On Kurt Cobain and Career Inspiration at Age 13 (Mortified Style)

April 5, 1994 – fifteen years ago, the day Grunge lost its king.

I’ve been thinking about Kurt Cobain lately. I was never really a big grunge kid – don’t get me wrong, I owned my share of flannel and gave head-banging a good middle-school try before it gave me a splitting headache. But I was born with one foot firmly planted in Generation X and the other with it’s toe in the Millenial Generation. I loved Nirvana – Nevermind and the MTV Unplugged album remind me of parties at my best friend’s house where all we did was listen to music and talk because we weren’t quite old enough to get ourselves into trouble. I would later betray Grunge for Electronica and Trip Hop, but for those filthy gold-plated middle school days in the early 90s…there was nothing better. Could we have asked for a better anthem than Smells Like Teen Spirit?

But then one day after school at my friend Gill’s house, we were all hanging out having good clean fun, talking about who liked who, wondering out loud about the mysteries of high school when…MTV News rose out of the background, and brought our conversation to a grinding halt. Legendary ageless MTV News anchor Kurt Loder came on screen to tell us that Cobain shot himself.

And so last night – fifteen years later – I paid solemn tribute to the man by playing Lithium on my laptop at 2:00 AM. Since I’m only a little older than Cobain was when he died, I reflected on where I had been in life then, and everything that has happened since. I started thinking about where my 13yo self thought I might be in 2009, fifteen years after Cobain’s death…and then it occured to me: I Wrote About That Day In MY JOURNAL.

And when I found the entry it was truly ~embarrassing~ as I feared, but it was also something I didn’t expect…freakishly inspiring.

In a thirteen-years-old kind of way.

So without further ado, and in true Mortified style, I give you the April 10, 1994 excerpt of The Journal of Emily Hainsworth, age 13yrs, 11mos. It is one part historical perspective on events in pop culture, and one part musings on personal career goals – painstakingly transcribed exactly as it was written fifteen LONG years ago…and delivered with the brutal honesty and pure can-do attitude only a 13 year-old can convey:


Whoa! Its been a while since I’ve written. I’m kinda depressed. (not unusual) Kurdt Kobain (Curt Cobain) killed himself about three days ago. He was the lead singer of Nirvana, one of the top five bands in America and one of my favorites. He was kinda cute too. It figures, the cute ones are always either gay, dead, dying, homosidal (sic), or married/girlfriend. Oh well. His wife is on heroin and he had just gotten out of a coma in the hospital. He has a cute little girl too. I feel very sorry for her. When she grows up we’ll probly hear about her holding up a store or running naked through the streets protesting sexism. Anyway her dad blew his head off with a gun. (He was only 27 years old) What a way to go. I hope he had plenty of Tylenol.

Oh, I went to the Nottingham [High School] musical INTO THE WOODS. It was very cool, but long. I can’t decide what to be when I grow up. I kinda wanna be an actress, but having second thoughts about it. The stress, the assassination risk. I want to go down in history remembered and well liked, but not like that. I love to Act, but I don’t think I could handle the pressure. I COULD however be a writer. That way I can make all my fantasies come true. I put my stuff on paper, publish it, and whala! (spelling could help though) And maybe I’d finally get to meet the great Christopher Pike. When you write, you can make anything happen. I will seriousley (sic) consider this.

Emily 🙂

4 thoughts on “On Kurt Cobain and Career Inspiration at Age 13 (Mortified Style)

  1. Can you explain to me how being an actress comes with an “assassination risk”? I love how you were dreaming BIG, even back then 🙂

    I’m also impressed that your diary entry was boy-crazy free… I wonder if I could find a single entry that was about boys (or why my mom was “trying to ruin my life and make me miserable.” sorry, Mom).

    Could we make this a regular blog segment? Pages from Emily’s dairy? Please?

  2. LOL! Unfortunately, I was (and still am) a very sporadic diary-keeper. Darn me, I had other things to do. 🙂 But I promise you, other less-weighty entries not addressing life/death and assassination very much included boys!

  3. Okay, it’s sad about Kurt Cobain (also, HOLYEFF15YEARS), but I got the biggest grin on my face when I read the last paragraph of this entry. Rock. I love this entry, bb.
    (Now to go update my links for your new wordpress digs!!) ~*~

    1. *holds frail wrinkled hand to your vibrant young cheek* Courtney? Is that you…? I knew I’d see you once more before I di—

      JK, JK! WELCOME TO MAH NEW BLOG, BB!!!! …and… *toes dirt* My 13yo self thanks you for the props.

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