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Philip_Seymour_Hoffman_Almost_famous.jpg.CROP.promovar-mediumlargeI was so sad to hear that Philip Seymour Hoffman passed away earlier this week. He’s always been one of my favorite actors. If you haven’t seen the movie Flawless, in which he plays a drag queen, be sure you do. It’s one of his lesser-known roles and it’s genius.

Here’s my all-time favorite movie quote, which happens to have been one of Seymour Hoffman’s lines in Almost Famous:

“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.”

Being Uncool

I, for one, have never been cool, despite trying, from time to time, to be cool. I hung with the academically-inclined and the theater crowd in high school. (We were officially the Yarmouth Playmakers yet were known by much of the student body as the “Gaymakers.”)

I used to want to fit in really badly. And I wanted my family to fit in, too. I would say to my mom:

“Why can’t you be like the other mothers?”

Instead, she’d show up to my soccer games with her medical intuitive best friend and read tarot cards on the bleachers. C’est la vie.

Over time I began to embrace the wacky, both within my family and within myself. I think my original desire to be cool was based on wanting to feel like I belonged.

Isn’t a sense of connection, acceptance, and belonging the reason most of us try to fit in?

The Difference Between Fitting In and Belonging

There’s an inherent problem with fitting in, though. It requires you to shrink.

But here’s the good news:

We can be all of who we are and have a sense of belonging at the same time.

I used to think that if I stood out no one would like me. I thought I would end up alone if I really let myself loose on the world. I had a litany of examples of times when this had been true in my life and in the lives of those I’d observed.

What I found out was that when we stand out there are indeed some people who don’t like us. But they’re not the people with whom we need concern ourselves.

As I continue to release the layers of trying to fit in and gauging my behavior based on whether or not people will like me for it, I’ve found something out:

The MORE permission we give ourselves to be who we are, unedited — and yes, often uncool — the more we feel we belong amongst the people who really matter.

My closest friends are also out there putting themselves on the line. They’re writing things that some people think are “out there.” They’re launching programs that push buttons. They’re saying things from stage that make people uncomfortable. They’re building businesses that break the conventional rules.

Plus, all the while they’re snorting while laughing and nerding out on young adult fantasy novels in their spare time.

They’re not being cool. They’re being themselves.

Where’s Your Wacky?

What parts of yourself are you shy to expose? Where is your wacky? What would you share if you weren’t being cool?

Here are a few of mine:

Trying to fit in with the other moms, not speaking up because you’re afraid to offend, pretending you like what everyone else likes, and other forms of shrinking to fit in are not doing you, or anyone else, any good.

Cut that shit out.

It’s time to wave your freak flag and declare what makes you weird with pride.

The parts of you that stand out are your greatest asset. (Click to tweet)

(Chances are good these parts are not cool, at least not in the traditional sense.)

What you share when you’re not being cool is gold.

Your turn:

What makes you uncool? What part of yourself that you’ve previously been afraid of showing other people are you ready to let shine?

Leave a comment. Let’s celebrate our uncool together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Kelly says:

    I may come across as uncool because I don’t like girls’ nights out. Or even group girls lunches. Or shopping trips. Or especially girls’ weekends away.

    I much prefer one on one friendships with girlfriends than going out with a gaggle of gals. I’m always turning down these things (or regretting it when I occasionally accept). But it does make me feel odd and uncool as I seem to be the only one who feels this way!

    • Kate says:

      I LOVE this Kelly. Way to own what you love and what you don’t.

    • Teresa says:

      Kelly, I completely relate to this. I do not care for girls’ nights very much, and all of my friends love them. I’ve tried to dodge them by saying I’m busy or traveling (I travel a lot), but they’ve now caught on and ask me what dates I’m free first and then schedule the girls’ night around that. Then I really feel awful if I cancel. Kate, this topic has definitely given me pause, and I think I need to own this! Thank you!

    • Lily says:

      Kelly, me too! You may be odd, but you aren’t alone :-) I’m a one-on-one girl all the way. It’s funny, too, cause I used to be the one to organize my group of friends to get together, and then I realized that I never felt satisfied from our gatherings; I never felt like I actually got to connect or catch up with anyone. So now I focus on connecting in a way that feels good which is usually just me and a pal. Thanks for sharing.

    • Mina says:

      I feel the same way. Nice to know.

  • Kate, thanks so much for this post! I have been battling with these very thoughts this week. Such a blessing to hear you stare it in the face too. I am uncool because my hair is always out of control, I’d rather stay in on a Friday night than go out, and I can live without TV. (Just saying these out loud makes me quite proud of the fact now!)

  • I totally love country music too. It was only after visiting Nashville and line dancing at the honky tonk bars that I embraced it. I brought myself a cowgirl hat and proudly wore it everywhere.

    (I’m Australian so this was a total buzz- so was gate crashing a frat party and drinking beer out of red cups. I could not believe you actually do that in America- just like the movies!!)

    Awesome post Kate. I resonate with every word. Cool people are the ones who embrace who they really are and create lives and experiences defined by what lies in their heart.

  • FIONA MACLEOD says:

    Hi Kate, I love your you tubes and this blog. Being UNCOOL :I love reading, seeing and hearing about the British Royal Family: intellectually I always think I’m ridiculous doing so, yet I enjoy them (and appreciate Prince Charles’ organic work and attitudes greatly…. now there is someone who must often have felt uncool himself!). I also adore watching another celebrity: Valegro the British dressage horse and his young and fantastic rider, Charlotte du Jardin.. these are like my “secret gardens” as most of my friends would not share these tastes! And finally I LOVE donkeys!!! One day, will I be able to be more in touch with these lovely animals? Hope so!!!
    Blessings on your work: it’s a great help to me these days. I’m finally beginning to understand how to make peace with my money… it is a huge shift! And your techniques are spot on!

  • Lisa says:

    I have such a great list….I laugh like a donkey when something is like hysterical. I cannot keep a straight face and always end up with a big mouthed grin. I happily share my imperfectly perfect moments with everyone around me…and it makes me more easier to connect with. I am a zany, offbeat, high energy, women’s empowerment champion. And my quirks simply add to my awesomeness.

  • Oh Kate. What a great post and the quote about being uncool is what I am all about,I do it naturally! No effort required. As a member of the DramaFreaks at my high school and to this day, I register with the world as slightly off….and I am learning to own and love this spot that is me. Partying where I am, right?
    What makes me uncool?

    I am super conscious about upcycling…and this has not always been so chic- so my kids used to HATE me showing up with bags in hand for shopping.

    My clothing is just not cool. I hate high heels and will wear some, but mostly? My RedWing work boots are my shoe of choice.

    Let’s talk about leg shaving for a minute. Winter? No shave unless I have to wear something other than wool tights. This is so earthy/crunchy- what I have been called my whole life…”Oat Breath’ and to this day, I really don’t care.

    Oops. I feel a little exposed here, but following your dance steps has always made me smile. xoxoox Warmly, S

  • I love this, Kate!!! This resonated with me so much. Here’s what makes me a freak:

    1. I listen to country music as well (and I’m not ashamed to sing along even if the windows crack)

    2. I love living in nature and want to homestead and raise animals. For some reason there is nothing that excites me more than waking up, collecting the eggs, and milking a cow.

    3. The thing I most look forward to is being a mom and being there for my kids. I dream of homeschooling and being present for them as much as possible. Oh yeah, and I want a big family. (Can you tell I’m an only child?)

    4. I get excited over lacto-fermentation, bone broth, and grinding my own wheat and meat.

    These are the kinds of things that many of the people around me just don’t get. But all of these experiences have played a huge role in my life and in my ability to relate to other people and to understand exactly how they’re feeling and what they’ve been through. So I’m grateful for every little freaky thing about me :)

  • Jan says:

    I love this and everything that you write, I am constantly sharing your posts with friends.

    As for me being uncool, I am a certified personal trainer but would choose Jane Fonda’s aerobics over CrossFit any day of the week, and I’m only in my late 30s so can’t even say it is an age thing…

  • wendymcleodmacknight says:

    Love this topic! How am I uncool? Oh maybe that my favourite music is either from the 1940s or by the Beegees? That I’d rather read a cozy children’s or YA novel than 50 shades of something, that I tell my friends I love them all the time and that I say the goofiest things and still feel like 14 even though I am 50 and the mother of two!

  • Alicia says:

    Well I think I’m cool and a big ol freak!
    I love Star Trek – I mean love – I’m a trekkie fo sho, I love animals and biology so I’m a nerd too, I love cheesy action flicks bloody and ridiculous and awesome but I love Chick Flicks equally as much, I have a reading addiction, and I love laughing until my sides hurt with my partner and my soul friends. I believe there’s magic everyday and I could eat sushi daily if I could. I do all this while being a supervisor in a security position! So I guess I’m a big ol mess o fun!

  • I’ve been waving my freak flag for a long time, so I hear you! It used to really worry me that I didn’t really ever ‘fit in’ and would see it as a liability, not an asset. Now I’ve kind of embraced it. Who wants to be like everyone else?

  • Chelsea says:

    I ugly cry. Glistening tears don’t exist for me. I either don’t cry, or I ugly cry. No middle ground. I like The Real Housewives but won’t watch the news. I make up pretend words to song lyrics when I can’t make them out.

  • Julia says:

    Thank you so much for this post!! I gave up wanting to be cool in my teens: I listened to The Who in the Eighties, love progressive rock like Marillion and Pendragon and even play the harp in a medieval dress on reenactments. So how uncool can you be? ;-)
    But: I have met the most fantastic people through all this, crazy ones, creative ones, unusual ones. And one of them even became my husband!
    This afternoon I played the harp at my son’s kindergarten. And the funny thing is: my son, age three, thinks I am the coolest mom on earth because I did that. So there you go, suddenly not wanting to be cool I ended up being cool. :-)

    • Kate says:

      Julia – that is so true! When we release worrying about what other people think, we become even more cherished to those who matter most. My mom also plays the harp and I think it’s incredible!

  • Janet Testaz says:

    I often would much rather stay at home and eat yummy home made food or read or watch a doco on a Saturday night than I would go out for dinner or socialise with people in a bar. That means it involves drinking. This is draining especially when I don’t. one or two every so often but I just can’t sit there for hours while people get drunker and drunker. It’s boring and I have better things to do. People in these circles don’t see me that much anymore and when they do see me they say…. ‘Janet where have you been?’ I know they think I’m a total dork but I totally pick and choose who I socailise with now and often I like hanging with myself. Most don’t get it. those that do are now my people.

