I love "The Odd 1s Out: How to Be Cool and Other Things I Definitely Learned from Growing Up" by James Rallison.
When I read the book, I actually didn't know that Rallison is famous online as TheOdd1sOut, because of his webcomic TheOdd1sOut and his popular YouTube channel, where he recently announced that he is making webcomics again.
I'm so glad I got this book. I literally lol'd a number of times, and I really needed a good laugh. Plus I definitely learned a lot about being cool from this book. Sort of.
The funny thing you'll learn from the very first chapter of "The Odd 1s Out" is that Rallison was bad at art as a kid. It's actually his twin sister Faith who was the talented artist.
As he put it, Faith drew realistic-looking animals. He drew Chicken Godzilla.
So he never really thought that he would one day make a living as an artist.
Until in junior high he drew a comic to try to impress a girl. And then he decided to keep doing comic strips.
His parents weren’t exactly thrilled when Rallison told them he wanted to become a cartoonist. But it's funny how life sometimes works out.
"Five years later, my hard work is proof that talent is 90 percent determination, 10 percent dumb luck, and 3 percent not paying attention. I kept practicing. And now while Faith draws stunning nature landscapes, I draw pale, bald characters. You'd still probably prefer her art on your fridge, but my drawings are all over the internet. So I guess it all worked out."
Learning to laugh
Rallison's anecdotes about his attempts to be cool back in high school are truly hilarious. And we can all relate. I mean, who didn't want to be cool back then? All that worrying, and all the stupid things we did just to try to be part of the cool crowd.
And I know what I'm talking about when I say stupid things, because I was in high school during the 80s. Yes, our definition of cool was the 80s.
And you know what? We didn't know it back then, but none of it really matters. Do you really still care how cool the cool people were back in high school? Do you even find them cool nowadays?
Rallison wasn't one of the cool kids, and he's fine with that. And look where he is now.
You never really know how life will turn out.
Now, I'm sure these experiences weren't hilarious for Rallison while they were happening. Just as I'm sure many of us agonized over wanting to be cool, or feeling that we belonged back in high school.
That's normal. That's life. That's high school.
But just like Rallison, maybe one day we'll see the funny side of these experiences.
Maybe we'll learn to laugh at those memories. And make others laugh by telling these stories.