"There's a lot of pressure in high school--you know? Like--lots of stress. If I said let's each name the 20 most popular people, from high school, we'd probably rattle off a majority of the same names, but they were popular, only because they were given that role. They probably didn't ask for it, we just held them up on a pedestal."
A good friend of mine, who I recently became reconnected to, via a five year high school reunion, said this to me during the afternoon portion of the party. Looking back--he's right. We all cared so much what people thought of us, and once we reached a certain status, we stressed about about maintaining that status--rather than just enjoying the ride, for ourselves.
The truth is, that being cool--athletic--and popular--aka fitting a stereotype--only matters for such a short period of life--barely even 1/25 of it. But we make that stereotype that people create for us, for such a short period of time, into such a big thing--something nearly consumes us. We think that if we are athletic--we will automatically be popular. We think that if we are the cool kid, more things will come easily to us.
So...it's five years later. Does any of that stuff matter?
Here's my answer:
No. We don't have the pressure now.--There's no "most popular" in the real world. If someone likes you--they like you. If they don't, they don't--and you just move onto the next one. There's no superlatives in life. Your status isn't being voted on and stamped into a yearbook forever. Five years ago, we focused way too much on who we believed would be the "most successful" instead of asking ourselves what would make us each individually feel successful--instead of worrying about the one person who mattered: ourself. Who's to say that someone who is happy with three children and a husband isn't just as successful--or even more successful than the head of multi-million dollar cooperation. No one.
At the end of the day, it's time to forget the stereotypes--it's time to forget the outside vote; join the independent party--the "me" party...and just live life so at the end of the day the only vote you are casting is on yourself and your own happiness and your own success.