At an event last summer I started feeling small, unattractive and nerdy. I looked at the sexy, powerful, confident people sharing a room with me and I felt bad. How I wished I could be “cool” like them!
I then had three conversations that blew my mind.
First of all, I learned that none of the people I saw as “the cool people” saw themselves in that light. They each had insecurities, vulnerabilities, emotions. How foolish of me to characterize them in that shallow way! How self-involved of me to see only what I was projecting, and not see the actual people in front of me.
Lesson: See the actual person – not the cheesy movie playing in your head.
Secondly, I learned that the would-be exclusion I felt was only in my head. That all it takes to be “one of the cool people” is to just get up and dance, to participate, to stop being a wallflower – to jump in the pool and get wet.
Lesson: Come on in, the water is fine.
Thirdly, I was reminded of an instance where I WAS the cool people – where I was shining in the spotlight, with others watching, mesmerized, while I led by example. What had happened to that person? How did I lose myself in neediness and insecurity?
Lesson: Realize when you’re off-balance. Stop and breathe.
Sometimes things happen in life that throw us off-balance. During 2016, I’ve had more than one of those. I had s health situation that not only affected my sense of self, my general happiness and my body-positivity – it resulted in an overnight hospital visit and a hefty blow to my finances. I had work challenges. I struggled with my grad-school studies. And oh yeah, I started HRT – which of course played with the stability of my emotions.
Also: we humans can get lost in symbolism. My Nissan had been my first NEW car, it had represented “arriving.” When that car was totalled by a careless driver in February 2016, a lot of my mojo was wrecked with it. I then had the bad sense of buying a piece-of-shit little “temporary” car while I figured stuff out, and that dragged on for months. Be careful what you allow in your life that brings with it the message of “undeserving.”
Lesson: Find ways to feed yourself the symbolism that will tell you how awesome you are, how much you rock, how you’ll conquer the world.
And sadly, once my head DID pop out of my ass, I found that, while I wasn’t paying attention, some people I was supposed to be watching out for had some hurts of their own.
And that’s the most important lesson: You count. Others need you. Stay connected to your power and your beauty, because it makes an impact in others – and when you let your light go out, it can leave others walking in the dark.
To those of you who held me while I was down (you know who you are): I love you.
One of the Cool People
(protip: we’re ALL, each and every one of us, The Cool Ones)