Popularity…what’s that? Something I have never had the opportunity to experience. Truthfully…I never wanted to be popular. I just wanted to be liked, appreciated and not called names. What is the old saying? “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me.”

They lied.

Words do hurt.

And the hurt runs deep.

The litany of names that I was referred to is so ugly that I cannot even bring myself to write them here. Many a night, I cried myself to sleep because of these hateful slurs. Why were these kids so mean? I have no idea. The ironic thing is that some of them came from families that were prominent members of our church. Not very Christian were they?

I went to school with some of them all the way through high school. Needless to say, I was not popular in either. I may have known a lot of people during those years, but I was in no way a part of the “in crowd”. You know how I knew that? Because the theory, “Out of sight, out of mind”, was never so true except for when it came to my life. I lived just far enough outside of town that it was rare when I was ever invited to do things with the other kids. During the summer, well you could just forget about it. Oh from time to time, I was invited to do things, but never on a consistent basis. I even remember asking to be invited to do things, “Can I come with with?”, I would say. The looks I received told me the truth. After a while, I just stopped asking.

Forty years later, I can really say that those that are nearest and dearest to me are the ones that I met while in college or later through a work-related experience. I can count them on one hand, maybe two.

For those that I thought were my friends from grade school and high school, I confess that I lost touch with them for many, many years. I reconnected with a couple of them through Facebook, but don’t chat with them very much. I guess the “Out of sight, out of mind” theory is still in effect.

The good news is that I have made some new friends through my writing. Joining a few groups on Facebook has really helped me both personally and professionally. The support of these ladies has been tremendous (and you all know who you are! 🙂 ), and I feel more confident in myself the more I write and the more I share.

So am I popular today? Hmmm…the words however, well…they no longer hurt.

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***I have written this piece for a group on Facebook that I joined, GBE 2: Blog On. This is week #24 and the topic is Popularity. Interested in more…click on the picture below to take you there.