Why I Stopped Caring About Being Cool
January 21, 2017
I have spent the greater half of my 20s trying to figure out the je ne sais quoi that defines what it means to be “cool.” I know that runs counter to what it means to have je ne sais quoi, but I also refuse to believe that I can’t figure it out. At 22, I called it swag and believed we all had it. At 24, when I learned we don’t, I demanded that you could fake it until you made it — just wear leather jackets and sunglasses and ripped blue jeans until the cows come home.
At 25, I realized that you can only fake it for so long, and thus changed my thesis. Instead of trying to become cool, I would publicly announce the difference between “cool” and “effortless” and haphazardly dub myself the latter.
Now, at 28, I wonder why I cared so much about this worshipped (but somewhat unimpressive) four-letter word. Is “cool” the best we’ve got?