Fully embracing not being cool. Even though I’m 32, thus at the very beginning of this decade, I am already enjoying my 30s more than my 20s (and I enjoyed my 20s more than my teens). A major factor in this phenomenon that counters a youth obsessed culture like our own is that I no longer feel the pressure to be “cool.” I like myself and I like my life. I matter to those that matter to me (Dr. Seuss echo) and that’s all I need to be happy.
I’m no longer trying to catch friends or lovers with my “cool” net. I leave the house regularly with no makeup and messy hair. I no longer buy things that are uncomfortable to wear just because they are cute. I’m not exactly walking around with pre-dreads, covered in a potato sack. My priorities have just shifted. My leisure time is more limited thus it won’t be wasted in the bathroom getting ready. Fifteen minutes is my limit, 30-35 if I’m washing my hair. I also have standards that I apply to shoes and clothes that I didn’t when I was younger. For example, I no longer put up with shoes that pinch my toes. I leave the store shoeless with the knowledge that I will find another pair that I like that doesn’t pinch. Nor will I put up with being cold because I’m dying to wear the new dress I just bought. Dresses now stay in my closet for months with the tag and surface only when it’s sunny and 70 degrees (mid-60s is acceptable if it’s a sweater dress). Jeans and a sweater is the appropriate and reasonable wardrobe response to cold weather. Logic trumps coolness.
I will even go as far as to say, not being cool saves friendships – as in you keep the real ones. The lame friends drop out of your life much faster because their car, their good looks, their perceived popularity, their parties, are not substantial enough to maintain a relationship. These types of friends talk about you behind your back, flirt with your boyfriend, flake on you at the last minute to hang out with other people they deem cooler, and demand that the conversation consistently revolve around them. I think youth is much more willing to put up with these fake friends to gain entrance to certain social circles.
It is kind of amazing how freeing not being cool is. It saves my time, it saves my comfort, it saves my money (I no longer buy things I hardly wear because they pinch my damn toes), and it saves my heart (friend breakups can be just as messy as boyfriend breakups especially because the fake ones tend to be the most dramatic).