At some point in every grown person's life they have wanted to be a cool kid, or at least hang out with the cool kids thus being cool by association. Some of us achieved some level of cool during our adolescence and others not so much. Some found our dorky niche with others of like kind and were fine with that, others never did find our groove and spent their youth in a solitary funk.
We tell kids that it gets better as we grow up, and for the most part it does, primarily due to our ability to cope, understand what really matters and make friends of substance. We grow up, develop skills, a career and settle into ourselves, leaving the dorky years behind us ... or so we think.
As much as I try to be confident and comfortable in my own shoes, I still find myself revisiting my dorkhood from time to time. I'm not sure what it is but some people bang the drum, sound the alarm and draw out my inner dork every time I'm around them. Maybe its my insecurities or their radiating coolness or a combination of both but I can almost feel my overbite reforming and my hair frizzing as I attempt to make conversation with them. The whole interaction is filled with me second guessing and editing my own comments to the point that I am an awkward stuttering mess while they look for the quickest escape route.
I, all to easily, confirm what we both knew before we entered into the conversation. I'm a dork and there's nothing that can be done about it. But, there's hope, I have discovered that all is not as it seems.
I have come to believe that we are all dorks, deep down inside. Even the most confident, talented, cool-under-pressure, charismatic person has an inner dork lying dormant inside of them. Don't believe it? Ask to see their grade seven school picture and you'll see, its true. We are all dorks, some of use are just better at taming The Dork Beast. Some find a way of suppressing the urge to dork and walk through life with a confidence that si to be envied. But I have discovered a trick that I think just might work!
The next time you are standing in front of a 'cool kid,' flubbing your way through a conversation, picture them as their dorky 13 year old self. Visualize the acne, the braces and the mullet. See their too short acid wash jeans, picture them on their way to band class with their clarinet or to debate club with a gaggle of other geeks. Once you see them in all their dorky glory, blink twice and see them as they are now, poised, confident, clear skinned, de-mulleted and realise they are no longer living the dork. They grew up and grew out of that insecurity ... and so did you.
Your overbite, frizzy hair, teased bangs and collection of panda bear sweatshirts are long gone. You are smart and funny and talented. You have seen things, experienced life and have every right to be respected and heard for the person you are, not boxed into the stereo type of the person you were. The dork is no more. You are a cool kid ...
Oh, you still here? I thought I was alone ...
Well ... all this goes for you to! Be the cool that you are!