Every day, I wear an ugly necklace. It’s a sterling raven skull slung on top of a cog by a short chain and a leather cord; and I made it myself.
I used to think that “those people” who wore punk, Goth, or other counter-cultural styles were all looking for attention. I had them all pretty well pegged. Their choices in style echoed silent screams of insecurity.
“What does it take to get your love and attention?”
“Will you love me no matter what I do, no matter what I look like?”
“Stay away. I will not be betrayed by love again.”
I thought I had it all figured out and chose for myself the most culturally bland and accommodating styles so as not to likewise appear so insecure. I made myself plain and ordinary, an ‘all things to all men’ kind of man.
Then something happened. What happened is a long story, involving the amazing providence of God in healing my heart. The short of it is that my own insecurities were unveiled and I learned that I too was trying to project something that I wasn’t. Instead of projecting my insecurities, and in truth my dislike for myself, I hid them behind a cloak of Average. Instead of crying out, I blended in.
But that event revealed something in me. I am not average or typical; none of us are. I was made for more than that. The necklace I wear represents that part of me that I feared, dismissed, and disliked for so long, that part of me I had to make peace with, that part where my strength truly lies.
I still think it’s a rather ugly necklace. It even takes effort for me to choose to wear it some days. And that is the point. It makes a statement. Not to those around me who see it, but to me. Whenever someone looks at my collar funny, whenever I look in the mirror, whenever I feel the pendent against chest, I remember. I remember that I’m not who I once wanted to be. I am stronger than that man, I am made unique and for a purpose, a purpose that transcends cultural expectations.
Not every punk is trying to tell you something, or trying to be something they are not. Sometimes they are just trying to remind themselves that they are Loved for who they are, and that who they are is so much more than Average.