Last weekend we took Netflix & Chill to a whole new level when we finished the new Netflix series Thirteen Reasons Why in 3 days. If you haven’t heard about it yet there is a very good chance that you live under a rock… or that you have an actual life …which we. do. not.
The story is based on the best selling novel written by Jay Asher which was published in 2007. The book has now made it’s big debut on the little screen in a 13 part series & it’s literally all almost anyone can talk about. It’s about a young girl in High school whose being victimized by bullying & sexual harassment. She commits suicide but behind leaves a box of tapes with 13 sides of video recordings explaining the 13 reasons why she did it. She leaves the box with a trusted source who then is instructed to make sure the people on the tapes listen & follow instructions given by the girl. Once they are finished they must then pass the tapes onto the next individual on the tape.
Now that I’ve given you a little insight to the show I am sure you can see why it hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s the kind of show that makes you think & feel & so that is what brought me here. This isn’t a review of any kind & if you read the title I’m sure you already know where I am going with this. The truth is I can only partially relate to the story. Sexual harassment is apparent in almost every girls & even some boys lives. We all at some point are targeted by some sort of slut shaming. We all at some point have been lurked at & or even touched inappropriately. Every kid has been bullied at some point whether it be verbally or physically. Every kid at some point has been a bully themselves. And lastly every kid at some point or other has thought (even if just for a split second) about contemplating suicide because well… them teenage years are BRUTAL. And even the happiest of kids feel sad sometimes.
Well, this is an open letter to my son. You’re only a year old right now. You have the world ahead of you & as exciting as it is I am absolutely terrified. Because I know what kind of world it is. I know what kind of world it can be. & I am writing this today because I know that someday you are going to feel darkness. It’s the reality of being a teenager & it sucks I know. You’re going to feel a lot of confusion, doubt & you might even end up questioning your self worth. But I want you to know how truly loved you are. I want you to know how needed you truly are. How important & special YOU ARE. How much life you have ahead of you.
You are worthy of a beautiful, meaningful, successful future.
I’m writing this today because I know that someday someone out there is going to need you. They are going to need you to listen, need you to have their back, need you say the words they aren’t strong enough to say. You’re going to see things you wish you hadn’t & you’re going to wish there was more you could have done. But I want you to know that you can still do something. You can still help that person. You can still be their light, their rock, their friend. You are stronger than you think you are. You are helpful.
You are worthy of being someone’s hero.
I’m writing this today because I know that someday you are going to succumb to peer pressure. You may end up in a group of people who don’t like a specific someone & you are going to feel like that means you have to dislike them too. You’re going to feel the pressure to leave them out, to call them names, laugh at them & even talk behind their back. You may even feel pressure to do more like get physical because “that’s what some guys do.” But I want you to know you are better than that. You are kinder, wiser, stronger & more confident. You don’t have to tear someone down to make yourself look cool because you don’t need to follow a crowd.
You are worthy of being the leader.
Loving you has been the absolute best thing that’s ever happened to me & yet at the same time the scariest. I constantly fear the wrath of this world & the evil I try to protect you from everyday. I constantly fear your teenage years & the challenges those years will bring.
I’m scared but you see I am not scared for you; because the truth is I know you will get through it. That someday you will look back & barely remember these ugly moments. Because these moments are going to be such a tiny fraction of the BIG, VIBERANT LIFE you’re going to have. And let me tell you how I know that it is going to be big & vibrant. I know it will be because I am going to do everything in my power to make sure you always know you are worthy of being the leader. You are worthy of being someone’s hero & you are worthy of a beautiful, meaningful, successful future.
Please never forget that I’m always here. Even when you see that I am disappointed because I will be at some point. Know that I will never judge & I will always listen. I will always do everything in my power to help you find your happiness because you are mine.
In this show she had 13 reasons why she killed herself. The number 13 doesn’t even compare to the billions of reasons I can think of why you should always choose to live.