Growing up, and even now, I always felt like I didn't quite fit in. My friends were popular but I was not. My friends wore the right clothes, but I did not. My friends had it right, but I did not. It didn't really bother me, I wasn't interested in the "right" things. I had my own idea of what was "right." I didn't want to be the life of the party, I didn't want to spend all of my money on expensive clothes, and I loved my old car. I enjoyed being home early so I could sit and talk to my family before going to bed and I enjoyed being the "good girl."
Even while I dated one of the popular people, I stayed the same. While he was the life of the party and did his thing, I remained the same. Sure, he drug me into the spotlight when we both ran and were elected to district offices for our youth group, but I did not change who I was.
After several years, we married and moved away. We have been married ten years now and recently went back to our youth group for a reception honoring one of the adults from when we were involved. With our children in tow, we journeyed back many years and were shocked at what we found. Several people who were involved when we were came to us, excited to find out about us. Individually, they expressed their admiration for us and shared that they looked up, our values, and our accomplishments. That was shocking enough, but it was not the end of the surprises. Later in the evening, some of the current members came to us and asked if we were that couple they heard about that set the standard for appropriate behavior. With a smile, we acknowledged the reputation while inwardly questioning this legendary status.
I find it amazing that although society has gradually loosened its morals, high standards are still valued. Those kids looked up to me, of all people. Maybe they also looked up to the girls with the prettiest dresses, but they looked up to me for who I was, and am. Apparently, actions do speak louder than words and people do still have some traditional values. I am thankful I never changed who I was to please someone else or I would have missed this moment that will last much longer than that temporary popularity.