The idea for this post came from a conversation with a coworker. Hopefully she isn't reading this. She probably isn't. We were making coffee (for me tea) at work the morning after I went to my first SoulCycle class. She was asking me about my experience and I casually told her mid-story that after realizing how loud the music would be in the spin studio, I grabbed a pair of free earplugs from the reception desk before heading in. Well, judging from my friend's reaction, apparently what I did achieves grandma status. "I'm like, not cool," I said. Let's get something straight: I'm 23 going on 83. I don't stay out late on weeknights. The only time I ever saw the sun rise when I came home from a night out was solely because my friend couldn't read a train schedule. I can count the number of times I've been drunk. I've never smoked a cigarette, nor have I ever smoked weed, and I don't plan to because I'm simply not interested. I don't ever wear makeup. Ever. I couldn't give less of a shit about celebrity gossip. I'd rather run my own business than backpack through Europe. I'd never get Taco Bell at 3AM. I'd never get Taco Bell at 3PM. I still keep stuffed animals on my bed. I didn't kiss a boy until I was seventeen. I've never done a juice cleanse. I don't have a membership to a swanky gym. I wouldn't wear anything that says, "Bride to Be," or "Bridesmaid," or "Team Bride," even if you paid me triple my year's salary. I don't have the ugly chic Urban Outfitters thing going on, nor do I do the plain old chic always-looks-impeccable thing. I don't have a pair of Tory Burch flats, and I have no plans to ever buy them. I don't use the word "selfie."
It took me a long time to realize who I am, to "find myself" as some people would say. Throughout middle school and high school, I went through quite a few "phases." I won't bore you with the details, but I think deep down the reason for these phases was the need to be "cool." So this is what I've realized while writing this post: The things I've listed above aren't things that are actually cool. They're just things that everyone else is doing/has done.
But here's the thing: I actually am cool. After many embarrassing phases and much soul-searching, I've figured out what works for me, and who I am. I am my own brand of cool.