On being cool.

(First posted 28th Jan 2014)

“…there are better things to be than cool.” – Andrea Gibson.

There are better things to be than cool, Andrea Gibson is right. If you know me then you might have already realised that being cool is very low down on my list of priorities. If I am annoyed about something then I tend to make it very clear. If I am excited about something then I make that clear too. I am not one of those people who “plays it cool”. Playing it cool is boring. If something is happening that makes me have feelings, I am gonna let you know.

I get really excited when a good song comes on. I want to sing along. Even if that good song hasn’t actually come on on any real world music device, and is only in my head, I will want to sing along. I might even dance. That will probably mortify some of you, you probably will want to pretend you are not with me or that you have a stomach ache and really need to go home. I am not sorry. That is your problem. Embrace your inner sound system. I am the girl in the street playing air guitar, I am the girl in the office pretending her desk is a drum set, I do use the hairdryer in the swimming pool as microphone, and I will turn my hand bag into a keyboard whilst I sit on the subway. If you do not have a whole hoard of imaginary instruments at your disposal then you are seriously missing out. Imaginary instruments are the best instruments because they aren’t at all heavy, and you don’t actually need to learn how to play them.Imagine yourself to be a rock star. Then you won’t need to pretend to be cool.

I really like stories. And poems. And plays. Like a lot. I might not spend all my days with my head in a book anymore, mostly because if I read fiction when I could be studying then I feel majorly guilty, but the books I have read, I feel a lot of love for. I feel a lot of love for their authors too, and I am not prepared to act like it doesn’t make me extremely excited when I am in the same room as them. I am not going to pretend that I would like anything more than to spend hours discussing my head cannon and how they possibly created such wondrous words. That is who I am. It is the same with actors or musicians or artists or anyone who had created something that I have completely devoured and fallen in love with. Playing it cool in a room with someone who has spent so many hours filling my head with new people, places, and even entire worlds is not on my agenda. I realise they probably are not as keen to talk to me as I am to talk to them, but even if I only speak to them for a minute I will not try to contain myself. I will not calm down. I will not take a “chill pill”. They are, to me, the most amazing people ever and I want them to know this. I want them to feel that the thing they have created has really wowed someone. I want to be myself around them because it’s me that has fallen in love with their work, not cool Kirsty. Cool Kirsty doesn’t exist.

I am angry about a lot of things, a lot of people will know that. I am very political, and I want a world that is fair and violence free. Those are some pretty tough ideologies to belong to and it’s not easy boycotting half the planet. I am not going to stop doing that though, just because it isn’t easy or because it isn’t cool, I’m not going to pretend that my morality is not important so as not to impose or seem weird. If everyone was to sit around playing it cool, not making a fuss, then the world would be a very depressing place to live in. It is up to me, and people who recognise the injustice that surrounds us every day, to speak up and act upon it. In high school I was afraid to be an activist, even up until my third year at university I was afraid. I spent time with people who were too worried about causing a scene to bother standing up for what was right. I still love some of those people very much, but now I realise that if you ignore that part of you then you aren’t just letting yourself down, you are letting everyone down. It is your duty to stop trying to be cool all the time.

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