1 Reason '13 Reasons Why' Helped Me

1 Reason '13 Reasons Why' Helped Me

Today, a life was saved.
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Today marks week two of when the Netflix Original “13 Reasons Why” debuted on March 31st. While I can say I actually finished this show within two days of it airing, many are just now getting through it, if they actually decided to keep watching.

For those that don’t know the story behind the book or television series, here’s a recap. Clay Jenson comes home from school to find a box near his doorstep. Upon opening it there are 13 cassette tapes inside, all recorded by a classmate and friend, Hannah Baker. Hannah had recently decided to take her own life and each side of every tape is based on a person and how they contributed to this outcome. Hannah had instructed someone to keep hold of these tapes in case of emergency and was instructed to help all of them listen. The tapes are sent in the order each person is brought up. You listen and pass the tapes on to the next person when finished.

Being as I know people that have taken their own lives, I was skeptical in watching. While I can agree that there is graphic detailing about harsh topics (including rape, bullying, and suicide) I do believe there is a large message people may have missed. I don’t believe the situation should’ve been as romanticized as it was. I also believe Hannah’s actions were to blame for the outcomes that occur throughout the episodes. She didn’t use her voice and by making those tapes, she had left 13 people loathing themselves. It was a chain of bullying that went unnoticed.

What also went unnoticed in this series, is towards the end when those which showed interaction with Hannah (also on the tapes) were subpoenaed to testify for a trial her parents were having against the school. Each person was taped and on these tapes in the bottom left hand corner was a date: November 10, 2017. Currently, today is only April 15, 2017 while his show was released on March 31, 2017, meaning it was set in the future.

I came to the conclusion that for those of us watching, if this story were to actually be taking place in real life, it would be occurring right now. Some events within the show can be looked at as already happened (Winter Formal). While further watching, you’ll notice that certain things also have yet to occur, including both rapes and Jeff’s death.

I find this date in the show significant. This is depicting the idea of hope. What if you were a bystander, watching as this occurred? What if it was possible for you to intervene and stop someone from being raped or if you could prevent someone from dying?

This is where the show got my attention. Every day, we are given an opportunity to better the lives around us, or make them worse. We’re given that choice because we were given the gift of waking up that morning.

This series with such a specific date stamp is trying to explain that there is still a chance. There is still time to save someone and there is still time for people to speak up. It’s explaining that there is still hope for those which believe there isn’t.

I recently just experienced this. I was at the store when I noticed a man sitting outside. It wasn't the same man that my roommate and I have given food to before. That day, I decided to grab a bag of potato chips and water for him. I went outside to hand him these items thinking nothing of it, it's a gesture I've done in the past. He told me he hadn't eaten in over a week and was ready to give up trying. Now, I understand for many his story may be hard to believe; however, that day I believed it. That day, I also realized the power one small gesture towards someone could have.

While I may not personally agree with this show, I do believe in the message I have found within it. Tell the man you see at the local diner every day that you hope he has a good day. Tell the woman you passed on the street walking to school that she has a beautiful smile. Whatever the case may be, impact the world in a positive manner. We don’t fully understand, but sometimes our actions play a larger part in other’s lives than they do in our own.

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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'Difficult Women' Book Review

How Roxane Gay changed how I saw myself
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Roxane Gay is an extremely talented author. I fell in love with her writing after being assigned a section of The Bad Feminist in a creative writing class. I was instantly sucked into this world of someone who expresses sentiments I had not been able to. That got me started, from there I began Difficult Women. As I was wandering through Square Books, it was the title that caught my attention. As a girl I often here comments on how "crazy" or "dramatic" I can be. I could not help myself, I grabbed the book and ran home to start it.

For me, the first few pages makes - or breaks - a book for me. I flew through the first chapter and turned the page ready to find out more. But I was shocked to find that an entirely new story began. Slightly perturbed I started the next chapter expecting the third chapter to go revert back to the trials of the characters in the first chapter. It never happened. By the seventh chapter I was so enthralled with the stories of all the women presented I completely forgot that I wanted some resolution for the sisters in chapter one. The struggles of the women broke my heart, made me want to fight for them, give them and hug and cry for them.

