Two Milestones In One Day: A Memoir

PositronWildhawk
Well, you probably guessed from the existence of this list that I saw a milestone coming. I had my eye on the number of lists I had, and I saw this as a nice and quirky way to celebrate it. But there was a milestone I failed to see coming, and it was just something else. As of yesterday: June 4, 2015; I surpassed Britgirl as the most followed user on TheTopTens. And to all 382 of you thus far, I say, thank you!

So, you're thinking, being the most popular user here must be pretty cool; good for you, Pos. It's quite a startling phenomenon, and I've been startled by it ever since I kicked off, nearly two years ago. I started off by making a few lists which came to mind. As a perfectionist, my lists were thought out intricately from the start, and although I knew they were good, I thought I would be obscure, and my lists would receive a few votes, the odd comment, and passive dismissal. How wrong I was.
My third list, Worst Places To Crash Your Car, was an instant hit, and as I checked back on it, every time there was a new thing. The member's list feed had not yet been implemented, so I had to look over them every time. It was a good thing I only had three lists then! And it was on that list that I first met Britgirl: my longest serving and best friend on this site; someone I'm honoured to know. Our vibrant and open personalities went together like two pieces of a jigsaw: chuckling at both our similarities and our differences, and as a duo, we quickly rose to fame in this community, for our eccentric and newfangled senses of humour which we never let slide in our works. Looking at the now, I see many an entertaining laughter list inspired by us, from Creepiest Pick-Up Lines to Worst Things For A Teacher To Say To A Child. We couldn't have done it without each other. You may have called it the British Invasion.
From then on, I met several other incredible users, each one of them making an impact. Some were here only briefly, some remained as committed users. In the first few months, some of my favourites were the heavily sarcastic and talkative MoldySock; knowledgeable, wise and delightful Epekov; and beatles, who you know now as PetSounds, who you already know well enough. At the start of 2014, I met Kiteretsunu, happyhappyjoyjoy, CityGuru, Superhyperdude and several others. It was in January that I published my first blog: A Sarcastic Overview of Rap Music. Another big step, in which the previously humble and esoteric blogs were suddenly getting attention. Yes, before this, people only really cared about lists. It was good ole' PetSounds who suggested that I extended it into a series, and my Sarcasm Series became an icon. Superhyperdude later had multiple series, and by the time that critically acclaimed bloggers and excellent friends like Puga and Turkeyasylum were here, blog series were already a big trend. 2014 was truly the year of the blog revolution. And now, in 2015, blogs are as popular as lists, which I think is a good way to see into the minds of the users who can really convey their opinions in blogs. The reason why BlueDiamondFromNowhere is so underrated: people don't see her blogs so much!

It is particularly spooky to think how I, as a user at this level of community recognition, am so different from my predecessors. I remember distinctly how, when I first looked through the figures and the names "Alexandr", "MatrixGuy", "SmoothCriminal" and "booklover1" had been on everyone's lips. Alexandr and MatrixGuy have served their time on here for more than four times as long as me; MG being a factbank and Alex being a music and film guru. They just had a seemingly endless supply of material for lists, and they laid it out coherently and continuously, and they still do when they come back. No wonder they stand out! SmoothCriminal was a smooth, hip, bombastic character who was the equivalent of the singer who wrote his namesake song. Booklover1 was a creative writer, a listmaker who recognised internet writing as an art form. And all of them had hives of votes and praise in their wake, accumulating over the years after their primes.
I was a new kind of listmaker: a maverick, curious, generous physics enthusiast with a deadpan humourous outlook on everyday issues, harmful inability to tolerate idiots, analytical problem-solving skills and a liking for some obscure electronic music. In life, I already felt like I belonged on another planet, and two years ago, I didn't compare myself to these people like I do now. Nor did I when I made my completely different lists, original but unlike anything that the audience of TheTopTens seemed to be after. For instance, I didn't think my science lists would be vastly popular, as not everyone understands the fundamental interactions of nature. Suddenly, I was a valuable legend, and it was something I simply could not have imagined from day one. I was on the same level of the dominant figures, and I was loved by many. With so many people dropping me a message just to say, "Dude, you're awesome!", or "Can you give me advice on making good lists?", I was beyond surprised how I'd become so prominent. Maybe it was my ingenuity, or maybe it was my purism, or maybe it was some seemingly ridiculous thing I said about music that brought everyone's attention; nevertheless, I'm ever thankful for what my supporters who have come and gone have done for me. They've given friendship, laughter, insight and persistence, including in times when I myself was down, and I shall continue to return these favours.

