I met a really great friend who happens to be an excellent and extremely experienced coach for a coffee last week and we had the best chat talking all things progress and development. This time however, instead of our usual updates on how we were both moving along in our quests to achieve the much anticipated pot of gold and happiness that lies at the end of the rainbow, we shared our discoveries that that pot just ain’t there and it never will be.
That longed for happiness is here and the gold is time. The time that you have the luxury of living right in this very second and without sharing some of the coaching techniques that my friend has worked hard to develop I’m happy to share with you why now, after thirty six years on planet earth I’m officially giving up caring whether I’m cool or not because who the fuck gets to decide what cool is anyway?
Here’s some ramblings to help bring home the point that much like beauty being in the eye of the beholder, all being cool involves, is getting to grips with the person you actually are and always have been (as opposed to the one you think others would like you to be) and quite simply owning it.
Social media is a killer for the comparison rabbit hole and for many of us who gladly waved goodbye to the school playground and the discussion about who had the coolest Buffalo trainers (yep that’s my generation) it has probably brought about a bit of a resurgence of that feeling of ‘keeping up.’ In fact recently when I was nagging the Cheltenham Papa to redecorate (it has been a really long time) he called me up on the change in my attitude to what constituted interior cool since I’ve started working and living this virtual life and getting stuck in the Insta Bubble.
It kills me to admit it but the man’s got a point. I’ve never been someone who followed trends when it came to my home… why was I starting now? Honestly…? because I wanted to be cool. But guess what… in my humble opinion you can’t just go to Homesense and buy all the on trend stuff you need to make a truly ‘cool’ living room. Your space will be cool because it’s full of stuff that matters to you and little trinkets that mean something or that you picked up on holiday. I’m now ok with that – my house doesn’t look like the ones you see in the magazines – does that mean it’s not cool? I mean does the kid in this picture look like she cares? Nope… not currently.
And when it comes to fashion? Well honestly I’m a bit of a disaster! When I hit the shops it’s never the items that will suit me that stand out. I’m awkward, my shape is far from the socially accepted version of cool and I don’t (and will never) know how to stand to make the best of my body and it’s best and worst bits. I’m not even stylishly eccentric or kooky when it comes to clothes – I’m just not blessed with the ability to dress well – it’s as simple as that. But here’s the revelation…. I’m really not bothered. On the rare occasion that I’ve seen a photo of myself looking half decent it has of course put a smile on my face but it’s not been an earth shatteringly deep moment of joy…. a pot of gold moment. Those moments come when you’re least expecting them – a little squeeze of the hand from one of your kids, when you do something at work that makes someone else’s day better, when your parents tell you something about themselves that you never knew. That’s the really cool stuff people.
My husband also kindly asked me the other day how I was coping with the fact that my Instagram account (which at one stage was something I was very proud of and gave me a sense that I was cool) is all of a sudden getting virtually no engagement and has remained stagnant in the followers for weeks (months?) I’m cool with it. And I REALLY am. I have a business that is now ticking over nicely allowing me to earn a bit of money whilst doing something that I love and that is enough. That is cool. Instagram likes or not, that shits happening. So whether it’s because of the algorithm (which is the easiest thing in the world to blame when you’re not the account of the moment) or people just don’t care so much…. I just don’t care.
I’m reconnecting with the person I was before all of the layers of life got in the way. I’m remembering that I like drama and dance. I’ve reminded myself that I love to read and I’m now on a mission to grow all my hair back because even though my thick, wavy tresses were unstyled and left to dry however they fell that’s just the way I liked them and it was only a quest to be cool that led me to snip them off. I’m also not going to worry about plastering my face in makeup to conceal those deep deep eye bags and the wrinkles that appear in droves each day – I’ve got other shit to do. Stuff that makes me happy.
So is there a magic age when you suddenly learn that following the crowd in a bid to be cool is a complete and utter waste of magical and precious time? Who knows but if there is my money is on it being 36 years and 3 months.
Anyone else cool with not being cool? I’d love to hear how long it took you to get there?
Have a great week team.
(With big thanks to Gill at Mouse About Town for capturing these pics of me embracing my uncoolness with aplomb.)