  • Denise Dare says:

    Kate, what synchronicity!

    I was meditating and reflecting on my own lizard brain fears today {after reading more of Martha Beck’s brilliant book: Steering by Starlight} and this exact idea came to mind.

    Those childhood longings to fit in can definitely haunt us until we reflect on what it was we truly wanted and needed back then. Really, like you so beautifully explain, all we want is love.

    So here’s to releasing the need to fit in and embracing the desire to connect with ourselves, with the ones we love, with the freedom of being just as we are.

    As for me, I’m joyfully embracing my “now cool” quirks:

    I geek out on organization…truly, you have to hold me back from organizing my friends’ closets and drawers. :)

    I like to be prepared {is this a habit from Girl Scouts?}…I always have on hand extras of everything our family uses…from soap to oil to cat food to bandaids.

    Playing Bejeweled is really soothing to me when I’m feeling unwell.

    I’m not a huge fan of shopping for clothes…mostly, I love when I serendipitously see something just right as I’m cruising by a shop or when a girlfriend graciously gifts me with clothes she no longer wears, that sometimes happen to be perfect for me!

    One of my favorite things to do is snuggle next to my hubby watching a show…being in is cooler than being out sometimes. :)

    I’m a retired public school teacher who now home educates my daughters…definitely the road less traveled here.

    Thank you Kate, for igniting such a valuable opportunity for self reflection and awareness.

    Keep doin’ your thing…you definitely shine! :)

  • Been everything but “cool”! LOL.

    I’d rather be out in nature than in a mall.

    I’d rather be gardening with dirt smeared across my face than put on make-up…lol.

    I’d rather roll around on the ground trying to get a picture of a cool looking mushroom, flower or animal than be sitting plopped in front of the TV.

    And I’m terrified of passing wind during yoga! :)

  • Trish says:

    So funny that I just got this email from you and just subscribed yesterday to your blog! I do truly believe there are no accidents. I spent most of my snow day trying to write my first blog post with a new agenda for my blog. I’ve been hemming and hawing about how to write my introduction, do I sound dorky, do i sound uncool, is it too hokey, am trying to be funny instead of true to myself, can I be both?? Every time i think of clicking the “post” button my stomach turns! i You see the only people who will initially see this is my FB friends as I have no followers yet. So they all know me and already have preconceived judgements about who I am. I’ve sent a million rough drafts to my husband !! Now, after reading you blog post , I will do one more edit and then I will post away. Because as you said “the parts of me that stand out are my greatest asset”. Thank you Kate!! xo

  • I am incredibly uncool. Holy monkey I so feel you on this.

    I lack poise in many situations, but have confidence.

    I’m a utter nerd and read sci-fi/love sci-fi movies. I’m the kid that thought the Matrix was the next pathway to enlightenment, either The Matrix or the number ’42’.

    I brew my own beer, bake my own bread, and grow my own herbs. You’d think that might make me cool, but really it makes me think about everything I touch and all the complications of food production.

    I only listen to music on vinyl. Not because it sounds better, but because it makes me stand up and refocus my energies after a side finishes playing.

  • Michelle says:

    I’ve never been cool in the traditional sense, so the question of what makes me uncool caused me to pause. In recent months my life has unfolded in the most curious, glorious, ass-whipping, ego-stripping, soul searching ways. What’s not to like about upping your authenticity game? I’m gonna ride this sucker full out till I die. And guess what? My tombstone will say it all: “Here rests one cool chick. She finally learned what she needed, and then grabbed it.”

  • Hey Kate,
    I have been battling with this since I was a little girl and now am watching my daughters experience the “how do I fit in?”. In fact, I spent most of my therapy session yesterday exploring “belonging”and how, at the age of 50, I can continue to feel left out if I’m not in alignment with my core beliefs and desires. What I realize is that all the time I have spent trying to fit in and conform was part of the process of flushing out what doesn’t actually fit ME!
    I too, am not a fan of the ladies’night out trend and when I was in my 20s, single and living in Manhattan my favorite thing to do on a Friday night was curl up in pjs with a stack of magazines and go to bed early. Still is:)xo and thanks.

  • Carmen says:

    I love this post so much! It has taken me a long time to embrace who I really am and not be “cool”. And like you said, I have found the most wonderful group of amazing people who embrace me as I am. It can still be hard sometimes (especially when I hang out with my more straight laced friends) but I do know in my heart that people love me just for who I am! So here goes my list:

    -I freakin’ LOVE PBS. I spent 3 hours last night watching shows about the Amish.

    -I also love cooking shows. To the point of ridiculousness. Like, Mario Batali is the hottest guy. (Ok, maybe not the hottest, but he’s adorable, no?) Sometimes I’m lucky and this coincides with #1

    -I generally laugh too loud. Or talk too loud.

    -I’m a bit of a bohemian and while I’m not a super hippy (although said straight laced friends think I am) I do believe in a lot of woo-woo, would rather carry my handmade bag from Thailand than a coach purse, and own more tie-dye than the average person.

    There’s lots more, I’m sure, but I can’t think of it right now!

