I grew up in West Germany, which America occupied for a bit. That was essentially a positive thing. So many parts of American culture were worth aspiring to.
The word cool was one of them.
I never thought of it as being a certain way, having a certain car, playing a certain sport, wearing certain clothes, smoking certain cigarettes.
To me, cool was always about being different.
Being different than most everyone else while still being oddly content.
Most people who try to be someone else will end up being unhappy. It's like being a wolf in a sheep's body. You'll end up being a super weird sheep.
Yet when people aspire to be cool, they often look at someone else as their template for being cool.
That's wrong, IMO.
Being cool means being yourself and being surprisingly (to others) content with that.
Is that an official definition?
But it's my definition. Mr. 5 ft 9 on a good day. Mr. Balding with a beanie. Mr. drives a Honda Element that's much closer to 1999 than 2023.
I don't want to say that I don't give a shit. But other people's perception matters much less than what I find comfortable, aspirational, or important.
When people look at you funny and wonder why you're so confident, you're cool.
I have many more wishes for my daughter than I have for myself.
That is one of them.
Be cool, Selma.
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