April 14, 2015

To the Kids who aren’t Popular.


You don’t fit in. All you want to do is fit in, but you don’t.

You wonder why. Is it because you wear the wrong clothes? Because you prefer books to sports, or jazz flute to pop music?

No, that’s not it. The reason you don’t fit in is because you are meant for greater things. I know, because I was you once.

You may try to dress differently or make new friends, the kind that you think will help you get in with the “right” crowd. You may expend a great deal of time and energy doing this.

But it won’t work. It’s not necessarily because you’re doing it wrong.

The truth is, in your heart of hearts, you don’t really dream about becoming prom queen or dating the cool upperclassman. Those things are just placeholders, targets for the growing ambition that you don’t yet know how to direct. Your dreams are so big you can’t put a name to them yet.

You will make friends, perhaps not many, perhaps not the ones that will make you popular, but you will find people that understand.

They will be with you for longer than you can imagine right now, because you will forge the kind of bonds that aren’t easily broken—born out of a mutual sense of not belonging. It isn’t until you graduate high school and are removed from that environment entirely, that you will start to understand.

It will come naturally, without effort—you will simply stop wondering, one day, if what you’re wearing is right. If the music you listen to is cool. If the books you read are alienating. Perhaps it will happen on a college campus, under the lights of a new city or in a quiet field, somewhere far from everything where you come to clear your head.

The importance of popularity will fall away, and you will worry only about becoming your best self.

The popular kids, the ones you once aspired to be like, will live their lives. You may cross paths again, once or twice. They will find jobs, lovers, homes and settle into the things that make them happy.

You will learn to forgive them for the things they said and did to you, for if there’s one thing that being unpopular taught you, it’s the damage that cruelty and judgment can do.

You will never like people who think they are better than others, but you will learn not to give them much thought. You will focus on making the world a brighter place. You will keep your friends close.

And you will not settle.

You will find a name for your ambition, learn how to direct it. Maybe you will become a musician, a writer or an anthropologist. Maybe you will travel the world. Maybe you will do all of those things and more. You may find a lover to come with you on your journey or you may decide to travel alone.

No matter which way you go, you will follow your ambition as far as it leads.

You never truly wanted to become popular, not really and that is why you never did. It’s not because there was anything wrong with you.

You wanted something far greater, far harder to name.

When at last you understand this about yourself, you will wish someone had told you this before. You will find someone who is like you when you were younger and you will try to teach them what you know. It may be hard to make them understand right now.

But they will learn. You did.


Relephant Read:

This is for the Old Souls who don’t Quite Fit In.


Author: Elyse Hauser

Apprentice Editor: Keeley Milne/ Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photos: Pixoto, Pixabay


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Elyse Hauser