  • Lisa says:

    Hi as I read everyone’ s lists, a lot sound like mine.
    I abhor girls nights out and girl weekends as I never want to drink much or gossip, etc.
    being a single mom, and not in any kind of relationship, I still would rather stay home with
    My boys weekend nights than go out with other singles, single moms. When I get
    A sitter it is to go to a movie or a play by myself or a meditation class, so I can veg out, not talk, go into a fantasy world
    Or think.
    Going to the Farmers market at Union Square relaxes me more than getting a manicure.
    I don’t want me and my kids to go to the Galapagos with my mother as it’s too expensive a present
    And comes with conditions. I would rather say no thank you and save, save save and take my kids alone
    To Nepal or Greece. My former sitter has become one of my best friends. She’s 27, I’m 50, she is Nepalese and we can stay with her and her family. My uncoolness is that I make friends off of the social
    Climbing ladder ( yuck, all they talk about is real estate and shopping).

  • Julie says:

    I enjoy watching synchronised swimming.

  • Julie says:

    Oh Kate! You’re like my therapist right now! Ever since I discovered you, your timing on various topics has been brilliant! It’s as though you have wifi to my brain! This is both awesome and scary….. :D

    Thank you! x

  • Lily says:

    Kate,
    Thank you for this post. I am totally on the un-cool bus with you…listening to country music and lovin it, laughing at spoonerisms and wordplay (have you ever heard the story of Cinderella told spoonerism style? Now I can’t remember where it was from, but my brother and I used to listen to it over and over when I was little.), and watching cheesy movies.

    This fall I was hanging out with some friends and they were talking about some of their friends and whether they were fun or not, meaning, whether or not they like to go out and party. And somehow from that conversation I decided that I must just not be fun. It makes me laugh now cause it’s so ridiculous, but I basically forgot how I like to have fun. I knew that I did not find it fun to go out and get drunk but I had forgotten what I DO like to do for fun.

    Anyway, all of a sudden last week I had a revelation: I lOVE TO HAVE FUN. I LOVE to laugh and be goofy and giggle til I can’t stand up. I just don’t like to drink alcohol. Thank goodness their are other ways to enjoy life! I had my parents over a few days later to play games and I laughed so hard I almost cried, and peed my pants, which I hadn’t done in so long. It’s so good to be re-united with that part of myself. It is so much more fun to embrace my un-coolness!

  • Cat says:

    Wow, great post. It’s time for us to admit the uncool — yet, I’m so uncool, that your post is now “cool.” Really, I have the weird quirkiness that only my inner circle knows – and they all treat me like I’m cool. Maybe that’s my perception. But the pursuit of “cool” is paradoxical. Better to be myself and find people to surround myself with who allow and embrace me the way I am. My bestie will always tell me if I underestimate my worth. How cool is that!? Ok, here is a reveal: I still like Barry Manilow. But I also love Godsmack. I play the guitar & piano, but have stage fright. I love movies about singing or dancing – Coyote Ugly – seen it a thousand times. Grease – every line memorized. Grease 2? Check. Love movie Center Stage. Love Brad Pitt in Meet Joe Black. He’s so quirky in that movie. I love Pomeranians. My puppy is the light of my life. I stay to myself mostly. A homebody. I like to do home improvement projects by myself. Installed a ladder to my attic & a garbage disposal. If I was “cool,” I think I would be more social, I would cook (more than pasta), I would host and attend parties, and be less shy. But I really like who I am. I’m a rock star in my bedroom jamming to Justin Timberlake or Papa Roach. And if I actually post this instead of deleting it, I have reached new heights of uncool that turns cool.

  • Gina Contreras says:

    I love Twilight, Marvel, Star Trek & Wars, trashy novels, local sports talk about football, Bruce Campbell, anime, main stream, indie, singing loud, and being quiet. These are some of my favorite things and these make me, me. Most of this is seen as uncool but only by the people who truly are uncool.

  • Niccole says:

    My uncool is that I don’t agree with other women on subjects like relationships and sex. I have been accused of having too much testosterone. LoL! I’m a word fiend! I even wrote down a few to look up from this post ;-) if you check my Facebook page I post a word of the day that has caught on with my friends. One other big thing is I LOVE metaphors! It’s how most of my poetry is written. I’m a closet GEEK for techie stuff. I’m a freak and I’m here to stay! BTW my favorite line from this post – “Cut that shit out!” I LOL’d for real!

  • Merideth says:

    A major medical condition stopped me in my tracks last year, forcing me to get brutally honest with myself about who I am, what I need, and what I want out of the life I have left to live. I was forced to look the dark parts of myself straight in the eye and surrender. My soul was trapped in a completely non-functional body and I had no idea if my condition was permanent or temporary. I could not change my situation, so acceptance was the only way out of my pain and suffering.
    My former fiancé, from whom I really needed compassion, nurturing, and support, was coping in the only way he knew how: compulsive lying, addiction, and infidelity. In evaluating whether or not I could remain in the relationship, I came to the conclusion that many of his issues revolved around shame. He was ashamed of what he did, of how he lived, of who he was as a person, and most of his life energy was spent trying to cover up his truth.
    Love relationships are the ultimate exposers of truth. You show your dark parts of yourself to another person, exposed and vulnerable, and hope you’ll be accepted by them. The only path to intimacy is to admit we’re human, overcome our fear of rejection, take a risk, and expose those intimate parts of ourselves to another person. And accepting someone despite (or even FOR) their dark parts is what true love is all about.
    My health and love journey was a gift that led me to a place of authenticity, integrity, truth, and self-acceptance. As I regain my physical function, I am also learning to engage in radical self-care, and that means being honest with myself about what feels good, what feels wrong, what I want and don’t want in my life, and LIVING my truth through my actions every day.
    It means saying no when I’m overloaded and resting when I’m tired. It means single-tasking. It means letting go of perfection. It means having realistic expectations of myself. It means letting go of toxicity and things that no longer serve me. It means setting healthy boundaries. It means embracing my quirks (i.e. the parts of my character for which I was chided by my loved ones in the past). A few of them:
    I hate TV, crowds, spontaneity, and being tickled
    I love planning, organization, and I find painting walls enjoyable
    I have everything from rap to opera to heavy metal to folk on my iPod
    A green smoothie qualifies as a full-fledged dinner
    I am usually asleep by 9 pm
    My shelves are totally overloaded with books about minimalism (contradiction?) LOL
    I am a new-age self-help spirit junkie
    My breasts are tiny, my tush is substantial, and my feet are two completely different sizes
    I am grateful for my modest living quarters and my 14-year old car
    I care a lot less about what people think now. As long as my actions are not hurting anyone, it’s all good. I am learning that being myself and living my truth is the only way to ensure a happy life. It’s MY life, not anybody else’s, so why not make it as enjoyable as possible?

