Popular Demand

The 20s are all about choosing your surroundings. There are some things in life that are beyond your control and there are others that we have authority over. Who we let into our lives is one of the most important aspects of it. Those who have access to us have dire significance whether they are of it or not. They can make us better or tear us down. When we give ourselves to others, we leaves ourselves vulnerable to them. There's something both magnificent and terrifying about that all in the same breath. We give others power to raise us up or bring us down. Either way we're in it by popular demand.

My house has a constantly revolving door. Like clockwork as Sunday would come so would people coming to greet my parents, have their immigration papers worked on, and commune in our suburban sprawl of a house. My parents are oh so very different and illustrate the two sides of me. Take for instance my mother who is always on the phone encouraging others, purchasing gifts, or making meals - she's the embodiment of extroversion. Anyone and everyone she has no problem talking to and never hesitates to strike up a conversation or say what needs to be said. She always has other people around her and thrives in social situations. My father on the other hand like small intimate gatherings, often is reserved, and often demonstrates his generosity anonymously. And there's me - a sort of enigma of epic proportions often thrust into emphatic atmospheres but also perfectly fine spending entire days in solitude. I'm often perceived to be an extrovert but now more than ever my introverted personality has become apparent. There's not enough of me to go around, and people seem to want more and more of me. I'm in style by popular demand.

Do you know how weird that last statement was to write? I mean it sinceriously (lol, Stephen Amell joke). I often find myself surrounded by people and feeling disconnected while other times I thrive in entertaining others. Sometimes I feel a mythical being rather than a normal person. I think that people are often fascinated at my existence more than the actuality of me. Their expectations of this cool, calm, collected superstar are noticeable. Ask me what it's like to enter rooms and have other people telling your story; walk by people pointing you out; or strangers know your name before you even say hello. It's weird, flattering, and uncomfortable all at the same time. People seem to either want to see if the rumors are true (whatever those might be) or think they have me all figured out. Having a reputation is restrictive and people come off as if they want to see some semblance of a character they've heard so much about and I think they're often surprised as how well ... normal I am.

As someone who constantly engages the media, it's obtrusively apparent just how people can fall from good graces but it's been almost four years and I've remained unscathed. I just want to know what about me makes me so special. Why am I so unique, memorable, or noteworthy? What distinguishes me from any other college kid? At this point I see things that I do or say coming from others and it freaks me out. My slang catchphrases, style choices, and even mannerisms - other people have taken them on making me feel like nothing more than a #trendingtopic. It's like the Clone Wars, Bizzaro, or Cuckoo Sisters have been unleashed. I'm just trying to be me and I finally know who that is; while it's taken some reconciliation to put together the sides, I realize they both make who I am. I'm just saying, you can't be me. I can't be you. We can only be ourselves - everybody else is legitimately taken. If you don't like yourself, then be a better you that you do. Being yourself will always be in popular demand.

The Stepford Cuckoos were a set of mutant psychically linked quintuplets (Celeste Cuckoo, Esme, Mindee, Phoebe, and Sophie). They are cloned daughters of Emma Frost - who can combine their telepathic abilities to create a much more powerful hive-mind. Sophie died stopping a riot caused by Quentin Quire while Esme was killed by Xorn, an evil duplicate of Magneto.

This week had me questioning whether my displays of enthusiasm were authentic. I came to the ideological conclusion that whether I had to "turn it on" (charisma, charm, zealousness etc.) or "sell it" doesn't really matter because it's real. Sometimes you have to believe your own bull crap. Thursday was one of those taxing days that took absolutely everything I had to get through. From classes it was off to run errands and prepare for a big fraternity recruitment day. I spent hours cleaning, cooking, and organizing for a info session that showed the endearing dysfunction of my brothers but had me overanalyzing and self-chastising.

The eight us separated from one of my favorite first years, Cam (nobody has as witty rebuttals at that guy), and made the brisk walk to my apartment where board game night was a go. Again I was caught up in making sure everyone was enjoying themselves, had enough snacks to munch on, and was comfortable. Finally I settled and allowed (key word there) myself to have a good time. I ended up sharing some deeply personal experience with my friend Aaron while others listened. I don't know - his honest compassion made me want to be real. I realized after talking that everyone else was also listening earnestly and that I was encompassed by literally and figuratively by people who cared about me. That small moment meant may have been the culmination of my college experience. I once again found myself as the center of rapt attention but for the right reasons with an enclosure of friends. Four hours of silliness later with David, Dakota, Kyle, Jack, Jake, Connor, Willy, and new friends Mitchel and Collin, the night was called. I had a wonderful time. Snapchat photobombs, trivia crack conquests, and the company of good people left me both happy and sapped. I was in popular demand.

My blog post question for the day is ... what's something distinct about you? Maybe my lack of chill and nonstop go mentality - case in point frosting cupcakes at 3AM cause what's the point of sleep when you have a good impression to make.


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