I don't remember ever being overly concerned about popularity in school; I was never in a school long enough, probably. What I did worry about, endlessly (and still do, I suppose) was acceptance. All I really wanted, though I couldn't have articulated it then, was to find the courage to walk in easy grace, thoroughly and unapologetically myself, through the halls of whatever school I was attending.
I still want that easy grace, and, finally (with age, I suppose), it's coming. I see glimpses now and then, but the catalyst, I think, was something I heard from someone I consider a great teacher: "I live my life in a way that makes me feel right with myself."
How simple a doctrine by which to live, and, in fact, how empowering.
I think I needed that permission--we all might.
Well. Consider yourself entitled:
You are not here to be liked.
You are here, above all else, to like yourself.
Not only that, but you are here to be so *much* yourself that your daring to expose your heart thrills you with that kind of teenage rebellion misdirected at the time, perhaps, on material trivialities.
This is the real thing.