  • Pat says:

    I can so relate. I’m also not a fan of girl’s night out and love my home and family so would much rather hang out with them or snuggle with my husband. We love to play Scrabble or Yahtze or Battleship or well you get the gist of it :) My husband and I also are not cool parents because we have rules and have our kids save and/or contribute for big purchases they want. We eat at home and dining out is for special occasions. We don’t jump on board to have every latest trend and we don’t even have cable! We are all designed to give the world something that no one else can yet can’t really do that if we’re fitting in. Plus, it’s so much more organic to be your authentic self which is why trying to fit in is such a struggle. If that makes me uncool well so be it.

  • Annie says:

    Wow, this sure got a lot of responses! Looks like you hit a nerve, Kate. And I must say, I am laughing out loud here reading these comments. So fun and so sweet. I’d say I resonate with many others’ “uncool” characteristics. But for the sake of waving my very own freak flag, let’s see, where to even begin? As you know, I pretty much gave up on being cool in elementary school. Here are a few choice examples for our mutual amusement and edification:

    1) I love to read out loud to myself, and have since I was a little kid. I especially like to read in a British accent (unless, of course, the book doesn’t lend itself well to that, in which case I just use my normal voice or another accent if it fits the book, like Southern for example).

    2) I’m not really big on loud parties at cool bars and clubs in NYC. I like to be able to have a conversation without hurting my throat, so I generally don’t last very long at these sorts of events unless there’s space to dance and really fun music.

    3) I am very sentimental and can be moved to tears by a movie preview, a commercial, you name it . . . including the really sappy ones. I really have a very high tolerance for what some see as cheesiness and sappiness. Unless it’s way over the top, generally this stuff registers as heartfelt and sincere to me. And frankly, I’m proud of that!

    4) Some of my favorite music to listen to is 80s power ballads, like Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, that sort of thing. I especially adore belting it out to these tunes at home, in the car, or at a karaoke bar – or with friends.

    I could go on, but that’ll do for now!

    However, I will share one more thing on this subject, which is that I have noticed over the years that many people we think are “cool” are just as “uncool” as we are. In other words, everyone’s human and a lot of the “cool” we see is basically a production or a photo op that has nothing to do with the reality of someone’s private life. I remember one weekend a few years back when I was speaking with a friend who happens to be a very well-known film actress and it was a Saturday night and she was staying in and being cozy – and talking to me on the phone! And it wasn’t the first time that this had happened on a weekend. And I thought to myself, “If she is staying home on a Saturday night, then I certainly can, too!” Sadly, this shows how much I had previously projected about her coolness as a celebrity, but after many years of doing that to celebrities, it was so refreshing to be reminded of our shared humanity.

    • Kate says:

      Yes! The reading out loud in accents – so wacky and amazing. I’ve never met anyone else who does that. I totally agree that our perception of people who are “cool” is probably just that – a perception. Most people are actually really wonderfully wacky when you get to know them. Thanks for that reminder :)

  • Andy says:

    Oh I love this post! Can’t stop laughing. You got me thinking there…: I used to be rather “cool” – always trying to fit in with the “In-Crowd”. But that started to change when I was in my mid-twenties and once I’d turned 30 I had lost all of my “wannabe-coolness” and I love it! I much rather celebrate my uniqueness & being a bit wacky than trying to be cool all of the time.
    So here is my “wacky” list (kinda nearly the same as your one!):
    I love country music (too!)
    I enjoy watching TV shows for teenagers on TV
    I am going to bed between 9pm and 9:30pm (even on weekends)
    Just like you I looove spoonerisms – just didn’t know they were called that!
    I dance and sing in my car – all the time
    The cheesier a movie the better
    I am wearing cowboy boots wherever I go
    I’d rather spend a night on the couch with my husband and dogs than going out for cocktails
    I am watching “Made in Chelsea” and like it
    I adore my old Jeep Cherokee – even though he is 17 now, it is still the best car I’ve ever owned
    I can eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in one go

    …that’s all for now! Being you authentic self rules (and is so much fun!)

