You know what's cool? Never letting your passion for something make you vulnerable.
I am not cool.
In high school, the dominant code was to be cool. When I look back on my time there, though, I realize that the most interesting things I remember were the moments when individuals weren't cool. The times when we were wrapped up in things that could hurt us, extending ourselves over the precipice; that's where the color is. If I have a regret in my life, it is that I spent too much time trying to get back to cool (which is a place I never could find anyway).
Last Sunday I turned 35. I went to see Gillian Welch and David Rawlings perform in concert. Let me make you a list of things that are not cool:
*Refreshing your browser every five minutes on the morning that a band plans to announce tour dates in your area.
*Hustling your toddler into the car and driving an hour to stand in line waiting for the ticket window to open.
*Buying a t-shirt, and a tote bag, and a signed poster, and an art print of the album cover.
*Having a total meltdown because you were in the ladies room when rock star (whom you had seen the day before in concert and whose t-shirt you were wearing, albeit covered in sardine juice from an in-car eating incident), stops at same rest area to buy a burger and your husband fails to waylay him.
*Running out of the theater after the show and standing at the loading dock for an hour in hopes of intercepting rock star on her way to the car. Because, of course, you know what they drive.
Now, none of this is cool. But you know what is? This:
So I give up on trying to be cool. If you want something, if you love something, try for it. It's pretty cool in the grave, I'll be cool then.