You’re my hero and you don’t even know it.

In the aftermath of my personal journey through the ’13 reasons why’ series on Netflix, I decided I just had to write something about it. Or maybe not about the show at all.

I guess I don’t have to tell you about the show in detail, since it has been blowing up on social media for a couple of weeks now. A girl commits suicide and leaves ’13 reasons why’ on tape. Thirteen sides of cassette (the oldschool one we used to listen to on our walkmans) with her account of the events that lead up to her killing herself. Each reason is linked to a person and they all in turn hear the tapes.

I’m not easily impressed by television shows or movies about sensitive subjects like this. Especially if they are made in the U.S. I feel that these are often over-dramatised, sappy pieces of television made by adults who clearly do not grasp what actually goes on in the lives of the average, modern-day teenager. 13 Reasons why managed to not fall into that same trap.

Over the past few weeks I have read numerous blog posts of people who had their own story to tell. People who have shut up for so long and now finally feel it is time to speak up. Talk about what happened to them in order to be able to get over it. If there really is such a thing.

It should be of no surprise to you that all these accounts were written by women.  Now you can ask yourself if I have experienced similar things, but I won’t go in to that. Shouldn’t really even be a question anyway. Because the sad truth is you already know the answer to this.

 

What I will do, is pay tribute to those who have helped me overcome my personal demons, as one friend put it so elegantly in her blog. I want to show my respect to those who have made sure that I did not do something as desperate as commit suicide. These are people I have known for years, some only for a couple of months. I’ve had coffee with a few, but have never seen others. Some of them will come across my declaration of love, others will never even think to look for it. And that is okay. I don’t need them to recognise this. I don’t even really want all of them to know. Not because they won’t care, but because they simply wouldn’t know what to say.

Before I recognise my heroes, I need to recognise my kin. My blood. They have been there from day one. They deserve more credit than I could put in this post. I’m sure they’ll get their own tribute some day, but I could not ignore them here.

 

However, here is to you, my darling friend. You who have suffered through so much just because, same as me, you were born a girl. From the very start you were told to look a certain way, dress a certain way and act the way all girls are supposed to act. I love you because you said no to all of these things, because you decided to do you. Unapolagetic, straight forward, at times pretty unsettling you.

No matter how long you have been in my life, you are of great importance to me. Even if we might not have met in real life, I can assure you that you are already in my heart. I’m sure if I give you the criteria that you need to make to get into that black little heart of mine, you’ll know if your name belongs here instead of ‘darling friend’.

I chose to love you because:

  • You have been brutally honest about life to me and others. You don’t hold back and always find a way to let the people around you know how you feel. You might or might not carry your heart on your sleeve like me. You might guard it with force and ammo, but you have shown your truth to me.
  • I have seen you crawl up from stuff that would make anybody else cry and give up. You have overcome situations I don’t even want to imagine and came out on top. Fuckboys who tried to rape you, strangers who decided to belittle you based on what you look like, even loved ones turning their backs on you because of who you love. You fought tooth and nail to overcome all or any of these, managing to beat them down permanently.
  • Nobody would ever dare describe you as average or plain. You are seen as ‘an odd one out’ and are proud to be. Your personal style is like no one else and wouldn’t suit anybody but you.
  • You have supported me when I needed it. Probably without you realising just how much I needed you. Not only were you there for me, you still are.

 

Do all of these relate to you? Welcome in my tar-stained, probably a bit stoned heart. I’m so pleased you chose to be here. We might hang out every couply of days or we might just talk online. But you should know: you are loved by me. Loved, admired, treasured, cherished, adored, … I don’t have the correct words to describe exactly what I feel for you.

You have stood beside me and have watched me grow. You’ve shown patience listening or reading about my pity little life, while never judging me too harshly. You’ve been honest when I fucked up, regardless of my reluctancy to hear it. I do try to listen though, you know that right?

 

I in turn have watched you. In awe!

You are even more beautiful than I could have guess. Yes, scars and all. Don’t for one second think of hiding those. I’ve told you I believe scars make you more beautiful right? Please always remember that. Your stories have made me laugh and cry, your wit in telling them still has me stunned at times. You know how hard it is to stun me and yet: there you go again!

I hope you know what it means when I text you first, or when I bother to send you a snap or personal message. Don’t mind the nagging about having to meet up (either for a first time or the millionth), it’s just that I expect so much more of life with you around.

My brutal honesty makes you laugh right? Well I’m sorry that it’s so hard when it’s pointed at you for a change. I don’t ever mean to hurt you. Thank you for trusting my advice, asked for or handed to you by force. All I want is for you to grow, become more of a goddess.

 

I can almost imagine the insecure smirk on your face now, as you think ‘please. Goddess. I’m barely even a person’.

But you’re not just a person to me. You are one of my warrior queens. An example to me in so many ways. You have shown me the value of a strong army of friends to fight my battles with. Side by side.

 

With all my love,

 

Gedraaid

 

 

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