  • Paula says:

    Thank you for saying this: “when we stand out there are indeed some people who don’t like us. But they’re not the people with whom we need concern ourselves.” This whole topic really sends me back to my early teens, where I got stuck in this drama (I think lots of us, especially girls (?), have a development hiccup then). And I’m still stuck because I never really unravelled the hurt feelings that happen when you think you’re being left out because you are the way you are and not because others are simply different. What I mean is that the herd instinct is strong because being with others feels comfortable (strength in numbers? camoflage?), but the pain of burying parts of yourself is worse than feeling alone when the herd runs past and you don’t run along. It hurts less when I think about it as an active choice to do my own thing rather than a rejection from others who are doing their own things. Wow – even in writing this I realize I have a lot of work to do here. This topic is really impactful.

    • Kate says:

      Paula – yep. I know so many of us can relate to past wounds from childhood, especially as girls in the tween and teen years. I had some of those hiccups myself. I love that you shared your perspective shift from seeing it as their choice to leave you out to your choice to go your own way. That’s super empowering and I love it!

      • Paula says:

        The hard thing about shifting perspectives is that they sometimes shift back! ;-)

        Forgot my uncool stuff:
        I don’t “rock” anything, I’m not quirky or edgy and I like a lot of “mainstream”, average, maybe boring or even stereotypical, middle class in the Midwest stuff: Levis, ironing shirts, whole milk, old time game/quiz shows like “To Tell the Truth” (there are still game shows like this being made in Germany where famous people participate) and I owe my current love of big band music to Lawrence Welk every Sunday night as a kid (and I really liked it, I’m not kidding).

  • Katy says:

    Oh wow, what a blog. Yay, oddity! Where to start!

    I (internally) count the letters in random words, wherever I am, and work out whether they are prime (cannot be divided by any number other than 1 and themselves) or composite (can be divided by at least one other number besides 1 and themselves.) If they’re composite, I work out what they’re divisible by – and I prefer this number to be even than odd. I used to loathe prime numbers, but now I celebrate them =D

    The worst thing in the world ever to do on a Friday night is go to any establishment where the volume of the music means that to communicate, one has to shout or engage in sign-language. Why can’t people think to turn the music down or just stop talking? It’s distressing on so many levels!

    When I’m walking past a building, fence, etc, if it’s within arm’s distance, I like to touch it. And autumn leaves simply must be crunched!

    As a kid, I used to read the dictionary. I don’t do that now, but I’ve certainly benefited from the previous habit! Sesquipedalianism is my prized linguistic jewel from this era.

    There are times I want to fit in. Really and truly. I once had a super-fancy corporate job and wore super-fancy clothes… with visibly non-corporate socks. I can fit in when I have to, to a point, but it genuinely hurts me to do it for too long… The socks kept me sane!

    • Kate says:

      Katy – the counting the letters in words and figuring out if they’re prime or not is so wacky and wonderful. I’ve never heard of such a thing before. Here’s to standing out and being super awesome!

  • Irina says:

    “Trying to fit in with the other moms, not speaking up because you’re afraid to offend, pretending you like what everyone else likes, and other forms of shrinking to fit in are not doing you, or anyone else, any good.

    Cut that shit out.”

    Haha, thanks for making me laugh Kate! I’ve been trying to figure out how to stand out from the crowd as a new entrepreneur and I have some ideas, but they are so wacky I’ve been too shy to even talk about them. I still think I need to find my voice and fuse it with the wacky ideas but I’m cutting that shit out – pronto. ;)

    • Kate says:

      Irina – I recommend finding a safe person who will love you unconditionally to bounce your wacky ideas off of. I mean, the cell phone? The car? The personal computer? These ideas were all waaaaaay out there but they’ve revolutionized all of our lives.

  • Shelley says:

    Good Morning Kate,

    Loved, loved, loved this post! And laughed, because well one we both grew up in Yarmouth, and nope Country music has never been considered COOL. OMG..I love Faith Hill & Tim McGraw.

    As of lately, my regular job has turned into a horrendous pit for negativity and backstabbing. I work in retail, for a large non-profit that is undergoing some HUGE internal changes, taking it’s toll on everyone, right down the line.

    Meditation has been my saving grace for the last 15 years. It’s a place of peace, calm, introspect and love. But I don’t talk about it at work…EVER. Yup, because they wouldn’t get it, and think I had 4 heads..:)

    But because of the negativity and how it effects me daily. I asked my Manager if during stretch time, which we do twice a day, if we could incorporate a 1 minute mind-fullness moment. She loved it, so last week we started it. I know most still won’t understand why I think it’s so important. But that’s fine, it re-fuels me, and puts a beautiful fortress of love around me, so the negativity bounces off me. That’s my happy moment and who knows maybe it will help others to focus on the peaceful moments as well…:)

  • Jennie says:

    Hi Kate!

    Thanks for this message. It came at the perfect time. I am so ready to step out and be myself regardless of what anybody may think, cool or not…

  • janelle says:

    I can totally relate. A few years ago I decided to embrace my quirkiness. To be honest, Zooey Deschanel was some motivation to me, but I digress. My tagline since then has been, “I was quirky before quirky was cool.”

  • I’ll be 37 in a few weeks and I can honestly say for the first time in my life. I really don’t give a flying flip about what is cool. I like some cool things and I like some uncool things, but I am totally, 100% myself. I stopped telling white lies about understanding obscure references and jokes. Instead of laughing along, I now fully admit I have no idea what they’re talking about. I used to be a highly edited, carefully constructed facade seeking out a sense of belonging. And you are so right, now I can see I was shrinking myself and over time, it became mentally and physically exhausting. I bent so far to try to be a part of things, it’s amazing that I ever found my way back.

