Saturday, July 9, 2011

Miss Unpopularity

Originally, this post was titled Miss Popularity in my drafts. It was written in letter form to the elusive creature that I have spent my life chasing. Throughout my school days, I lived in this creature's shadow, constantly wondering at her social ease, her ability to attract people with a mere toss of her lovely hair, her sheer likability. But the more I wrote of my letter the more I realized that this post was about me and not her, so I deleted the letter and renamed the draft.

Essentially, I am the title of this post, and yet, I'm not. I probably wouldn't ever describe myself as "unpopular," because I don't think I'm actively disliked. No, I very seriously doubt many people would think of me enough to actively dislike me. The true title should probably be something like Miss Wallflower or Miss Loner Girl, but those didn't sound quite as catchy. The point is that even now I walk in the shadow of the charismatic Miss Popularity. Ever since I was a child, I've lusted after her and her legions of fans, and recently, I began wondering why.

My best friend and I were discussing this very subject the other day. She was frustrated with me, frustrated with my constant need for approval from others, my desperate need to be liked. You see my friend is one of those people who could truly care less what others might think of her; she is who she is and makes no apologies for it. I, on the other hand, am a professional apologizer, a champion people-pleaser. My friend isn't the only one frustrated by these traits of mine. I frustrate myself.

In my heart, I am the person I am. I don't care about the approval of others, and I really wouldn't want to be Miss Popularity. But on the surface, I want both approval and popularity. I want to be that woman who is effortlessly liked, who naturally draws others to her. But why?

I am weird. Y'all know this by now, because recently, I've been proclaiming it quite a bit. I'm trying to become more comfortable with myself, so I'm no longer hiding the person I really am. This is my blog; it should be about who I am, not about who I think others want me to be. So, yes, I'm weird. I'm kind of gothic, a little on the morbid side sometimes.

I'm Southern. I'm damn proud of that, despite the fact that many people have preconceived notions of what "Southern" means. Essentially to me, it means that I am a person who treasures the land I live in, who values my troubled past, who enjoys sweet tea and front porch sitting, who looks to my neighbor for a kind word and a smile, who loves the sound of a slow drawl.

I'm a homebody. I could travel the world and enjoy it, but no matter where I go I always look forward to coming home. Because home is where I'm most comfortable, where I'm able to be completely myself without fear of rejection or disapproval.

I'm a writer. Since I was a child, I've used the written word to express who I really am. Because of those horrible social skills of mine, I can't always say what I mean in a conversation with someone, but I can always write it down. I can always let the words flow from my fingers to paper and share my thoughts and dreams and the entire world of characters, places, and stories inside my head.

I'm Katie. I have self-deprecating tendencies. I love to laugh. I'm easily excited about most anything and everything but most especially road trips, Glee, horses, movies, cats, and books. I have a lazy streak. I love to cook. I have an unnatural fear of spiders. I talk in my sleep. I love my family above all else. I'm married to my soul mate. I believe in ghosts and past lives and zombies. I dream of being published.

I may not be Miss Popularity, but I don't really know that I want to be her anymore. I want to be myself; I want to embrace all of the things that make me unique and weird and interesting and, yes, even likable. I want to stop being a shadow-walker and step out into the sun.

I hesitated to even publish this post because I wondered what people might think of me, how they might react, but then I realized that hesitating or not posting this would be falling into my old patterns and that I wanted to break free of those patterns. So here it is and here I am, like me or not.



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