The biggest struggle of our childhood was to find where we truly belong. It felt like being marooned in a desert with a Ferrari — a lot of horsepower with no direction. At this impressionable age, some “cool” kids sauntered into our lives — with their flashy pencil boxes, swanky PCs and lavish Teacher’s Day gifts.
They looked cleaner in their new outfits and shoes and spoke eloquent English with an accent. Simply put, being “cool” was about something you didn’t have — privilege. It was the only way to get some acknowledgement from the universe. Hence, began our decade-long sagas of trying to fake it until we make it.
Believe it or not, many who were the sources of our envy were simply enjoying their lives — oblivious to our resentment. Trying to emulate them, even when we hated their exploits, only made our lives miserable.
This trend continued into our social media-fuelled adulthoods, where our self-esteems continue to be slaughtered by multi-billion dollar industries. An army of marketers and self-appointed “influencers” hawks us “idols” every day.
They won’t stop until you buy their over-priced endorsements and get a glimmer of “magic” in your lives. It’s so loud that it can completely deafen you to the point where you can’t even hear your own thoughts and opinions.
No wonder so many of us keep trying so hard to look cool, witty, sarcastic, exclusive, refined, art aficionados, hipsters, trendsetters, grammar nazis, gourmet foodies and online snobs.
Surprisingly, some of the happiest and most comfortable people are never described as “cool”. These people listen to their gut and recognise their innate needs minus the social radio static. They admit their weaknesses, tell their stories, express their fears, ask for help and take risks that put them on the path to vulnerability.
By not trying to be “cool”, you give life a chance to soak in the awesome in every moment. The only things you truly need are hot showers, great meals, tight hugs and deep sleep.
So dance awkwardly in the shower, make funny faces in family photos, write silly love letters, have a face-pack night with the bros and walk like the star of your own movie. It’s better to get made fun of than not appreciate the wonders of the world.
Cool is about the next chapter of your self-discovery. Cool is about pitching a tent there with swag until the cows come home.