I'm Not Cool and That's Okay


I’m not cool. When I was in high school and college my friends had to do my makeup and I kinda wish they could still do it now. I never know the right thing to say. I don’t know what drink to order. I am thirty six years young and still have to look up things on urban dictionary because I’m not sure what they mean. My hair was always straight parted down the middle and is now up in a librarian style mom bun most of the time. I never evolved beyond the trend of layering tanks and cardigans so hopefully that comes back in style at some point. Maybe it already is, I’ll never know.

I have cool friends, like, hot friends that are genuinely cool. They always seem to know what to say, exactly what drink to order that won’t make a bartender inwardly roll their eyes. They know when to tip and how much and what to wear to any occasion. They know how to do their brows. I didn’t even know doing brows was a thing I needed to do because I never plucked mine. Until of course I finally tried… and plucking them wasn’t cool anymore.

It even translates into motherhood. I sit in my car, watching other moms walk into the preschool and they look so good. Well groomed, stylish. Some are wearing lipstick, bright colors that look amazing. When I wear lipstick beyond any nude-ish pink (is that a shade?) I feel weird. It doesn’t look right on me while it glows on others.

Coolness just wasn’t my birthright. Over the years I settled into what I was apparently assigned when you’re quiet, like to draw, wear glasses, eat apples and read books: nerdy artist girl. Being an artist you would think I’m not so into trends anyway OR into all the anti-trends that are still trends. I’m not into trends because I don’t really know what is trendy.  Other artists might wear tutus over skinny jeans or rock the slouchy hat over blunt cut bangs. Even while I was painting abstractions and creating more edgy things I still did so in my cardigan and ponytail.

I know confidence has something to do with it.

You have to have some sort of confidence to be an artist, showing whatever is boiling up under your skin to the world. It takes confidence to show the part of yourself that is not just layered cardigan and bare face. But you know what?

I am finally realizing, even if I am not cool I am confident with myself. I like who I am. I’m working on loving who I am. My cool friends have been whispering words of confidence to me for years. They remind me that I’m beautiful when they tell me to look up while they apply my eyeliner. They tell me I have inspiring things to say when they read my writing. They go out of their way to see my artwork hanging on random coffee shop walls and help me see I am worth looking at.

I may not be cool but I’m pretty amazing. And I have my cool friends to thank for getting me to the point that I finally understand. My friends, who are so much more than whatever cool is supposed to be. They are talented and strong. They get up on the stage and act, they go to the gym and rock it out, they take on different challenges and push themselves to perform. They knit beautiful scarfs and create all kinds of things that others want to buy. They wear clothes that probably don’t qualify as trendy or cool but they look amazing anyway. Maybe they don’t know what drink to order either but they look damn good doing it and it’s that ease that makes them seem so cool. They chase after their dreams and aren’t afraid to look silly and just be themselves.

If you’re not feeling so cool, even after a long look in the mirror at beautiful, unique you, try asking some of your cool friends what they see in you. Seriously, do it now. I bet they see some pretty incredible stuff in you, just as much as you see in them.