A concept spoken by many but practiced by few echoes in my mind as I sift through ideas and topics for this week’s column.
I could write about literally anything, but the words “be yourself” keep resonating clearly in my head.
Growing up in a village of 300 people, surrounded by cornfields, I never fit the country girl stereotype.
Yes, my name is Hunter. Yes, I can pull back on my bow and hit a target with ease. And yes, I identify easily with the twitter accounts that hashtag, “small town problems.”
But unlike the majority of people where I am from, I grew up listening to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Rob Zombie and a lot of classic rock thanks to my older sister.
Somehow, in the muddled chaos, I fell in love with grunge and Kurt Cobain. In honor of his birthday last week I listened through my favorite Nirvana songs and Cobain’s ultra-rare covers. Listening to these songs took me back to my high school days.
I never really realized how much Cobain impacted me until I was in high school, though.
Cobain was known for going against the mainstream before it was cool. He was indeed the hippest hipster.
With Cobain as my influence, I wore skinny jeans and hi-top Chucks with holes in the soles from wear. I mismatched my flannels to the graphic band tees underneath and dyed my hair crazy colors.
In fact, over the course of four years, my hair hosted 27 different color combinations.
I got a lot of flack for these differences that were extremely apparent to the people in my community and sometimes it really bothered me. I never made friends easily, partially because I was shy and partially because I was so different. Or so I thought.
As cliche as it sounds, not conforming to certain trends and beliefs worked to my advantage as I got older. Instead of growing up and trying to answer the question “who am I?,” I already knew.
To make a long story short, I had an easier time figuring out exactly what I wanted to do with my life and who I wanted to be.
The sooner you lose focus on pleasing others, the sooner you will be able to delve into the opportunities that are specifically set out for you.
You’re more of a blessing to the other people around you when you are unapologetically yourself and don’t compromise any portion of it.
In the end, Cobain sums up the entire idea in just one line: “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.”
Column by Hunter Harrell, Features Editor