December 1, 2016

FYI, It’s Cool To Care About Things

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What is the issue?
Brooke Cagle
Brooke Cagle

I’m a shrieker.

And no, you perv, not in some sexual way (though tbh, I’m pretty loud there too), but when I get excited about something, I shriek. I’ve got a bad case of hyena laughter. And when I run into a friend I haven’t seen in a while? You bet I’m reaching some high-pitched frequencies only dogs can hear.

I can’t help it. I’ve never known how to contain my enthusiasm.

On a trip with an old-coworker once, between fits of silliness and me probably doing something over-the-top, she described me as a real-life emoji. And she was 100% right.

I wear my emotions on my face. I’ve never been good at hiding how I feel.

There’s this brand of disinterest, of total apathy, that I don’t understand. People joke they have black hearts, that there’s an empty space where a soul should be. They roll their eyes. They scoff at anyone who seems to care.

The coolest thing you can do in this world is care.

I remember a few girls getting tattoos at my favorite spot in Los Angeles. They were nervous and animated, talking quickly with their hands and joking with the tattoo artist. They wanted to get map coordinates of an area I’m assuming was somehow significant to them. Everyone could hear them. They were shriekers, like me.

My friend and I watched, felt a little superior because our tattoos were obviously MUCH cooler than coordinates (I mean, BASIC, right?). We had a few tattoos. Our seasoned status somehow convincing us that we could judge them. We could pass judgement on their adolescent like behavior.

And then, I felt shitty.

I felt shitty that I spend so much time being excited about ridiculous things and proudly announcing, “THIS IS ME, WORLD! TAKE IT!” and I was giving these girls a side-eye. I felt shitty that I sized them up as annoying for being exactly like me. You know what I was getting tattooed that day? The Buffy The Vampire Slayer logo. Yeah, what a cool kid I am. Must have been Homecoming Queen, right?

We’re becoming conditioned to frown upon pure enthusiasm. For some reason, nothing should affect us. Just a bunch of Ice People with cinder blocks instead of bleeding, beating hearts.

I’m not for it. I’m not okay with trying to minimize my excitement for something others perceive as dumb. I’m not okay with us looking at two girls being so wonderfully human and stoked as annoying.

You know what’s annoying?

Not giving a shit about anything.

That’s annoying.

Caring? Caring about your life, new experiences, and yes, even the silliest things we do with our friends? That’s cool. That’s the coolest.

I’m never going to be a Daria, as much as the internet tries to convince me I should be. I’ll always be a Kimmy Schmidt. Loud, passionate, and maybe a bit much. But I’d rather be too much than nothing at all. I’d rather be me. TC mark

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