This whole “Throwback Thursday” thing had me curious about what I had written for this particular date in the past and I found a blog I wrote from August the 4th, 2011. A healthy four years ago. I found it particularly amusing since it’s titled, “I’m just not cool”.
In four years I went from comparing myself to the super hip Lollapalooza crowds traveling on the Blue Line trains to realizing that I have less in common with them now than ever before. I think they were even cooler and more hip this year than four years ago.
Whatever these kids want to be mad about or throw their arms up in the air and wave them like they just do not care is fine by me. I still have enough residual 1990’s angst that stirs me up from time to time. Well, maybe it’s still some residual Cold War anxiety on top of that. Of course the young kids attending the Lollapalooza shows can’t quite relate to the whole threat of nuclear annihilation of the 1980’s either so I guess we’re even.
I digress, what I mean to say is that I still don’t feel like I’m all that cool. Four long years have passed by and I’m no cooler than I was then. I mean, I am a bit more patient when I talk to complete morons, and am less bothered by the irrationality of others around me. However, I am quicker to judge and far more likely to be dismissive than I was four years ago. Is that cool? Is it possible at some point I will attain some level of “Cool Dude” status?
Maybe I judge more harshly now because of the whole, “Don’t waste my precious time. I only live so long and I don’t want to waste it listening to you talk about your affinity for basket weaving in the Congo,” thing. I think that’s why people who repeat themselves several times while telling a story are also so very irritating now. I don’t have time to hear you repeat the same detail 27 times. You’ve ruined the story already. I need you to move the story along now. Get to the point. I can hear my skin cells dying while you blather on. I can’t handle the thought that I’ve wasted a 4th of a second on your unimportant story detail. I can’t believe you read that whole thing due to its repetitive nature.
See, I’m still so un-cool that I can barely keep the thread of this whole “not being cool” blog post together into a coherent written piece. I’m kind of all over the place, like your Grandfather on the golf course. I’m sure he’s all over the place, in the cart, on the greens, in the clubhouse bar, some random group of women’s table at dinner.
But see, that’s just it. Crazy Grandpa at the Golf course seems sort of cool and “I don’t give a crap” cool. If I did all that stuff, I’d just get told I’ve had too much to drink and perhaps I should leave the Home Depot. That is just not cool.
I don’t have any tattoos. I never got any. I didn’t think the meager selections of spider webs or Chicago flags with skulls or flames, or Ska kids dancing ever seemed right for me. Now I see the beard-o crowd, tatted up like there’s no tomorrow and I wonder if I missed that cool train. But I stayed true to myself, so that should be cool right? But does saying I stayed true to myself negate any coolness I might have accrued by staying true to myself? I don’t know any more now than I did four years ago; about the cool kids at least.
I certainly have learned a lot about myself in that time. I’ve learned about my anxiety issues and my clinical depression. I’ve learned how to try and not let my frustrations get the better of me. I’ve learned that I have to let people go be who they want to be no matter how much it might hurt inside. I have grown enough to know that I can’t be greedy with any one’s time, because it is special.
And maybe that’s what is cool now. Perhaps it’s just being okay with whatever the world decides to heave at you like so much projectile vomit. Maybe the benefit of age is the perspective it provides on those issues of our past, the angst of the 90’s and the anxieties of the 80’s. Coolness is growth. Growth is cool.
Maybe I am a little cooler.