Tired of Cool

I’m sick and tired of cool. Cool—as an idea co-opted by the apathetic—isn’t something to which we should all aspire, it’s an idea that should die on the vine. Because to be cool in that context means to be icy, removed, and detached, our feelings pushed deep inside, inexpressible and moot. The air around it, the stench of insecurity writhing within it, the cynicism that feeds cool’s soul robs us of our inherent love and passion for things. Striving for cool makes everything in our world, attainable or otherwise, feel instantly, pathetically uncool.

Cool is apathy’s armor. Cool is an idea borne from people too afraid of judgement for their own likes and wants and choices—because cool always needs to be a little bit removed to work. A knowing wink here, an over-it eyeroll there, nonplussed and unsurprised. Cool navigates the world as permanent side-eye, emotionless as it scoffs down the street, dismissing everything around it.

Because cool is, ultimately, about uniformity in the face of vulnerability. Cool is no fan of anything, because that would require visible passion, excitement, and care for and about things. Cool does not like or love, it merely recognizes or not.

Fuck cool and the horse it rode in on. It’s okay to care about and get excited about things. Passion and heart are not our enemies. In fact, I dare say we need those things now more than we’ve ever needed them before. It may be the only thing that can save us. Be earnest.

I’ve often been punished or admonished or made fun of for being passionate and excited about things (this energy isn’t a put on it’s been my WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE ask my mother and my siblings, they’re exhausted). Maybe you have, too. Be brave and live passionately anyway.

Do you feel that fluttery rumble in your heart? Does your head feel a bit light? Your arms a bit buzzy? Good, lean into that. Fear is not the enemy, nor is hate. These both require feeling and living in that. Apathy is the problem, cool’s home base; both ignore what earnest caring and passion bring to the equation.

Cool will tell you caring is overrated, passion is problematic, and joy is naiveté. Because cool thrives on a baseline feeling of cynicism—born of nothing, sustained by jealousy. Jealousy that cool cannot muster up enough to care, love, or feel, likely born out of fear.

We’ve forgotten — with good reason, look at how garbage so many things are right now — about the beauty and good and positivity that living in earnestly, with joy and love and passion can bring to the world. To live that way in the face of all that’s happening isn’t insanity, it’s bravery. It isn’t childish to love and care about other people, places, or things—it’s taking an active role in the world around us.

Be vulnerable in your love and excitement for things. Whether you lose, get hurt, or experience something new, show others that it’s okay to know how the cynical world will likely behave, but live loudly and with excitable passion in spite of it. Or maybe because of it. Either way: you’re living, you’re learning, you’re loving with your whole self. It is a gift to the world to be this way.

They say living well is the best revenge. Well, living with passion and excitement in the face of hate is maybe even better.

If your excitement and passion and love for something makes people uncomfortable THAT IS THEIR PROBLEM, NOT YOURS. Be the love and passion and joy you wish to see in the world—let the earnest ripples of that bounce off the rest of us, infecting our hearts and souls and minds with another way of being: one that doesn’t ascribe to the diatribes of cool. Light up your life and the lives of others with your care for things and love of others. Be the lightning rod for love and life and laughter, and do so unapologetically. Our human strengths and compassion are tenfolded by this sort of living, begetting a domino effect of hype and excitement for being and seeing.

It can be trying and taxing to live in this way: do it anyway. Cool doesn’t want you to win, it wants to win. Don’t let an idea beat your fully realized, earnest self.