I was never cool, never popular. I wasn't a major loser, an outcast or anything. I was in the middle where I didn't want to be. Cool people seemed to have better lives. I wanted to be in that group, but saw no way. See, I went to a suburban school where looks, money, and confidence mattered. I suppose they do everywhere. My folks weren't poor, but I wasn't stylish or hip. I wore jeans and t-shirts emblazoned with the names of jazz bands and old rock groups. I wore Converse high tops but they weren't cool, they were average like me.
It felt like a lesser way to go through life. People had it better and did better. I had it good enough and should have done better, that's how it felt. The cool people seemed better than me. They had more money, but who had a better life? What is a better life? It has only occurred to me in my forties that life is not a competition and to make it so is to lose immediately. I've lived a good life. Dad and Mom were good to me. My brother and I got along better with every year. We had enough money. There was food on the table, presents under the tree, and I had my own room. I had good friends, one of whom has been with me for all but the first month and a half of my life. And I had a great dog. Mine has been a good life even if I've not been cool.
My life has just gotten better and better. I'm married to and in love a woman I first kissed in 1991. Our two daughters are beyond wonderful. Dad died, and while that sucks, he had a good death with no pain and I still have Mom. My job is good enough and pays well. I'm on the lookout for new adventure. I'm writing. I'm healthy. I have a turntable and a bunch of records to listen to.
I don't have a Tesla yet, but how important is that? Besides, it's good to want and not have everything. I have enough, probably more than enough. Still, I'm going to see what I can do about getting me a Tesla. There's no way _not_ to be cool with that car. (I'm mostly kidding.)
I wasn't a cool kid, but I've grown to be cool with that. I'm not in search of cool so much anymore. The coolest people don't try to be cool, they just went their own way. They are sure of themselves or at least seem sure enough that they don't have to go along with the crowd. I've gotten to the point in my life when I'm willing to go my own way, to shrug at being out of the mainstream, to understand that it's not at all about how I seem to others. It comes down to how I feel about me. How do I feel? I'm okay and I have the strong feeling that I'm getting better. That's cool.