1. It shows that a family can be messed up and still function.
Parents get divorced, siblings move away, distance creeps in, and families get pried apart. It happens gradually and when you look back and see the path you’ve taken, it may take you by surprise. Some people want to live with their family forever and others never want to see theirs again.
2. Ian And Mickey's romance tears at your heart on the daily.
They’ve struggled to get where they are now with each other. Being openly gay in our society is not as welcomed as it should be and states are still fighting for equal rights and gay marriage. Watching Ian and Mickey work things out, even when stones get thrown on the road, gives hope to everyone watching.
3. It makes you want to go home and hug your guardian for (hopefully) not putting you in the same situation the kids are in.
Watching Frank stumble under bridges and in and out of bars makes me appreciate my mom more for not drinking. To thank her for never asking me for money to pay bills or leaving me roadside to get high. To thank her for always being my best friend and being there for me.
4. Shelia will forever grow on you.
She has become so independent and gotten over her mental illness. Going from a woman who was petrified to leave her house, to randomly leaving for a few weeks to spend time in a trailer is a wild transformation. Seeing that Shelia can conquer her mental illness even when life has not been so kind to her is truly inspiring.
Lip can STILL manage college and pass his midterms.
Lip spent hours at the hospital, watched Liam after he was released, fed the family, and held a family sleepover in his dorm room. Even through all this chaos, he passed all of his midterms and kept his scholarship!
6. Which brings up: Lip got into college!
Lip came from a bad neighborhood, childhood, and previous education. This is huge and shows that sometimes, against all odds, anyone can make it.
7. Fiona shows you that it is OK to cut toxic people out of your life.
I was never more proud of Fiona than when she finally said no more to Frank. She would not donate a liver and let him have any more control over her. He always chose substance abuse over her and she finally stood up for herself.
Never settle for anything that you don’t deserve.
8. It shows that you don't NEED to come from a good childhood to go somewhere. That you don't need two coherent parents to come out as ‘OK.’
I know a lot of people that think they can't go anywhere in
It's not where you come from, it's where you go from there.
9. Lip Gallagher is such a beautifully crafted character.
Lip and Fiona went through some heavy things together. They got left outside in the cold when Monica and Frank left them because they got high. He holds in his heart the truth about what happened to Karen. Lip has such a weighted heart, but still chooses to actively help his family and tries to be a good person.
10. Mandy teaches you not to accept things you don't deserve. She finds the courage to tell people no and to aspire to be her own person.
She hasn’t had such a straight path, but she is finally learning how she wants to be treated. The first step is learning what you want.
11. Debbie reminds you what it's like to be a kid again.
Being in college now, I'm sure some of us have forgotten how it feels to be young. She's got her virginity countdown drawn out and her friends pressuring her that it's time to have sex. It makes you take a step back and pray that your siblings/children will never feel the way Debbie does, that they will never cry themselves to sleep over some human.
12. Debbie also shows you are not your parents’ mistakes.
She does not smoke or avidly
13. Kevin shows you that life can throw obstacles your way, but its okay to handle them in your own way.
Whether it's problems with the bar, being robbed, or just protecting your children. It's okay to not do things the way everyone else does them.
This applies to everything in life. Maybe the expected life to live is to go to college, get married, settle down in a house, have children, retire, and then die. Sometimes life has a different plan. I know people who have had a child first, people who don’t plan to go to college, and I know people who have had a family, house, and are now in college. One life is not more valid than another and all of these people are so strong for finding what works for them and deciding what life you want to live.
I implore you to think about this article and what this show has taught: Is this the life you want to live? .. Breathe in. Breathe out and decide. -Meredith Grey