It was a sweet seventeen that made me feel popular the first time. My previous years in Swedish Junior High had made me feel quite left out and not bullied per say, but still not included among my peers. Perhaps because I had been attending all my school years with classmates at least a year older than myself. However, as we changed school and thereby classmates, things turned around for the better, especially that fall. I had invited the entire class for my birthday, alongside a couple of other girlfriends from the local riding club to come and celebrate in a rented space. They all came, all bringing each a Snickers-bar for me to receive 17 of them. I liked chocolate already then... and used to buy these on our lunch breaks or like a snack in the afternoon which everybody knew and laughed about, so naturally I got enough to last for a while. I also received a really nice bracelet in sterling silver since one of my classmates worked part-time in a jewelry store her parents owned. We danced, we laughed and I loved being the center of attention.
A couple of years later when I turned 20, I had another birthday party / housewarming with my entire group of colleagues from TetraPak showing up, my closest girlfriends, my then off and on boyfriend and his friends, an ex I dated for a while and his, a girlfriend I used to practice Jazz dance with, my cousin and a special guy that also was an exchange student at the same time I was, travelling together a couple of years prior. I think someone ended up sleeping in my bathtub... and we all had fun!
I have always been like that, mixed and matched people from various social groups, have had friends both from work, school and romance and never missed a beat. I still do. We grow up, we practice more discernment and perhaps set firmer boundaries to our time and space, but nonetheless whenever I am around other people, I am approached.
Whenever I had been in the paper with some kind of performance or opinion, I would get recognized by someone randomly on the bus, on the job or in school, making me feel flattered. It therefor becomes strange when I am not even considered interesting certain days here in Stockholm, yet certain days all strangers want to talk to me. These exchanges of energy must also be in timing and chosen. Respected as such.
Sometimes it does become too much when I am not allowed enough privacy meanwhile to relax on my own. Me-time is essential also for us without kids, to process, to prepare, to unwind, to feel and to just be (if nothing else to also have). This also must be recognized as a need to balance life with. And has nothing to do with the number of likes online.
Have you ever felt popular and how did you deal with that?