For a long time, I very much wanted to be cool, just like everyone else.
I was not successful.
When I was a waitress, for example, I looked at all of the other waitresses who were so young and so cute (by the time I quit I’d reached the advanced waitressing age of twenty-six), and even though I liked my job and I was good at it, too, when I compared myself with them I felt completely inadequate.
Then, a few years later—it must have been around the time after I graduated college when I decided I didn’t need friends anymore—I realized I wasn’t so bad after all.
I didn’t even look that bad.
I was—in my own way—kind of cute. And I was smarter than them, anyway, and much more interesting.
The problem wasn’t me, and hadn’t been all along.
The problem was that I was comparing myself to the wrong people.
And so, suddenly, unexpectedly, and almost all at once, I made a decision:
I decided that I would be proud of being a dork.
I decided that I didn’t need anyone else’s approval but my own.
I became confident.
After that, somehow, without even trying, I was suddenly much, much less of a dork than before. And these days, I’m not really one at all.
I just pretend to be.
I even know how to dress.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I am not cool, either. I’m still way too passionate and excitable and I’m even sillier now than I used to be. True dorks, though, don’t really like themselves. Or, if they do, they don’t like to admit it.
They try to be someone else.
And I don’t do that anymore. Not often, anyway. I’m not embarrassed when I come underdressed to a nightclub or overdressed to a party. I say stupid things and admit when I don’t know something. I ask questions. I say something controversial in order to get an argument started when the conversation has become a little dull.
I’m okay with being wrong, or less admired.
So you see: Maybe I’m not a dork, and maybe I am.
Maybe I can even be both.
Maybe, whenever I want to, I can just change the definition.
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Get What I Learned from Jane on Amazon.
More Stuff to Read:
Some Spiritual Practices Actually Work. It’s Amazing.
There are hundreds of spiritual techniques for overcoming depression and increasing inner peace. Only one blog talks about whether or not they work. With ratings. (Take that, God.)
- My Favorite Spiritual Practices for Overcoming Depression
- Depression Success Stories and Spiritual Practice Success Stories
I Suspect Inner Peace Is Just a Myth. Here Are Interviews With People Who Disagree.
Some people are such show-offs. But that doesn’t mean they’re not worth listening to.
There’s a Book for That, Too
It’s a great time to get suddenly awesome. So many teachers. So many books.
- Best Spiritual-But-Not-Religious Books for Overcoming Depression
- Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday