HomeUncategorizedThe Curse of Longing to be Cool


The Curse of Longing to be Cool — 3 Comments

  1. See, I have a slightly different perspective. Not necessarily an opposing one, but one I hope is worth mentioning.

    I too was the longing-to-be-cool type. And I remember this other girl I met in high school who was also longing to be cool. She was … hmm.. right out there. I loved her. She blew into my slightly depressed, bored as hell, yearning for a soulmate world when I was 15. She seemed – to my adolescent self – to represent the epitome of cool because she didn't appear to be longing for it like I was, endlessly comparing herself to everyone and coming up short every time. She appeared so OK with her smartness, genuinely enjoying her own tastes, relishing in the absurd, not caring a whit about what others were doing/how they dressed/ parties they got sick drinking at… and she made me feel like it was OK not to aspire to these things.

    She also introduced me to real fucking music. I heard things I didn't know existed. She laid the foundation for all my musical adventures afterward, teaching me about alt and retro, lo-fi and hi-test. She told me great stories and loaned me great books. She inspired me to get the hell out of our town instead of sit there just wishing it was different there. She planted a seed of hope that I would find others like me and like her “out there”. She was so very cool. She clearly had no idea how much others aspired to be as cool as she was.

    So, you know… as usual, the lesson for me is that there are multiple things going on at the same time, at any moment, as contradictory as can be. For example, this person I speak of is still cooler than cool and clearly doesn't know it. She still inspires me to listen to my passion and do what makes me happy instead of wishing for something else. She's incredible. She's better than cool.

  2. JVK, Thank you so much for this! You've totally made me cry (in the good way). It's true that Cool is a perception and wrapped up in so many things that we think about ourselves and others. I wanted to be as cool as you! I remember YOU turning me on to awesome music, (giving me wicked mixed tapes that I still have all these years later), challenging me about the things I thought and being totally envious of your wicked sense of style and devil-may-care attitude.

    It kind of makes me think about this old Jules Feiffer cartoon and laugh (second cartoon on the page at this link: http://girardianlectionary.net/res/cartoons.html)

    Thank you for reminding me that it's all relative and much resides in the eye of the beholder. I truly believe the important things are integrity and authenticity. Much more important than recognition or renown (or money, as nice as a little money would sometimes be.) As I struggle to continue to be truly myself, I love knowing that someone I admire as much as you is fighting similar fights. So beautifully. So much better than cool.

    Big hugs to you. xoxoxo!

  3. Hello Alex,
    Cool is definitely in the eye of the beholder… My longing for cool was being a “wanna bee” musician the way music just pours out of someone like it is just how they breathe….
    Lowering the ballad bucket into their whole being and bringing out words never spoken before to reveal truth hidden from our Kraft dinner world.
    Now that is cool… my drum is still vibrating from the times I had the honour to play along side you and watch you lower your bucket!!!
    Your definition of cool … now thats cool..
    Love Elaine oxo