Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Ms. Misunderstood

Hey there, weird kid in your high-top shoes...

That line could have been written about me.

Unfortunately for me, but fortunately for country music radio, Eric Church wrote it first. It's a line from his song "Mr. Misunderstood," a song I immediately connected with the first time I heard it.

It tells the story of a kid who's a little different; he likes music his classmates have never heard of, his dreams seem a little too big, and he wears high-top shoes (my preferred choice of shoe, even on my wedding day.) The lyrics spoke to me.

High school is a tough enough time, even if you're pretty "normal." Me, I was always different from my peers. I had a vinyl collection and I loved music from my parents' generation. I didn't drink, I didn't have much of a social life...If I wasn't working on a Friday night you'd find me in my bedroom with my headphones in, and pounding away on a laptop. It was what I knew and it was what I loved. Nothing else mattered.

I was misunderstood enough that my circle of friends changed and even diminished in size throughout my years in school. And sure, there were times that my "oddness" made me feel sad, but in the back of my mind I knew it had to mean something. Maybe one day, I'd be something more. I just had to let myself be...myself. It was a struggle at times, but my family always encouraged me to be true to myself.
There was always pressure to fit in, or to not stand out. But I didn't give in. I sacrificed friendships and being cool, but I honed my art: writing. I found myself, and I figured out who I wanted to be. I chased dreams and goals. I may have been Ms. Misunderstood, but years later, I think for that same reason, I'm able to understand myself better than I ever could have imagined.

And that's pretty cool.

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