A presumably young writer wonders as to popularity and where to get some of it…
While you may hear many of your friends and classmates discussing popularity (often in hushed tones slightly out of earshot), be assured that their acceptance is not needed to advance in life.
I’ve spent many years in many different fields over the course of my life and I’d like to think that popularity, or my lack thereof, had nothing to do with my eventual success and even more eventual forced retirement.
When I arrived along with the rest of my platoon in Korea, our drill sergeant informed us that we were all equals and that nothing in our life up to that point mattered, whether it was Johnny Sanderson’s high school football records and paternity suits or James Cullen’s lifelong bed-wetting habit and stamp collecting. From now on, he informed us, we’re a unit.
His words stayed with us. As we went from battle to battle, we found that we had no time left between dodging bullets and infections to dwell on our high school escapades. Our short R&R periods were no different, as we took the much-needed break time to catch up on our mail, which usually consisted of Mom’s recipe for Raisin-Plum-Applesauce Cake or Dear John letters from our high school sweethearts. Needless to say, Johnny received the lion’s share of the latter along with several important-looking letters demanding funds for diapers/bottles/antidepressants/trips to Mexico.
The long and the short of it was: when the halcyon days of school are over and life begins dealing off the bottom of the deck, the last thing on your mind will be the fleeting thrills of popularity. Once life got ahold of Johnny, he went from being the homecoming king to a hollow shell of a man in less than 6 months. As for James? Well, the constant whine of incoming shells did nothing for his bed-wetting, but the trip abroad gave his stamp collection a huge boost.
Take care and all the best. Everything in life has a way of working itself out, usually in a way that will be both completely unexpected and ridiculously expensive.
Clifton L. Tanager