Two weeks ago, I bit the bullet and moved to Brooklyn. To my Manhattanite parents, this is a betrayal of epic proportions. To my childhood friends, I’ve lost my mind. But to the web community, what the hell took me so long?
I’ll tell you. It’s quite simple really. I’m not cool.
The same week I moved, I attended the much-acclaimed Brooklyn Beta. It was filled with borough-dwellers wearing plaid shirts and black-rimmed glasses. Even the women. They have nerdy tattoos and bed head. They take sketchnotes with fat markers and draw their own avatars. They live to build stuff. They want to change the world. I want to change the world too, but I’m not cool.
I have perfect vision and I’ve never dyed my hair. My body is a blank canvas dressed by Ann Taylor and her friends. I’m not skinny. I hate electronica. I can’t draw. I like money. I’m not cool.
I’m not popular cool and I’m not nerd cool. I’m not stylish or trendy, ironic or vintage. I’m not into politics or literature. I don’t follow sports or indie films. I haven’t seen the Star Wars trilogy. I couldn’t understand a Woot shirt if I tried. I don’t know what fonts were recently released by Typekit. I haven’t upgraded to iOS5.
I’m not friends with all the right people. I often feel like I don’t fit in. Sometimes it gets to me that I’m not on the inside. It can seem like everyone else is in on something I never caught onto. It can make me feel behind.
But then I realize…
I think we all feel judged. I think we all struggle to remain current. I think we all carry the burdens of high school too far into our adulthood. And the echo chamber is bullshit. No one has all the answers. No one knows the right way. We’re all in service to something much greater than ourselves and that’s what we each really need to focus on — not whether we’re accepted, or impressing anyone, or fulfilling another person’s expectations of who we are, who we’re supposed to be, and what we’re doing here.
I know exactly what I’m doing here. I’m doing me. You do you. Then let’s do ourselves together.
Get your head out of the gutter.