Not going to lie, I have ALWAYS wanted to be cool. You know what I’m talking about — the kind of cool where the impressiveness of your existence just oozes out of your pores. The kind of cool where the things you say sound like they’ve never been said before. The kind of cool where it feels like there’s layer upon layer of cool… just cool clothes, on a cool person, with a cool name, and some cool hair.
There’s something about being cool that feels ultimate. The elusiveness of its ability to be defined, the intangible nature of its connotation — for me it always represented an embodiment of the qualities I aspire to.
The thing is, and it’s something I’ve realized only very recently, is that coolness can’t be acquired by theft or appropriation. I mean, have you ever tried to copy something that a person you regard as being highly cool is doing/wearing/saying? It feels fraudulent, or like a shitty remake of your favourite film...not particularly cool if you ask me.
Similarly, coolness isn’t something that can be bought or acquired through material possessions. It’s not found in the driver’s seat of the newest car, the shimmer of expensive jewelry, or the Egyptian cotton of expensive clothes, or this article would be a listicle, with a title that sounded more like an advertisement you’d see walking down a highstreet. Not cool…again.
What really occurred to me, as I pondered all the people that I found to be in possession of the utmost degree of coolness, was that to any other person, they might not seem cool at all. In other words, everything that I found to be particularly captivating about this individual’s cool demeanor, could be just the part of their personality that another person would find to be off-putting, or antagonizing, or simply, lame. Consequently, the reverse also occurred to me. The notion that many of the individuals that other people deem to be cool, couldn’t be farther from it in my own, personal opinion.
It’s almost as if coolness is completely subjective, not unlike preference for ice-cream flavours, or sexual positions — what one person views as the epitome of cool, might just be ‘meh’ for someone else.
What this means is that my longtime preoccupation with being cool was doing nothing other than stifling my ability to be exactly that. Because let me tell you a little secret: Authenticity is cool.
Instead of focusing on what aspects of coolness I lacked (FYI: insecurity, jealousy, and comparison will never increase your likability), this epiphany of mine meant shifting the focus to the ways I was already cool.
Kindness is cool, I can do that.
Being a good listener is cool, I can do that more.
Making people laugh is cool, I can try to do that more. LOL
Because what being cool actually comes down to has absolutely nothing to do with having an abundance of ‘cool’ phrases, playlists, and personality traits in your back pocket — inevitably, and after all, you will still fail to impress everyone with these things, simply because people have different tastes.
The only way to be truly cool is to be okay with the fact that you can’t be liked by everyone. It’s to be confident enough in your convictions for that small piece of reality to not bother you. It’s to be compassionate enough to help others, unreservedly. It’s to consciously choose to be a good person, even when it goes against someone else’s idea of cool. It’s to live in the moment, and to live without regret. That is all pretty cool if you ask me.
If you want that intangible air of mysterious coolness that I have forever been enchanted by the idea of, then all I’m saying it that you should strive to be SUCH a good version of yourself that the world will be in inexplicble awe of your essence. Everyone will wonder how on earth you became so damn cool. Then go ahead and send them the link to this article. ;)
Alexandra Walker-Jones— August 2020