Have you ever considered yourself as being cool?
What does cool even mean?
I don’t think it’s a word I would have ever used to describe myself – in my younger years or my adult years.
To me, cool means popular… and the word ‘popular’ to so many springs up a whole heap of memories and emotions. Imagine the scene, like every single teen movie out there. The ‘popular’ crowd. Beautiful, confident, always looked amazing. Teachers loved them, we all wanted to be them, they rarely put a foot wrong, were always praised and glorified. And us? Well we sat in the background. Some in awe, some in detest, others simply daydreaming about what it would be like to be them. However, unlike the movies, we never got our moment. We never had our extreme makeover, removed our glasses or got an awesome haircut which thrust us into popularity. We left school being uncool to so many, including in our own minds.
Then I think we all split. Some of those who were seen as cool at school slipped into obscurity. Others flourished. Some became cool because of the job they managed to bag after university or work up to. Those roles seemed perfect, idyllic, inspiring. Some became cool because of the money they earned and what it enabled them to buy. Success often lead to confidence, and confidence is always cool, right?
Life in your twenties I feel seemed to be a pursuit of ‘coolness’. We want to be envied and admired. We want to be perceived as a success. We want to feel good about ourselves.
Then the next decade comes along. And that’s the one I’m in. I wasn’t cool in school. I think anytime I ever felt cool in my twenties I was immediately shot down, feeling inadequate by others. So how do I feel now? Am I cool?
When I think of others right now that I deem cool, I think of two factors. Popular and talented aka admired. Yes, popularity, that old chestnut again (will that ever leave?). If I am being harsh on myself I would say I am neither popular nor very talented. I don’t have a crowd of people to look to. I don’t have people to call up when I want to watch a movie or hang out. I’m not a part of any group messages nor do many come to me for advice or help. As for talent, well that’s where I must give myself a slap on the wrist and say naughty Jen. I do have talent, I know that. But enviable talent? Maybe not. I know a crap tonne about CrossFit, technique and movement for example. But I can’t do a handstand push up or a heavy snatch. So no one takes my advice. You’re not admired. You can’t be cool Jen.
But this really doesn’t sound right to me!
So why, as a grown adult in my thirties, married for 8 years and very happy still see ‘coolness’ as a desirable thing? Is it that vibe we want to put out into the world? Does being cool actually mean nothing to us personally but it is a word we wish others to perceive us as? Maybe you want your kids to see you as a cool Mum or Dad? Maybe you just want others to notice you? Maybe you want to be cool to impress your neighbours (hello Joneses)?
Maybe being cool shouldn’t mean being popular or having lots of talent. Maybe I shouldn’t class those who are surrounded by a group of friends or someone who brags about going on a fun trip as cool. Maybe we stop using the word to compare ourselves to others in order to bring us down. We aren’t our former teenage selves.
I am cool if I say I am. I am cool because I’m kind. I am cool because I am generous. I am cool because I love Iron Maiden. I am cool because I had 2 coffees this morning #rockstar.
You are cool when you are you and when you say you are.
What does being cool mean to you?
Do you link cool to being popular?
What makes you cool?