did hurt a bit, but the deeper I thought about it, the more I realized how utterly ridiculous it was to actually hurt, much less even care, about such trivial things.
“Popular” is just an illusion
If we’re all honest with ourselves, we care about being popular, or being associated with the popular people among us, because we want to be loved, validated, cherished, and admired.
Whether it while was in school, at church, or work, the odd time that I did speak with one of the popular people, the more I realized, “damn, you kinda suck!”. I was neither mentally or emotionally stimulated by conversations with any of these individuals, and only adequately impressed by their “sense” of fashion (aka. dressing just like everyone else in their group). I’d leave those moments feeling a sense of disappointment, mainly because I’d built them up in my mind to actually be cool, which they turned out not to be, but also a sense of vindication, realizing that I had a lot more going on in my life than they did, and that I wasn’t so bad after all. Hey! I can fashion, too.
Being popular doesn’t impress me
Can I just acknowledge how embarrassing it is to even be talking about this at 29 years of age?! I mean, isn’t this something that high schoolers struggle with? But, in my conversations with numerous “older” people, it’s evident than comparison and popularity contests aren’t just a teenage issue. We carry these feelings of insecurity well into our twenties and maybe even beyond that.
But, as I’m at the tail end of my twenties, I’ve grown, and learned that I really don’t give a shit what you’re wearing, who you hang out with, or what you do for a living. We’ll be friends if you’re interesting, smile and say hello, have something meaningful to bring to a conversation, and are generous with your time and resources. In fact, as I’ve travelled the world and seen some of the best dressed people on the planet (all of Europe, practically), I’m less impressed with the “fashion” of the popular kids in Toronto. I have no patience for small thinking and fishbowl social politics anymore.
I’d rather talk to old people
You know what’s weird? Anytime my husband and I go out for dinner, or coffee, or are spending any length of time in a public space, I’m most interested to strike up a conversation with the senior citizens among us, especially the ones that are sitting by themselves. Lame? Perhaps. Interesting? Very! I find them to be so much more engaging than the girl with the ripped black jeans and fedora from H&M taking an Instagram of her food. We’ve had several old people stop and chat with us over the years, and my husband and I, who also has an old soul, welcome the opportunity.
The bottom line is, I’m over the superficiality that most people care about in their twenties. I don’t care to follow the latest fashion trends, go to the coolest spots, or hang with the “it” people. In fact, I almost avoid people like that altogether because the few times I have gone out of my way to engage and get to know them, it’s been a complete waste of time, and I felt dumb for bothering or caring.
I’ll take my Friday night knitting-sessions with my girlfriends, or laughing on the couch with my husband while watching Arrested Development episodes any day. Ah yes, life feels so good when you can just let loose, be yourself, and not give a shit about whether your food is Instagram-able or not.
Here’s to just eating the damn food as soon as you get it…