Do you even know how cool you are? Do you? Seriously.
I don’t know you, but I do know one thing— I know that every single human who has ever walked on this planet has value. And that’s cool. Whether we know it and express it, is the real question.
Your cool may be a shining star of awesome. Or your cool may be partially undercover. It may be buried, burned, scratched, crashed or nearly invisible. But your cool, and your value, is still there. Somewhere.
Believe it or not, I’ve thought a lot about this topic. In Junior High, I thought cool was looking like all my favorite musicians— Duran Duran, Howard Jones, Billy Idol. So I dyed my hair and grew a tail. Turns out, this was not cool.
For a minute in my thirties, I thought making a pile of dough was cool. Wrong again.
Somewhere along the line I cranked up my brain cell and started philosophizing. I figured that cool must be relative. Get this.
Years ago my grandmother found herself on a plane sitting next to Mick Jagger. They struck up a conversation. He said he was in a band. She said her grandson was in a band (that was me). They sortta, kinda became pals.*
She liked him. But she didn’t necessarily think he was all that cool. He was just a guy sitting next to her on the plane who happened to be a singer. She didn’t know (or care) that he was one of the biggest rock stars of all time.
So if my grandma didn’t particularly think he was cool, and the good people of the world think that vastly different types are cool— rock stars, rich guys, celebrities, teachers, zoo keepers, baristas, whatever— cool must be relative. I hit the wall. I stopped thinking (about this).
Then the other day, over some three star aloo gobi and garlic naan, I re-brainstormed the possibilities with my massage therapist pal Jen. This is (basically) how it went down.
Jen: When I’m really into doing a massage it’s like, I don’t know, some kind of metaphysical symbiotic energy transfer. Sparkles and rainbows and new cellular growth.
Jeff: Do you even know how cool you are?
Jen: Yeah, I kinda do. I guess. But what is cool, really?
O crap. The question again. After batting the idea around for awhile, Jen stopped. Looked me in the eye. And said this…
Jen: Ya know what cool really is? It’s self love and acceptance. It’s knowing who you are, being genuine and gentle with yourself.
Holy shit. Jen was totally right. Cool certainly isn’t a hair cut, a style, an accomplishment, money, popularity or whatever. She nailed it. Why? Because she’s soooooo f*ing cool! Thanks, Jen!
So what’s the takeaway? Stop trying to be cool.
Just be. Who. You. Are.
*The story about my grandmother meeting Mr. Jagger is total bullsh*t. But it illustrates the point;)
- What do you think is cool?
- How has this post altered your definition?