Back in the day, I used to admire the “cool kids” for being class clowns, getting all the girls, and shirking off getting good grades. At the same time, they possessed a large amount of “respect” from the student body. They always had the latest clothes, were careless in their speech, but were detailed to the very last button when it came to their personal appearance. They reigned supreme over the cafeteria, the classroom, and the playground. Everywhere they went, they commanded attention from everyone including the teachers. Many of them were also bullies so the “respect” they received was feared based. I despised many of them but there were some qualities about them that I admired. Deep inside I didn’t want to be the bullied, nerdy kid; I wanted to be the cool kid with the flashiest clothes surrounded by girls who didn’t give a damn about anything.
Though I graduated from grade levels in high school and college, my fascination with being the “cool kid” remained unchanged. I still found myself going to clubs where the cool kids hung out and the same control they had in school was evident in the clubs and social environments. I wanted to be in the V.I.P section with the ladies popping bottles (weird thing: they always looked bored and boring) but nonetheless, I wanted to be boring with them, dammit!
My mindset changed 180 degrees when I graduated from college and my concerns about being “cool” and “accepted” by my former peers were irrelevant. Now that I am older and an adult responsible for every facet of my life, my definition of what is “cool” is TOTALLY DIFFERENT than what it was 5, 10, 15 years ago.
You know what’s cool to me?
Having a solid credit score; having my health; mentoring others and seeing young people achieve their goals; waking up early in the morning despite telling myself most of my life that I’m not a morning person (shattering myths); traveling to different countries; making love; reading a solid book; achieving my goal of writing 500 words a day; buying my Mother an exercise bike to help her on her health goals; waking up not having to worry about if I stole from, lied to, or cheated someone; striving for and knowing my purpose; having a solid relationship with God; paying off my bills and loans; and last but not least being myself.
You see, being “cool” comes in different forms and the great thing is that each of us has the ability to create our own definition of what is cool. Ultimately, being yourself is the coolest thing you can do because there is only one of you and there’s only one of me.
Photo Credit: “Blue Neon Sign.” Filebram.com. December 5, 2018.