Let’s face it, guys.
I’m probably the coolest uncool person in the history of ever. The fact that I just used the phrase “history of ever” only exemplifies that point. Over the years I have come to accept and love my weirdness, my uniqueness, my utter lack of anything and everything cool, however I didn’t always feel that way. I don’t know about you, but my middle and high school years were chock-full of awkward. There was also this sense of pressure to fit in, to be accepted, to feel included. I spent so much time and energy trying to fit into this ideal, this image of what I was supposed to be in order to be “cool”. It was exhausting. Not only that, but I slowly lost who I really was. I listened to the ‘it’ music–because that’s what everyone was listening to, I wore the ‘in’ clothes–because you wouldn’t dare come to school dressed in anything but head-to-toe AbercromHollisterEagle, and I laughed at all the wrong jokes.
It’s not unusual to feel pressure to conform to what society (or your peers) deems “cool”. Everyone wants to feel like they are a part of something, to feel included and liked. And don’t think that just because the hallways of high school are long behind us that this need to fit in suddenly disappears. Everyday we are constantly bombarded with messages, telling us what we should wear, how we should eat, the cars we should drive, even the kinds of toilet paper we should use.
This noise can be overwhelming, and it can be hard to ignore sometimes for sure, but I think that one of the coolest things you can do, the epitome of cool, is being who you are, listening to your own voice, and rocking your uniqueness, your weirdness. Life is way too short to not be who you are, to hide your passions, your talents, your true you.
Here are just some of the things that are more important than being “cool”:
1. Falling head-over-heels-collision-with-the-ground in love with someone.
2. Being vulnerable, even if it’s terrifying and makes your stomach do somersaults.
3. Choosing that bag of *Doritos over that bag of kale chips. *When deciding between kale chips and literally anything else, choose anything else. Always.
4. Busting a move and ugly dancing in the middle of the room, even when no one else is.
5. Choosing to stay in on a Friday/Saturday night to read your favorite book instead. Again.
6. Wearing that 80’s hair band t-shirt because you actually like the band, not just because it’s ironic.
7. Cheering for that baseball/football/hockey/basketball team because you actually like them, not just because everyone else is/does.
8. Volunteering your time to something bigger than you.
9. Apologizing to people you have hurt.
10. Forgiving those who have hurt you.
11. Having a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie marathon.
12. Being ‘Don’t Give A Flying Fudgcicle’ about what anyone thinks about you.
13. Giving every single ‘Flying Fudgcicle’ known to mankind.
14.Learning all the words to Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”
15. Disconnecting from the interwebs/smart phones/social media every so often.
16. Wearing what makes you happy, comfortable, and confident.
17. Attempting to understand the perspectives of people whose values, beliefs and opinions are different than yours.
18. Respecting the values, beliefs and opinions that are different than yours, but not being afraid to standup for what you believe in.
19. Dad jokes. Just all of the dad jokes.
20. Puns. Just all of the puns.
21. Going on an adventure with no real plan.
22. Trusting again after losing faith in someone or something.
23. Going to a movie theater by yourself.
24. Going to dinner by yourself.
25. Approaching life with a sense of humor.
26. And a sense of wonder, excitement, and hope.
27. Liking stereotypically “cool” things.
28. Liking stereotypically “uncool” things.
29. Liking whatever the hell makes you happy.
30. Being unapologetically yourself.
I may be the coolest uncool person in the history of ever, but you know what?
That’s pretty damn cool.
I think it was my favorite doctor who said it best: