Letting the World Change my Smile


“Smile, though your heart is aching. Smile, even though it’s breaking.” 

I am pissed.

And not in your sassy, perky, know-it-all, typical teenager way.

This is different

I’m so angry I can hardly breathe or move or hell, even write this blog.

I want to understand. No,

I need to understand.

Since when did it become okay to be so hateful to each other? Your friends. Your peers. Your loved ones. These are people. We are people. And yet we sit here and hate so much.

We hate on social media by hiding behind computer screens and the vibrant glow of our cell phones.

We hate in person by laughing and pointing, or ignoring at all costs.

We hate to mask our own self impurities by pointing out what we define as flaws in others. Because as long as there is a problem in someone else, we no longer have to address the issues within ourselves, right?

Since when did it become okay to be so cruel?

I grew up thinking that everyone on earth had the same thought process and love in their hearts as I did. Maybe that was dumb on my part. To be quite honest, I did read Peter Pan a few too many times. I’ve just always thought kindness was an instinctive response. 

And I guess because of that instinct of my own, I automatically assume that everyone else is first to show kindness as well. But they’re not. If anything, it is the last thing they feel the need to do. 

Nobody is kind anymore in this world.

(Disclosure. I know a handful. And I keep them very close to my heart.)

Humans are exhausting. Many do things for the sole purpose of benefiting themselves, or for their egotistical mindset. I never understood the world and how so many people could really do the awful things that they do.

And here I thought for a while, “It’s just petty high school drama.” But it never ends, even when your tassle is on the left side of your head.

What used to be “My best friend is talking bad about me behind my back” turns into even bigger things that take a giant toll on your heart. High school is nothing compared to the real world. In fact, the two places have nothing to do with whether or not people are shitty. They’re shitty no matter where you go.

My heart is rather worn and tired. And I’m not even to my 20’s yet. I shouldn’t have to say things like this, but I genuinely feel as if my heart cannot take anymore cruelty from the people of this world.

“You’re just a teenager, quit whining.” Says the adult, perched with one hand on their hip and their choice of alcohol in the other. “Nothing lasts forever.”

You’re right. I am a teenager. And I’m probably whining a lot right now, so you’re right about that too. But this is very real for me. People are horrid. People are mean. And I’m having a hard time understanding it. When I don’t understand something, it tends to take an even greater toll on me. And for me, who has only been around for 18 years, this is the only “forever” I’ve known. This feels like forever.

For those of you who understand what I feel, or are maybe going through it yourself, I want you to know that I applaud you for still finding the courage to crawl out of bed everyday. The world is a nasty place.

Your friends aren’t friends sometimes. And you may feel lost, and alone, but everyday you smile and show gratitude and kindness to everyone who comes your way.

That is truly the good in the world.

So, why you may be seeing a lot of bad, a lot of evil, a lot of horror and deceit, let this ring true;

No matter how shitty people may be, you can have a glimmer of hope inside of you knowing that somewhere out there, there is someone just like you who feels and hurts beside you. And that as long as there are smiles on faces and a sun in the sky, there is at least some good in the world.

I, at least, have to believe that this won’t last forever. But that doesn’t mean that people don’t suck right now. 

Or maybe it will last forever, and we will just learn how to not be so affected by it.

Whatever works, I guess.

Until next time,

Tay❤

13 Reasons Why, and Why It Is So Important

   “You can’t love someone back to life.”

    You’ve been living under a rock if you haven’t seen or heard an advertisement for the Netflix Original Series, 13 Reasons Why adapted from the book by Jay Asher. YouTube, Pandora, Instagram. The team behind this really used platforms to their advantage to advertise. Executive producers, Selena Gomez and her mother Mandee, have been working on this project for 7 years and it finally came into the world this past Friday.

     If you haven’t read the book, you are completely missing out. I read it my freshmen year of high school, and cried for 30 minutes after the back cover had closed. When I heard of the movie adaptation, I was exhilarated. Rather than doing a full on movie, where they have to limit the storyline to 2 hours, they decided to, instead, make it into a mini series. That is 13 episodes, each an hour long, instead of just 2 hours.

    The series does an incredible job at conveying every thought, emotion, and so on and so forth. They took each character, from the book and the movie script, and made them into one. The book, as amazing as it was, tended to be cut and dry. It lasted one night. With the series, it takes place over the span of days, and adds so much depth to every aspect. You become attached to each character, feeling for them, or hating them completely. Not only is it brilliant acting, it sends out such a powerful message to everyone who has watched it.

     The directors and writers certainly didn’t try to shy away from any of the difficult parts, which I think is so important. 

     I’ll go ahead and tell you, Hannah Baker killed herself. Obviously. But before she died, she records herself telling the stories as to why it all lead up to that point. 13 reasons. (The title is basically self-explanatory.) Hannah then puts these tapes out into the world for each person to listen to and pass on to the next.
     In our world today, topics like suicide, rape, addiction, even LGBTQ, are deemed as “taboo” because no one wants to talk about it. But that’s our issue. We need to talk about it.

     13 Reasons Why does exactly this. It isn’t one of those things you watch and say “Wow, that was sad,” turn it off, and never think about it again. You watch it, and you are left in awe, because ladies and gentlemen, this is real life. This happens every single day. Everything you say and do affects the people around you. You must be so incredibly gentle with your words, and even more with your actions.

     A lot of what happens to Hannah Baker happens because of the phrases and motions of others. They never thought about what they were saying to her, doing to her, because to them, she would just get over it. To them, it was no big deal. They were blending in.

     Being cool stops when your popularity kills someone.

     I send great applause to everyone connected with this project, because I can only imagine the difficulty of some of the scenes. But for them to have shown what they showed instead of forgetting that it happened, sends a magnitude of reality to all of the viewers, especially those who have been in that place before. I’m not going to include any spoilers in here, but for those of you who have read the book or finished the series, you know exactly the scenes I am talking about.

     Our society desperately needed this as a wake up call. We are so overwhelmed with what our Instagram caption should be, or which aesthetically pleasing thought we should write to fit under 140 characters on Twitter. No one finds time to genuinely care about people anymore. We have become obsessed with ourselves and our appearances to the outside world, that nothing else matters. 

     Upon (binge)watching the show, I could name almost everyone from my graduating class in high school that had done something similar to one of the 13 events that went on.What if they had pushed someone to do that?

     Everyone is Hannah Baker. Everyone on this earth has the capability to do what she did. This show left me with that notion. I find myself seeking out other people who I know are going through things, who I see post about how they need someone on Twitter.

     They are calling out for help, and all you did was tweet about how you needed your daily Starbucks fix. 

     After finishing the last episode, I scrolled through Twitter. At the time, it was rather late at night, and as we all know, everyone tends to become a little more sad as the night falls deeper. There were about seven people tweeting things like “I wish I had someone to talk to.” I messaged everyone I saw and told them they always had someone to love them, and that someone was me.

     If everyone took two seconds to do that for someone, we could help save lives.

     13 Reasons Why can save lives.

     If you have yet to watch the series, I suggest that you start. Instead of another season of a show that won’t teach you anything, this one will stick with you for a long time.

      Just love one another, okay? Stop being cruel, obsessed people. Hannah Baker could be someone you love. I’m sure you wouldn’t like to hear your voice on a tape, saying that you were a reason why.
Until next time,
Tay❤