Not one of the “Cool Kids”

I’ve always kind of been a bit on the nerdy side. Matter of fact … check out this vintage photo from my freshman year:

Yep. I was on the video crew. :)

This photo, taken in ’87 (damn, I’m getting old!) is a good indicator of how I see myself. Older – MUCH older, of course – but that’s me with the budding mullet and the braces (which is why I’m not smiling – besides that I hate having my picture taken, and still do). I was actually in my John Cougar Mellencamp phase with that denim jacket at the time … haha. Mind you, I was already mentally checked out of high school at that point, since I didn’t really fit in; I was already working in radio (as a lowly intern making minimum wage answering phones) and kind of knew that’s what I wanted to do with my life … so, I tried to be a decent student and learn stuff. I did okay – was probably a B+ / A- student overall.

Anyway, point is, that dorky weird kid in that picture is ME. If you find anything I say / tweet / blog remotely witty or amusing, it’s mostly because my brain’s all I’ve ever had to go on – survival of the wittiest. :) (Still working on that …)

Now, I work at one radio station where I’m one of the oldest employees in the programming department – there’s only two people older than me in it. And it’s a VERY “hip” station. But most of my fellow employees are in their mid-20′s or early 30′s. And those are the people I wind up hanging out with – us radio folks tend to flock together. I gotta tell ya – they are some cool motherfuckers. Me? Nah. See that pic? That’s me. Still.

Clearly, I’m not as introverted as I used to be, and I’m not living in the past … because I think I figured out who I was when I became a teenager and haven’t changed all that much since; One of my co-workers came up with (at least it’s the first I’ve heard it) a term to describe people who, at a certain point, draw a mental line in their heads, where everything new (trends, technology, attitudes, etc.) past that point is irrelevant and they won’t accept anything that’s different than what they’ve come to know up to that point – he calls it “psycho sclerosis” – hardening of the mind. While I’m a creature of habit, I don’t think I generally suffer from too much psycho sclerosis … I have always embraced technology – mostly in the form of things with blinking lights and cool graphics; And I’m a fairly open-minded individual – but I always have tried to be, so, there’s no reason to change it, right? (Stubbornly open to change?)

But cool? Nope. Not me. Not by standard definitions of what is “cool” anyway. 

I did discover one thing a long time ago though … I KNOW I’m not cool and I don’t try to be. I don’t dress hip & trendy, I don’t have the cool hair cut (although, I’ve at least caught up to the grunge rockers in the mid-to-late ’90′s with this hairstyle …), and I’m nothing special to look at overall. However … if anyone bothers to get to know me, what they see on the outside isn’t necessarily an indication of what’s on the inside – but I’ve found being myself to be an effective filter (with a few notable exceptions) against shallow people who would never like me for me anyway. 

Believe me – I’m usually the guy who’s sitting there laughing while his buddies talk about, well, crazy sexual conquests. I haven’t had any that were that crazy and never will. Why? No swagger. No game. And being (barely) average looking, it didn’t help either. But that doesn’t bother me – at a certain point, I realized that I am who I am, and while I’m not my own biggest fan, I’m not THAT bad – and I really don’t have a lot to complain about.

While I like my “cool kids” friends a lot, as Pantera put it, “you can’t be something you’re not.” :)

And while there’s always room for improvement, what ya see’s pretty much what ya get. 

One Response

  1. Indigo Says:
    June 13th, 2011 8:50 am

    Alrighty now, I’ve caught up on everything.

    Just so you know, I would have gravitated toward you in high school. I wasn’t one of the cool kids and really didn’t want to be one. I had all I could do to make a living and ‘still’ go to school. Leaving home and being on your own at 16 isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

    The cool kids expected me to be ‘the’ partier. Me? Like I said, when you know your next meal is coming from working that day, you’re working.

    When I went deaf I somehow found myself in the same damn high school slump. My world changed and so did everyone else. With one exception – I actually like me now. I’m so damn comfortable in my own skin it isn’t even funny.

    As for “psycho sclerosis” , I think we all hang on a bit too tight to those things that make us comfortable. Then something comes along and dumps everything upside down and we find we’re actually well adjusted even without the comfort.

    I’ve always thought you were well rounded and happy in your skin. It’s one of those things that first drew me toward you. You and I can stand alone and still find something to smile about. Those cool kids are stressed adults still trying to fit in and be something they’re not. Maybe one of these days they’ll get it. (Hugs) Indigo

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