Through Being Cool

This week marked the 15th birthday of an album that defined my teenage years, from a band I will always love. As a walking, rocking example of ’emo’ in high school, “Through Being Cool” by Saves the Day was my anthem. Chris Conley’s lyrics spoke to me, and cut through me all the same. (You can find an excellent tribute article to that album here.)

Around the age I happened upon their CD in the shopping mall, I didn’t exactly wear my bloody heart on my sleeve. I held my cards pretty tightly to my chest. I kept my emotions not-so-much hidden, but to myself. For myself. They were MY feelings, afterall!

I consider the day I bought this album a big turning point in my life, because I started to see how gorgeous it sounds when you share your vulnerability.

Putting up walls can isolate you, so it’s not surprising that I felt fairly misunderstood by many of my peers and most adults as a teen. I did, however, have a keen understanding of what I felt, what I identified with, what I enjoyed and what made my heart pound. Mostly, that took shape in the form of alternative music, crushes on the boys in the bands who went to the other high schools, and my rebellious little pixie hair cut. Few things felt so thrilling to me than turning on Jimmy Eat World’s ‘Bleed American’ at full volume and throwing my body around my room, imaginary mic in hand.

Whenever something touches me deeply and fires my heart up, i.e. whenever I give a real damn about something, insight happens. As I listen to “Through Being Cool” for the millionth time today, I’m struck with this personal truth: passion + emotion coursing through your veins is sometimes a more powerful a life force than food, water, air or sleep alone could ever be.

With courage, love, and intensity,


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