It was then I realized I had a literary crush on Roxane Gay. She exposed the stories behind so called "difficult women" and made the world recognize that those supposed crazy moments were the product of outside events. I felt justified. I felt that as a women someone was finally shedding light on the reasons that I sometimes overreact or get emotional when people do not understand why.

If you are looking for a good pool, beach or airport read I strongly suggest this book. It is one of the most humanizing books with elements of fiction to make it appeal to a wide group of women. The short story style keeps it interesting from start to finish and allows you to decide what the fate of the women may be or for the story to end there and you allow the thoughts of the author to carry on difficult conversations in your thoughts.

Cover Image Credit: LibroMobile

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Teddy And Owen Show All That Not Waiting For Your Best Friend Makes You A Strong Woman

Shonda Rimes shows young woman that valuing yourself in a relationship for two is a strong decision.
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Avani
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Shonda Rimes, the creative genius behind "Grey's Anatomy," has done some crazy things in this 14-season-and-still-going-strong show. From tragically ending the McDreamy storyline to starting the Avery-Pierce romance, Shonda has thrown every sort of curveball for the doctors at Grey-Sloan.

However, in the episode entitled, "One Day Like This," Shonda kicks up the heat with Owen Hunt and Teddy Altman only to end it with a semi-familiar message: even if he is your best friend, you do not have to give up everything for him.

For those that need a quick recap of the relationship between Major Owen Hunt and Major Teddy Altman, their relationship started out on their Iraqi tour where they were both stationed as trauma surgeons. While it was evident that they had some chemistry, Owen, unfortunately, was engaged to Beth at the time.

When Owen was done with the army, he took up a job (post-breakup with Beth) at Seattle Grace where he was wooed by the snarky Cristina Yang. However, never once was Teddy thought of until Christina wanted to learn from a cardio god after Burke left.

Teddy, in every sense of the word, was a badass at cardiology. Cool, collected and a wealth of knowledge, Teddy offered a wide variety of expertise to Christina while still maintaining her composure regarding her feelings about Owen. As a good best friend to a guy, she kept it on the lockdown about how she was the right person for him.

But with Shonda, such feelings have usually been kept a secret for long (otherwise what happens to the good television ratings), and Teddy spills everything to Owen who ends up pushing her away and turning to Christina. And to really top it all off, Owen manages to be involved with her late husband's, Henry's, death.

So when Owen finally gets his life together post-Amelia and goes after Teddy, she gives him a chance. An almost 24-hour chance. Once Owen mentions it was Amelia that brought him to her, Teddy kicks him out and closes the door behind him.

This may disappoint a lot of viewers given that Teddy and Owen are made for each other, but I believe that Shonda Rimes is making an underlying point that waiting around for your best friend is undervaluing you as a woman of power.

Teddy and Owen's relationship is exactly what girls should not do for their best guy friend because all it ends up proving is that the girl puts herself second in the relationship. No woman should ever put herself in the position of waiting for a man to notice her.

Teddy is beautiful in many ways and Owen is only realizing her beauty now. Smart, charismatic, dedicated and caring, Teddy would have loved to have Owen by her side. But time and time again, Owen pushed her away for what he thought was something better.

When Teddy was faced with the decision to have her happily ever after come true, she decides to let it go forever which makes her even more beautiful in my eyes than ever before. Instead of holding on to Owen to complete her, she comes to her senses and lets him go because her own value matters more than what he thinks.

To get to the essence of this moment, Teddy is a stronger, independent woman because she did not fold in the face of Owen promising to be there for her because he wants to. This poignant moment hits home for me because it shows women that for every guy best friend they have, it does not make them weak for giving into them or strong if they don't. Instead, it makes her human.

Then again, we would all be human because choices like that aren't easy. Making the right choice for you regarding your best friend is important because it only accounts for what you want. Not what is good for the other person which ultimately is not selfish at all.

Cover Image Credit: ABC
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