Thursday, January 10, 2008

Because High School's Never Over

Blog hopping. We all do it. We get online and creep from one friend's blog to another and before we know it we are on a complete stranger's blog--or, even worse, someone we knew in a former life. And that, my friends, is where all my insecurities came unraveling at my fingertips.

A few nights ago I came across a blog circle--web, really--of the high school "It Girls." You all know the ones. Pretty. Popular. Perfect. I hadn't thought about these people in years, yet I was riveted. It was the same kind of compulsion that makes you pick up People while waiting in line at the grocery store. These "love to hate 'em" celebrities of my awkward years had their lives displayed before me. I had to read on. What were they up to? Do they have kids? Who were their husbands? Are they even all that witty and brilliant?

Yes, many of them have kids, nice houses, husbands I'm not surprised by. I logged off later that night with that same feeling of insignificance and insecurity that plagued me during junior high. Sometimes it can't be stopped--I was making tally marks in my mind: I am single and live in a basement apartment with a crazy woman for a landlady. They are married and live in beautiful houses. I am in student loan debt up to my ears and chose to work as a teacher, for crying out loud! They get to stay home with their babies. They are still beautiful and radiant. I look like a tired new teacher that should lighten up on the carbo-loads.

I slept that night with one phrase on my mind: They. Still. Win.

Of course, the next evening I determined to return and read a little deeper, think with clearer eyes, and I came to the conclusion that they are just people like the rest of us and, frankly, several of them aren't witty at all. And I am an accomplished, beautiful, intelligent, witty, funny gal who is okay with where I am at in life, regardless of them. And when I was in high school, though plagued by self-doubt, I was far more fabulous than I thought myself to be. Those experiences, however painful, made me, well, me.

It all leaves me wondering "Is high school ever really over?" And where did this strange emotional phenomenon come from--this notion that someone is better than you because of who they were in high school. Or the car they drive. Or the size of their house. Or how talented they are. And why does this plaguing insecurity come around the corner and bite us every now and again?

Some part of me will never feel on equal footing with the "It Girls" if I came into a room with them. I'd probably blunder over my words, trying to prove to myself? To them? that I am every bit as good as they are. I hope one day soon I won't really care.


Mrs. Bennett said...

I would love to come across some old high school friend's blogs - but especially the blogs of those girls who were supposedly perfect. I would be riveted too and would surely bookmark their page just to torture myself. I love this post.

Blackeyedsue said...

It happens Rookie. You hit 30 and it just happens. I no longer care about those girls. My life is not perfect but it is mine and it is valuable.

"When you're in your twenties, you wonder what everyone's thinking of you. When you're in your thirties, you don't care what people think of you. And when you reach your forties, you find out no one was ever thinking of you in the first place."
-Patton Oswalt

LovingTheChaos said...

I second blackeyedsue's remark! 30 is a magical number! Look forward to the day when it won't matter one bit except for idle curiosity sake! :)

I love my bright, funny, and lovable little sis. You are my hero in so many ways.

Let me know if you come across anyone who had an older sister or brother I went to school with! :)

Lanie Painie said...

Dude! bloghopping brought me here today and I must say it is fate. I was never an "it" girl in high school, (although I AM witty and brilliant) but I am a SAHM with a good husband and gorgeous intelligent child but guess what? Nobody respects a SAHM except other SAHM. I could never do your job. I think teachers should all be sainted or put on pedestals at least.

People are not better than each other. Everybody has their issues. A few years ago a met a woman who was the "it girl" type and for some reason I didn't run and hide. Getting to know her - she is less than perfect! Her husband is controlling, she has an 18 year old bi-polar son who refuses to take his meds half the time, a mother who is just shy of being diagnosed paranoid schitzophrenic, and she's really insecure about her looks even tho I think she's gorgeous.

Me, I'm fat and frumpy housewife and I love me. Ah well. Happy wishes to you!

Stine said...

And then 38 hits and you can barely remember those "it girls" from high school.

I'd like to comment on your Breakfast Club picture as your older sister, as it took me back to a very different, fun, tumultuous time in my life - read... WHEN YOU WERE 4!