Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Cool Kids, or Where Do I Fit In?

I've never been one of the cool kids. And now in my 30's, I still want to be one. Jenni's post today got me thinking about this (so blame her for the contemplative, Debbie Downer post).

I have a sister, but we are almost 10 years apart, so according to the birth order people, I'm more of an only child. Because my sister was almost 10 years older than I was, I spent a lot of time around older people. It wasn't until college that I really had friends my own age. Adding to the problem, I started kindergarten when I was 4, so in school I was always the youngest.

I was always heavily involved in music as a kid, so I did have that common ground with a few people. Then again, I was fairly advanced in music for my age, so at age 12 I started playing piano/keyboard for the high school show choir. Yeah, a very shy 12 year old with very exuberant 15-18 year olds. Awkward.

In college I finally felt fairly comfortable with who I was. I was with other people who were also pursuing music degrees and had spent much of their lives practicing like I did. They got me. Suddenly, in my senior year of college, my whole life path seemed to change and I no longer had a burning desire to go straight to grad school - which of course caused several people in my little world (friends and faculty) to a) wonder what on earth had happened to me, and b) treat me a bit differently. Not in an overt way, but I felt it.

I got married and came to Nashville and have always felt that it's a bit odd that I'm a musician, but I've never tried to pursue playing professionally here. I have felt snubbed by a few classical music professionals here and yet I can't sit around and banter about touring stories or "you won't believe the dive I played in..." stories with other musicians either.

Like I said in my last entry, I played on the worship team at church on Sunday and at one point, I turned to the only other female on the team and said, "I'm SO not hip enough to be up here." Don't get me wrong...I really love my church and am so glad to be there - but I look around and all the cool kids are all fit and hip and trendy and I'm just...not. I know we all have our issues and that being fit, hip and trendy does not necessarily mean you are healthy, happy and emotionally stable. But it's so easy to assume, isn't it?

When I was 3 or 4, I used to tell my mom, "I like me! Do you like you?" I wish I had more of that mentality now. It just concerns me a little that at 34 I still want to be one of the cool kids. Will I still feel that way at 44? At 64? Yikes!

So what misconceptions do you struggle with? Are you one of the cool kids? Or do you want to be one, too? (note to any cool kids out there...we shall refrain from throwing things at you, for the sake of unity.)