Trying Not to Try to be Cool

It’s 4:30AM and I’m in this hotel in Israel, about an hour outside of Jerusalem. The group I’m traveling with is up because we’re about to do a sunrise hike. I assume that because it’s 4:30AM most of us hate everything that’s ever existed. But when I come into the lobby, two boys are playing some Kanye and half-dancing, moving their bodies around a little bit in a cool way. “It is too early in the morning to be cool!!!” I said to my friend. In this moment, it was hard for me to put my finger on why, but I was annoyed.

I know that I have a bias in favor of weirdness. I think weird is funny, I think weird is endearing, I think weird is charming. But I don’t think a person has to try to be weird or comedic any more than they should try to be cool. The kinds of people I love and appreciate most are the ones who don’t hesitate to tell me what they’re wondering about and the things that upset them.

Reflecting on this, I’m visualizing a fourth grade teacher wearing a long floral dress yelling “Be yourself!” This was also the moral of many iCarly episodes back in the day. It may be cliché AF but the advice seems to hold up. Recently I’ve been made an effort to stop trying to try to be cool. Here are some ways I’ve done this

  1. Singing around people who aren’t my housemates

  2. Writing and making art that I don’t think other people will care about

  3. Giving in to the fact that I do need a gallon of milk to last me through the week (my housemate drinks some too I swear) and bought one instead of a chicken-ass half gallon

Three things that happen when you try not to try to be cool:

  1. Your head feels a little clearer

  2. You may feel more present with your friends (also strangers and frenemies)

  3. You can wear your denim miniskirt from 2009 that you secretly really like

In conclusion, do something that feels good and authentic for yourself! Also, “Don’t try to be someone else because when you act like someone else everyone hates you” --My friend Sara