You know sometimes we like telling you about the shows we’re watching, why we like them and a few lessons we can learn from them. We’ve done it with The Flash, the movie Trolls or even with Alice through the looking glass. Well, 13 Reasons why wasn’t going to be different. We know it’s kind of like a controversial show to talk about. You’ve got the people who loved it and people who are totally against it. On this post I want to share with you my 13 reasons why I liked 13 reasons why, and no, don’t worry, I haven’t recorded any tapes and I’m quite far from killing myself…
Before I go into the reasons, let me tell you that it is not a series I would recommend for the whole family, it has some difficult scenes to watch that I wouldn’t let my kids watch at all. “13 Reasons why” tells the story of a teenager who kills herself after suffering all sorts of bullying and complicated life situations. She records 13 tapes. Each tape is addressed to the person she feels it had an effect on that decision. Anyway, so, sorry in advance if I’m sharing any spoilers, I hope not! but here they are, my 13 reasons why I liked 13 Reasons why:
#1 It reflects a sad reality
Teenage years, hormones going up and down, defining who you are and who you want to be, come on, we all know adolescence can be quite difficult. And it is sad to admit but youth suicide is a current issue of our society.
#2 It helps you see the small things
The main character suffers all sorts of dramatic situations, but some of them, if you take them out of the whole story, are not that much of a “big deal”. Who hasn’t had an argument with a friend sometime? But, see, from the very first tape, she shows that even the small thing can have a impact on someone else’s life that may go unnoticed to us.
Since watching this, I’ve been trying to be more careful with what I say and how I say it, especially to my little ones. Thank God they’re not in that stage yet but their minds are vulnerable and so teachable, I want to make sure that my words are coming across the right way.
#2 Every one has a story
See, the series not only shows a poor Hannah that decided to take her life, it also tells little bits of the other character’s lives that help you understand why they act like they do. Nothing is to be justified, don’t get me wrong, rape is ALWAYS wrong, no matter the angle from where you’re looking at, but there is always a story behind that bully too.
For example, you’ve got the rich boy, Bryce, whose parents are so nonexistent that they don’t even appear in the show once. He thinks he can have it all, regardless of someone else’s will. So, can you imagine, in a different world, where his parents would have been present in his life, really cared for him and showed him how to respect others? Maybe he would be a different person, who knows…
We cannot be that quick to judge others.
#3 Say something nice when it comes to your mind, ALWAYS
Clay, the other main character, was so scared of showing her real feelings that at the end he couldn’t help Hannah the way he wanted to. There is never a wrong time to say something nice to others. Have you tried it? I remember once somebody thanking me for something I did. To me it was so small I didn’t even remember it but apparently for the other person it helped her a lot. A smile to a stranger, a heartfelt “I love you” to your kids and/or partner. You won’t never be wrong if what it comes out of your mouth is something uplifting, empowering or encouraging.
#4 Start to worry when you don’t feel anything.
Feeling bad is a sign that you’re still alive and feel something. At the end, she didn’t care for anything or anybody. Nothing seemed to matter anymore. I can, in no way, feel what she felt because I have been quite fortunate in my life so far. But, identifying the signs on an early stage is a pivotal point towards future decisions.
#5 Keep your eyes open for what matters the most
This is a lesson that I can relate more now that I’m a parent. In the story Hanna’s parents are so worried by their financial situation that they don’t notice the changes that she goes through. It’s really sad cause they are not depicted as bad negligent parents. You can tell they loved her but were too focused on what wasn’t that important at the end.
I’ve been guilty of that sometimes, and it’s so fundamental that we always keep our eyes open for what matters the most, our family relationships. Sometimes, you can miss something better for focusing on something good.
#6 Tony, one of my favourite characters!
Come on, you gotta love Tony, with that sense for what is just, trying to keep himself out of all the school drama but unavoidably being part of it. I liked that he seems true to his convictions though. He doesn’t change or follow trends, in fact he likes to be different. Unlike Clay, he is not scared. You gotta be true to yourself and I think Tony does it quite well.
#7 The cast
I think they did an amazing job portraying all the characters. You wouldn’t think this was Hanna’s first appearance on the film industry. I love watching new faces, especially when they deliver. You can get bored of seeing a 30 something actor/actress doing the role of a teenager just because she/he looks younger and is already well-known. I think Netflix are quite good with that. They invest on new series, movies, talented people that might not be that famous yet.