    But after an intense year of physical and mental resets, I’ve given up on that and started telling the truth and being real, and guess what? I’m finding when I am real, there are more people that feel the same way I do or share the same point of view than that label me as uncool. And even if they disagree, they still value me and willingness to have an opinion.

    It’s taken me awhile to figure out that the things that make me uncool are also my strengths – I’m freakishly organized, would rather read than do anything else, quiet and pensive I’m incredibly observant and able to make connections between things that other people don’t notice.

    Thank you for this post. It resonates so much with me at this point in my life. And I love that line from Almost Famous and also thought about it this week with Hoffman’s passing.

  • Heleana says:

    Just posting here to say this is a fantastic article and I love your work. I’m also learning about being a loving financial steward by reading your book! Thank you for all the insights. Very generous and inspiring.

  • Wow, can’t believe the posts, I really thought I was one of the only people that wasn’t into girls nite out. I’d really rather put on my jamies and snuggle up with my hubby.I’ve attended a book club over the years but have always felt an unease. I’m glad I went but now feel like it’s time accept wholeheartedly that, it’s just not my thing. I’ve never been a group gal, love my one one one friendships and find them much more valuable. I need to be true to myself, and that’s cool!

  • Helene says:

    Great post, and I love reading about everyone’s “uncoolness”. Here are mine: I love watching Jeopardy and screaming out the (usually wrong) answers. I also love Wheel of Fortune, to my boyfriend’s dismay. And I laugh out loud while watching America’s Funniest Home Videos, even if I’m out watching it at a bar. I’m a huge Dave Matthews Band fan – I’ve seen him over 100 times live. I don’t think that makes me uncool, but my brother sure does! I love word games like Scramble and Words with Friends. I can’t have enough games going. I’m really in to personal development, which is rare among my friends. I think they’d be surprised to know that I listen to personal development CDs on my commute, I meditate, I even listen to hypnosis and subliminal message CDs. I think it’s totally cool, but I imagine a lot of people wouldn’t. The good news is that I really don’t care about other people’s opinions on this stuff. I guess that’s one thing that comes with age (I’m 41) – you start to realize it’s just not important and being true to yourself is really the only way to go.

  • I love that your mom read tarot cards on the bleachers! Ha! I know exactly what you mean about fitting in. The funny thing is even when I wanted to fit in I would still do my own thing. It was like I didn’t know any other way to be. For example, back in high school in the 90’s the popular girls were wearing burgundy/brown lipstick with the black liner (“cool” right?). I couldn’t stand the look of dark lipstick on me, I felt it made me look old. But I wanted to be down with the lipstick trend. So instead I bought “mood” lipstick, you know the kind that is supposed to change color with your mood? Well my mood seemed to be a silvery blue color when I wore it. So here I am trying to fit in with blue lipstick, and I thought it looked good, haha!
    Thanks for your post!

  • Merideth says:

    I think we all need to watch Sara Bareilles’s music video of her awesome song “Brave” right about now. Rock it, sisters!
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QUQsqBqxoR4

  • Maria says:

    Really enjoyed reading this Kate. I’m also daring to show up as the real me. It is scary and when you say that the people who won’t accept it aren’t the people you need approval from this is so true. This has helped me so much today and given me a good perspective on the changes I am making. Thank you x

  • Talia says:

    I LOVE this! I don’t care for girls night/weekend either. I prefer to meet with one friend and have a real heart to heart talk.

    Other things I love:

    1) frugal shopping – clearance racks, Goodwill, consignment shopping

    2) real food – casserole, Mexican, Italian, etc…doesn’t have to be fancy at all

    3) easy get togethers -the kind where everyone brings their favorite snack and we sit around and chat.

    4) watching tv or just chatting with my husband. while date nights are fun, sitting around our house is just as lovely

    5) flats – in this world where everything is high fashion and high heels, I prefer to wear stylish flats. My back and feet are so grateful

    6) laughing – I am so sarcastic and totally get sarcastic humor. I laugh loudly too. No apologies!

  • Connie says:

    What perfect timing to receive this post! It is so refreshing! In a world where there already are tons of people that do what I do, I felt compelled to try and match them at first. Be like THEM, do what THEY do, and it just caused a state of confusion within me. As a kid I always followed the crowd because I wanted to be accepted, to belong, one of them. As an adult, when I got married, I tried to be the daughter in law that my in laws would love. I acted the way they wanted me to, attended the things they did, and literally suffocated my personality to please them. One day I got tired of the trying to fit in, and decided I just couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t keep up with those in my field, I couldn’t hide who I truly was anymore. I embraces my unique and awesome personality! I let my sense of humor and off wit shine! I accepted that the best person I could be, was me! I didn’t need to try and conform myself to fit others idea of coolness, I could create my own category and be free to be me! Since then, a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I feel like I can BREATH again. It is quite lovely being yourself. The feeling of authenticity is like none other. Thanks so much for sharing this post.

