Bad is not good

I used to think the only way to be cool was being a badass. The classic black t-shirt and jeans, not giving a fuck about anything kind of person.

The kind of guy who gets a gash that needs stitches but just slaps some superglue and duct tape on it. Or the guy who doesn't cry when his dog dies.

People who had a bad upbringing and had to be tough to make it. I used to think if you didn't face adversity then you were a shit person. As if being successful and having a loving, supportive family made you uncool. How crazy is that?

I think I was probably just jealous of mentally healthier people. It's easy to hate what you don't have.

So I grew up partying all the time and pretending I didn't care about my future. Deep down, I did. But I had to look cool. And drugs not only make you look cool, but they make you stop caring about stuff you should care about -- in turn, making you even cooler.

In reality, I looked like a burnout who wasn't emotionally intelligent enough to deal with my problems. It took me almost 30 years to realize the kind of stuff that makes you cool is caring about what's going on in your life.

It's a lot cooler to have your shit together and be able to do the things you want without having chemically induced mental breakdowns and rage-quitting your job. It's cooler to cry when you're so upset you don't know what else to do, rather than holding it all in and coming across like an emotionless narcissist. Emoting is literally a fundamental part of being a human.

Showing empathy and being emotional, lifting up the people you care about, sharing embarrassing things that have happened to you and the things you're insecure about are all more respectable than keeping it all in and trying to look tough. We share a planet with billions of other humans. We all have our own stuff going on but deep down, we're all a lot more similar than we are different.