#8 The music
The soundtrack of the series has definitely been well chosen from my point of view. Every song can take you to that moment and help you feel what the characters are going through. It is a sad story indeed, but I think, if watched with the right attitude you can learn a few lessons. I wouldn’t advise for someone who is already mentally suffering to watch it, to be honest, because it can demoralise you even more. Since there is no happy ending.
#9 If you’ve got no friends, search for new ones.
Hey! and here I am, a 30 something mum that usually complains of having no friends. So I should probably apply this to myself. In the series, Sky, is the character that could probably understand Hannah the better but, despite of her making a slow move towards her, Hannah is just so focused on all the rest of the people that she doesn’t notice a true possible friendship.
We can be like that sometimes, can’t we? We don’t see the ones in front of us, maybe we think they’re not the right match, we don’t have anything in common, but who knows?!
#10 Alcohol is friend of no one
Along with any drugs of course. How many families can be destroyed because of these substances? If you think about it, many things that happen, not really to Hannah in this case, but to others in the series could have been avoided if alcohol and other drugs were not in the way. To me, it’s another prove that a life free of these addictions is a better, happier, healthier life.
#11 Loneliness makes you grow older faster
That is something that the victim will say at some point on one of the last episodes and I agree with her. Humans were not made to be alone. We need to get involved with other people. We do need to know there is somebody else out there who cares for us. If you haven’t found it within your family you might have found it on a friendship, or a colleague. People need to stop feeling lonely. Sometimes, I do feel lonely too, and I shouldn’t cause I am surrounded by people that cares for me and loves me in many ways, but I think that if you feel you are missing something/someone the best remedy for that is for you to be that person for somebody else.
#12 Things don’t happen all of a sudden
Not things like a suicide anyway. There are signs, there is time. We just need to make sure we react to them promptly and search for the needed help. She spent a whole summer, a whole school year, another summer and then the start of a new academic year to figure it out. Things got worse for her, especially within her mind, but IF someone would…well you know.
#13 LIFE is PRICELESS
No other time in life pain will equal joy
I cannot relate to a person who is suffering from these sorts of feelings, as the victim does, but we all go through our ups and downs. I could say that I don’t believe in suicide cause I consider life as one of the greatest gifts given to us. But at the same time it is hard to put myself on somebody else’s shoes. And if all, what I know is that I don’t want to judge. I don’t want to fall in the wagon of easily pointing at someone and saying I would never do that. I truly hope that my mind will always be as healthy as it can be, and if at some point turns to another way that I will have people who cares for me to help me realise that.
You don’t know this little story of mine, but I was once bullied too when being 12 to 13 years old. It wasn’t for being too short, too fat, too weird…it was for something I didn’t have control with. I was bullied because of my ethnicity. Being called many names for a whole academic year. It was hard. Every day going to school was a nightmare. I learned to defend myself with words I wouldn’t let my kids to even try to pronounce now. My parents weren’t fully aware of that because I’ve always been a good student and my grades didn’t drop down. But it was a daily harassment. I wouldn’t desire for anyone to experience that but I learnt to be stronger. I learnt to love myself even more. Because if no one else could see beyond my nationality, I could. And I wasn’t going to let them make me down.
Obviously I cried many times and it was hard to bear. But guess what, there was a happy ending. I learnt years later that one of my main bullies had his mother in prison and didn’t have a stable family situation at home. Our paths crossed a few years ago and he asked me to forgive him. The same happened with other one of the bullies, who purposefully wanted to meet with me on a school reunion just so he could apologise. I forgave them both. Every life stage has its own challenges and if we don’t move on we can remain there with the grief of the memories of what happened. We can forget that life is priceless and it deserves to be lived one day at a time, the good, the bad, the better and the worst.
I wouldn’t feel complete if I don’t share this link with you. There are many organisations out there eager to help you out if you’re struggling with feelings of taking your life. Or if that person is feeling too low and you are a friend of him or her, get the help, don’t think there is nothing you can do. It will always be their choice but let’s say that we did everything that was in our hands to help.
GET HELP https://www.papyrus-uk.org/