When I was young, there were some older kids who lived up the street, and eventually we all met and became friends despite the age difference. I looked at them as if they knew everything. One summer day they, two of them told me about how they’d gone to the newest blockbuster movie. They got their popcorn and chose their favorite seats in the theater and settled in to watch this great flick written by a masterful writer. Well, within the first ten minutes of the movie, a tragedy strikes–perhaps rightfully so because it’s the triggering point that sets up the rest of the movie’s drama. Or perhaps not.

My two friends tell the story that, at the moment of the tragedy they looked at each other and without a word between them, they both got up and left the theater. “We didn’t need this,” they said about it later.

I was perplexed that, as all of their other friends were bound to be discussing this hit movie of the summer, these two fellas were content not to have seen it at all.

Ninety-nine 99/100It’s easily been twenty years since this took place, and yet I think about it every time I notice my disdain for something that winds up becoming popular, from movies to music to humor to commodities. I think these things through, but ninety-nine times out of a hundred, my initial instinct remains and I don’t go along with the crowd. I’ve made peace, again and again, to being left out. And it gets easier and easier, because most times, I simply don’t need it.

Break from the pack. I’ll be there to greet you.

Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, and is a multi-blogger, poet, and traveler. To learn more about her current writing projects, or for ways to donate toward their completion, see JodyBrown.com/writing.