authenticity · cool · courage · growth

Stay Cool, Boy

“Cool.” It’s something I want. Something I want to be, but
it’s not an acquisition piece.
Cool and Brave were the two things that came up in some
writing yesterday – qualities that I want to be or have more of. Both require
similar levels of self-assurance and self-acceptance.
I went into the word “cool” for myself – what did I mean by
that? What does it mean to me? Well, cool, to me, means being calm, confident,
not boastful, involved in a variety of activities, engaged in the world, having
a sense of ease about oneself and place in the world. Cool means knowing you
have a right to be where you are. Cool means a lack of self-consciousness. And
a lack of worry or fear.
Similar to brave, I imagine.
A few months ago, I fell in desperate infatuation with a
black leather jacket. This is how I want
people to see me. This is how I want to see myself.
This piece will make me cool.
See, but it doesn’t work that way. I didn’t buy the jacket
on the spot, and instead received it for half the store price from an online
site as holiday present from my dad. I got the jacket in the mail in December,
and it sat in my closet.
I was scared of this jacket.
What it would mean of me, or of what I projecting into the
world. Can I own this jacket? Not in the
possession way, but in the dominate way? Instead of the jacket wearing me, can
I wear it?
The jacket stayed in my closet until earlier this month. I
would take it out occassionally. Fawn over the delicateness of the leather; the
instant cool it gives. But was it me, or was it the jacket?
Finally, I wore it. I felt both impostor and proud. I felt
both seen and the desire to not be seen – can you see through me as I wear
this? Do you know that I don’t have many tattoos or a Ramones album?
Over the last month, I’ve worn this jacket a few more times.
And each time, it does for me what I hoped it would – it’s helped me to embody
the coolness that, somewhere, I do believe I have – if we define “cool” as I
have above – as a calm sense of self-assuredness and place in this world.
The jacket is becoming a tool, not a costume.
I struggle with my own feelings of worthiness around many
things in this world, including obviously a black leather jacket. But owning
this piece of clothing, this visible statement to the world, helps me to feel
like I’m approaching a different place in it.
No longer content to hide from it. No longer content to hide
who I am in it. Yes, I am that girl in the black leather jacket. And I might even
have heels on, too.