there are many trite metaphors for the social awkwardness i felt during my high school years that just by saying ‘trite metaphor’ you should be able to envision my miserable existence (junior high was worse.) the thing is that after all these years, i still find myself battling the same anxieties & neuroses as i did then, but now they’ve the added weight of age & experience.
i suffer from an odd dichotomy: i am painfully shy & i am completely gregarious. there is a little switch that turns itself on & off all by itself & sometimes i’m not sure what i’m going to get. it’s hard to be shy when you’re as tall as i am; there you are standing at least a head above everyone, it’s impossible not to be noticed, particularly when you don’t want the attention.
but then when that out-going button gets pushed, your size seems particularly intimidating & you have to consciously dial it down so that people don’t flee from you in abject horror. add to that your completely & utterly weird sense of humor (if my motormouth gets going, a stream of consciousness flows like the river in front of a burst dam, tumbling boulders and tossing log(ic)s of the non-sequitur variety liberally doused with the occasional profanity (if i’m in the company of people i know, of course, otherwise i’m all ‘gosh & golly.’)
(get back on topic, rp.) if you, like me, spend some time of your life each day on a variety of social media networks, you may have discovered that, not unlike life in general, there is definitely a social strata just like that of high school. there are the football heroes (bmoc) & the beauty queens, the geeks & freaks, the hangers-on, & the truly witty & talented (some who draw, as always, only a marginal following & others who have more marketing savvy & consequently a larger base of acolytes.)
it is not unusual i believe, to struggle with understanding the popularity of the mainstream, it’s just that it has always seemed so shallow to me (& not necessarily that those in the mainstream are shallow, only that that part of the stream is shallow.) to continue the meta-metaphor, wading in this pool, albeit somewhat refreshing, does not truly offer any thrill (other than being in such close proximity to everyone else’s desire to be popular.)
as you age, you may learn to navigate each of the social strata (& i imagine, as often as not, to avoid certain ones) finding a certain level of comfort in a. or d. or b. & c. or even eschewing all of them & forming your own layer (*z#@qrst, as a for instance.)
i do find some delight (& i admit, some confusion) in parsing the popularity of some people, trying not to let that base emotion, envy, to place its green lens over my critical eye. & i admit i am stumped sometimes by why one person commands such devotion, when there are others who seem so much more worthy of one’s attention.
(gosh, i hope you weren’t expecting some comparison with these photos of our sterling silver roses, because there isn’t going to be one. no universal truth exposed, no revelation, no flinty life observation hidden in the folds of the lavender petals & shiny green leaves. sorry.)