Me and Only Me

Caitlyn - Red Bud, Illinois
Entered on May 5, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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I never fitted in with my classmates like most students try to. When I was younger, it was because I was not interested in fashion like the other girls and did not develop an interest in boys till much later. While everyone was listening to Disney Channel Radio, I was listening to the “hooky and depressing” country music of the 90’s. I never really cared, though. It just didn’t seem to matter to me

High school was more of the same. I never really seemed to fit in but I continued no to care. Everyone seemed to be getting into the drinking and partying scene, but I just wanted to sit at home or hang out with my friends somewhere other than a party or where there was alcohol. I struggled for a while with the idea of wanting to fit in and be like everyone else. I started changing my ways by not caring about my grades and going to parties with my friends but it only seemed to make me more of an outcast. It didn’t take long before I realized that it wasn’t worth trying to be like everyone else, and more people accepted me the way I used to be because it was who I was.

I believe in walking to the beat of my own drum. There should be no idea of “keeping up with the Jones”, conforming to fashion trends, society, and common beliefs. People should feel free to live his/her own life the way he/she chooses. We live in a country where we have that right but the majority of people never seem to take advantage of it.

Every time I look back on how I was never like anyone else, I always thing of the song “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” by Barbara Mandrell and it really does fit. It talks about listening to country music while her friends were listening to rock and roll and being made fun of for it and how everyone then started changing to be more like her. I no longer struggle with wanting to fit. Instead I now pride myself on the idea of not fitting in because I am being myself. I once asked a friend to describe me in one word and she responded, “You are just you.” She was right. In the words of Barbara Mandrell, “I still act and look the same. What you see ain’t nothing new.” I don’t want to be anyone else but me.