Wanting to be someone else

Authenticity and value have always gone hand in hand. Every person is truly authentic, deep down, and thus provides a certain sense of value. It’s just a matter of whether or not you feel comfortable accepting it or, more importantly, showing it.

Kurt Cobain’s story is similar to other artists I’ve penned about, and proves that the worth a person feels isn’t always proportional to the worth they portray. Even with his millions of fans and his unique and enviable ability to express himself, he felt isolated and alone. He couldn’t have known his true value.

Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.

 -Kurt Cobain

Part of what made Cobain and Nirvana so valuable to its fans was its authenticity and anti-commercialism. Cobain was able to expose his true feelings and find people who not only enjoyed, but also related to his words. His words have value. In fact he, like Sylvia Plath, was an artist so recognized for his work that he felt like he could no longer recognize himself. It was as if sharing their words led to more confusion and blurriness than the clarity you see when you speak from the heart.  

Looking at that quote would make readers think Cobain valued and had accepted his place in life, and in others’ lives. Our individualities are what make us valuable, so why bother ignoring who you really are? If that were the case you would only deny the world a sense of relief. And imagine if Kurt Cobain had denied the world of his valuable individualism.

We’ve all done it, too—Wished we were someone else. Not out of jealousy, necessarily, but out of sheer awe. It’s easy to be amazed by someone else’s traits, so much so that you begin to believe they’re your own. You find a person who has the hair color you’ve always wanted, or the slightly more eloquent way of speaking, or the inner spirit that you can’t seem to let out of its cage, and you begin your journey of wanting. It may be minutes, sometimes hours, and for some, a lifetime of wanting. But how much of that time can be spent being your own person, and doing all those things you’re in awe of?

I encourage you to take time this week doing instead of dreaming, being instead of just believing, and owning your originality. Have you ever wanted a characteristic so badly that you spent more time wishing than you did valuing what you have to offer?