  • Amanda says:

    I LOVE this post. I have half given up on not waving my freak flag along time ago. I still struggle with trying to “look”/”be”/pretend I’m cool, but a lot of the time I just stop. I stop because I know it’s not me. I love to dance. I also love to dance like I can’t (well maybe I can’t but that’s another story). I act awkward, sing horribly and horribly loud, and make the corniest jokes. But it is fun, it is totally me. Here’s to letting the freak flag fly!!

  • Now this is a blog post! And its so refreshing to see other women explore who they truly are without being ridiculed like we are still in high school or something. So with that said, my parents families now understand me to be the unconventional one. And just turning 35, I now feel beautiful for that. So here is my list.

    1. I absolutely love graphic design and design that unconventional to design “rules”. Wow, sounding like a true Aquarian–(there goes my nerd factor shooting way off the scale)!

    2. I LOVE singing, especially karaoke. I would enjoy just a few friends(like 1 or 2 friends) along with my hubby who love karaoke and sing my heart out.

    3. I LOVE numerology, astrology and all of those things that people think are “whoo whoo” or out-there. I read them and learn them.

    3. I abhor gossiping and discussing one-sided relationship issues. Don’t have time for it. I guess this is why I don’t much lady friends. My hubby is my best friend.

    4. I love Sci-fi movies and TV shows and I love comedies, but I hate the scary ones (I cannot stand scary movies) and I’m pretty upset that there hasn’t been many made lately.

    5. I love history, sociology and psychology and having a great discussion about it with a really, really close friend or family makes my day.

    6. Oh yeah.. I LOVE a good laugh especially the kind when I laugh so hard that my tummy exercises are taken care of for a week with complete silence for a second followed by an ultra-loud HA HA HA!

    So that somewhat me.. I love unique and I’m uniquely loved. Thanks for the post! :)

  • Jimmy says:

    Hi Kate, Love your work. I have been a big fan & follower of Dr. Dyer’s work. I was privileged to have a view of your work through the “New You Program” and immediately fell in love with your work.

    I completely relate to what you have shared with us here and what makes me uncool. One that stands out is that I love spanish/latin music, will listen hours upon end without my ears hurting. Despite being cold shouldered by my peers over it, I came to the conclusion, “this is who I am and I am celebrating my unique individuality.” With my love for the music, I further went on to learn the guitar and is currently, and still a beginner, playing Flamenco music which amazes those who listens. It is one of the most difficult music to learn & play. However, in music you play what you feel and your playing tells how you are feel.

    In closing I quote: “Cut that SHIT out”
    Love
    Jimmy Rodriguez Francis

  • Alisa says:

    This is a fabulous post! I love that everyone has their own kind of weird.

    Mine is etiquette books. I began collecting and reading them when I was around 19 and was told that an interest in old fashioned etiquette was an odd habit for someone so young. I still love them and still read them. My husband thinks it’s funny and is happy for me to be my own special kind of nerd.

  • Oh Kate! I love you so. I feel like I know you from reading about you and your sister in your mother’s books! I am so uncool! I really heard myself in your words, not feeling like you fit in or belonged. It caused deep depression in my life. Even surrounded by people who I knew loved the real me, it still seemed so important that the rest of the world agreed! WTF? So I’m listening lately. I am cutting that shit out. It’s so much more fun being magic! Here are some of my uncoolisms. . . I am a huge Earth nerd who loves geeking out on crystals, trees, birds, etc. . . I like Justin Timberlake and Katy Perry even though all of my indie rock friends think they are lame. . . I want dreadlocks so bad I sometimes leave the tangles in the under part of my hair and pretend. . . I sometimes let my armpit hair grow for weeks! Okay, there I’m free! Thank you for all that you do. Much love :)

  • […] Artikel wurde inspiriert von Kate Northrups Artikel “The greatest asset you have at your disposal — for your business and for your life.” Ich verehre Kates […]

  • […] You’re a human being talking to a human being. Be goofy. Be honest. Ask things you’re nervous to ask. If you’re a huge fan, be a fan girl or fan boy (without gushing). Be uncool. […]

  • Jodie says:

    YES! OWN OUR INNER WEIRD! Oh Kate, I loved this so much. And I love that you love country music! I don’t, but reading your love of uncool country music made me giggle to myself. It made me think of all the funny weird things about myself that I have disowned over the years. How silly the things about ourselves that we judge and hold shame around!

    So some of my freaky things.

    1. The Jesus Christ Superstar Australian Cast Recording is my favourite album ever made. That, and anything Michael Jackson. Put either of these things on, and I’ll proceed to give you the most heartfelt miming rendition / dance off you ever did see.

    2. I’m crazy about grammar. I love studying languages not only because I get to travel and talk to new and interesting people (which IS cool) but because the grammar of different languages absolutely excites and enthrals me. One of my favourite ways to relax is doing workbook exercises in other languages. Nerd to the core.

    3. To me, sex is one of the most sacred and loving acts on earth, and it’s the absolute foundation of my intimate relationship. For a long time, I felt ashamed about this – and from time to time that shame still comes up! As if somehow the sexual connection my fiancé and I have cheapens our relationship (because sex is often seen as a naughty/dirty/shameful/lustful thing). But to us, it’s sacred. And learning to embrace this has actually formed the foundation of our coaching business, and my now life’s mission on this earth. (Which just speaks volumes to how the things that make you ‘weird’ are often your gifts and part of the very reason you’re on this earth).

    Thanks Kate – loving your vibe and passion!

    Jodie

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