From a Crisis of Confidence to a Canyon of Cool

I spent a lot of time in my younger days worrying about what others thought of me. Now I wonder why I even cared…but when your world consists of going to school every day and seeing those faces looking at, or let’s face it, judging you, and you live that world of immature people every day and aren’t immediately accepted, it can sometimes feel fatalistic to even try for anything in life. It can be socially paralyzing, or at least debilitating.

So this post is for those who have been bullied, made fun of, picked on, or ridiculed for not being whatever “the cool crowd” deems is cool. Or beautiful. Or handsome. Or hot. If you didn’t or don’t fall under that definition, I argue that you are much, much cooler than those people, who take it upon themselves to make others feel worse by making themselves feel better. Those people have very narrow views of life, tunnel vision, and that will likely never change. You on the other hand may see life in a different way: with very intelligent, creative, caring eyes. You have extremely special gifts that the world needs. So what that the world can’t see them just yet?

There is much more love and acceptance right now than when I grew up, but bullying still happens much more than it should, which of course is never. Doing what the cool crowd does even if the alarm bells go off in your brain because you know you’re going along with something that’s wrong for you, is in fact, not cool at all. Listen to those alarm bells. It is okay to say no when you know deep down that something is wrong, although doing it may make you seem like one of the cool crowd in the moment. What is that truly worth in the end?

Humans do a lot of dumb things. They do planking, and at least one person I know of died doing that. They do choke outs, and people have died from that too. Those are just two of many examples. These fads roll like waves through society, and then they fade and then next fad comes up, and it’s equally as dim-witted a thing; sometimes even dumber.

I urge you to see what might seem like a gigantic chasm of chaos (that you must cross in order to feel confident) in a different way. In your mind, turn it into a canyon of cool. If you have to trudge through it anyway, why not enjoy it while you’re there? What do you love to do? Bring it into your canyon and make that canyon your playground. Realize your vision, your unique dream this way. Focus on what you love, and never lose that focus, and just keep stepping. Just keep swimming. Just keep slogging through the daily motions. Someday, you’ll be able to leap over that canyon and fly.

Honestly, the people who “peak” in high school have little to live for after that. That’s really sad. But they make their choices. If they want to be king or queen for a day, for now, let them. It matters not, in the end, that they strutted their stuff because they did so too early and it won’t help them later in life. Most will waste any talent they have, and just hope that it lives on in their kids. Others that do become successful will waste that talent by believing they’re invincible and breaking the law somehow and losing all they had. We see it all the time in the media.That’s no kind of life. Alternatively, later on down the line, you (and I do mean you) will blossom into the most beautiful flower—or perhaps transform into a butterfly from your current cocoon. The world can’t wait to see that—me included. Hang in there.

“Here’s to the crazy ones; the misfits; the rebels; the trouble-makers; the round pegs in the square holes; the ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” –Jack Kerouac