It is unthinkable that in this time, a few lists would completely turn this site around, and would make people see me as an emblematic character for TheTopTens. Worst Things To Find In Your Bath isn't really the same as Best Leonardo DiCaprio Movies. I'm a proud, albeit awkward nerd, and somehow impossibly cool. Some even said a superintelligent extraterrestrial, and yet so compassionate and supportive. Quoting other users, my absence would be like absence of meat from a barbecue, and that I was one of the biggest driving forces of the effort put into their lists, making an impact that will never be overlooked. I can't stress enough how much that means.
But as your role model, I will take a moment here to say that everyone here deserves a chance to make themselves stand out. As much as it is in my interest to improve the general quality of listmaking on this site, it is imperative that everyone who deserves to be admired for their hard work receives that admiration, and so I say, keep it up as much as you can. Unfortunately, few will reach the absolute top spots, but the statistics don't define you, or the quality of your works. Look to the most detailed and refined ideas and additions, and look to the things that make you think that guy/girl knows what s/he's talking about, regardless of how many people are looking at it, or how many times they've been thumbed up or down. Base yourself on these worthwhile traits, and on clarity and dynamism, something you will find in yourself deep down. This is what makes a good user, and it is what makes them deserve their popularity. Don't vote for yourself on ranking lists, or message other only to ask people to follow you; it doesn't do your reputation justice.
Furthermore, no matter what you add to this site, you are yourself, and that is a powerful factor which you hold to yourself. If you hold unpopular opinions, or have a hard life, that does not make you a bad person, and it doesn't take away the core values that make you who you are. You don't have to emotionally manipulate people to get yourself attention, you only have to make up for your mishaps and make a positive impact overall. I take a lot of crap for disliking hip-hop, and I don't change my views for what the majority think about me; I keep grinding and I keep letting my traits shout out my personality. I'd rather be unpopular than be a fraud. What's more, I've also gone through severe depression and de-motivation in real life, but that didn't stop me from pushing on, and giving a formidable tackle to whatever life threw my way. If you give up before you achieve your goal, you get nothing out of it. If you don't give up, but don't achieve your goal, you'll learn a lot from what you've ventured into already. I know I have, whether I'm successful or not, and I thank myself for it every day. So it doesn't matter whether you're hated, or bullied, or shamed; as long as you know you're a good person, you stand up for yourself, and you make people change the way they see you. If you're unpopular now, you need only keep being awesome, and you'll become respected, maybe adored, in the area you were meant to function in. Just don't compromise what you want out of it, and don't be a jerk out of impatience. That is the ruination of your reputation, and it's the first thing you have to learn. It's not too late to change if you have.

Happy TopTenning, people, and may we all press on for more success stories. Discover new lists, discover new things altogether, and you're bound to find inspiration.
"Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn't matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough." - Richard Feynman

Comments

Congratulations, man! I'm proud to have seen it happen and to have counted you as a friend over the years. Stay cool.

"HEEE IS THE CHAMPION, MY FRIENDS..." - PetSounds

Congrats man. - Therandom

If there's one thing I thought would never change here it'd be Brigirl's #1 placing. Bravo. - Puga

congrat! - samanime

Well, I must say, you are without a doubt the greatest toptenner and a wonderful friend. Congratulations and keep your head high-you've got many reasons to. - keycha1n

Mega-congrats, Pos! It really is terrific being here to see you reach this commendable milestone (or as us Canadians say, kilometrestone). Your dedication towards and respect for this site is unmatched. It's only fitting that, in return, you receive an unparalleled amount of support and recognition. - BKAllmighty

Warning, Pos, us Canadians have really weird slang, from hydro to kilometrestone. - PizzaGuy

Not only have you entered the fascinating world of collage you also surpassed Britgirl! You deserve it! - RiverClanRocks

I start college in Autumn. But thanks. - PositronWildhawk

Congrats Positron. Well deserved. You work harder than anyone else, and now it's paying off. Enjoy - CityGuru

HEY! Just kidding... - JaysTop10List

Well congratulations! No disrespect to Britgirl, but I think you deserve to be the most followed user. - IronSabbathPriest

Congrats! - JaysTop10List

Wow, that payed off. Anyways kudos to u! - Pony

Congratulations! It's good to have you around this site, you deserve it. - Delgia2k

CONGRATS! 🎉🎀🎁🎂✨💫👑 - NerdyPweeps

Wow. I never knew Pos started out like this. I didn't join this site until Februray of 2014. - RockFashionista

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