If you’ve been on social media at all the last few days, you’ve seen people flood your feeds with the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why. I had no desire to watch it when I first heard about it because it held such memories for me. But I gave in and would love to share why 13 Reasons Why hits home at least for me.
First you need to know the premise behind the show:
Based on the best-selling books by Jay Asher, the Netflix Original Series 13 Reasons Why follows Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) as he returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who tragically committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Will Clay be one of them? 13 Reasons Why comes from executive producers Tom McCarthy, Brian Yorkey, Selena Gomez, Joy Gorman and Kristel Laiblin.
So why does it hit home? Well for all of us we see bits of our selves in these characters. Other than the rape scenes, some of this could have been written from my own high school career. It wasn’t easy. It was down right difficult and I can honestly say there are times when I thought why bother? What good am I doing for this world? After almost 20 years I can finally admit that I was bullied mercilessly. I was made fun of for being the big girl, for having a crush on the guy who would never see me for a person, for being smart and caring about my grades, for just being in the lives of some of the more popular kids. But why does it still hit home? Because its still happening to this day not just in our kids lives but in our own as well.
A few years ago we had a high school reunion. I was so proud of what this little blog had become, proud of my life as wife and mother and proud of being comfortable with my own self. I went to that reunion, but before I did, I worked hard with some of my connections through the blog to get some items donated for attendees. I dropped those off ahead of time so gift bags could be made. I get there the day of and it was like being back in high school. The cliques came right back. The names were called behind people’s backs. Steve held my hand as we sat to listen to greetings from the organizers. He held my hand as everyone was thanked but me. At that point he held my hand as we walked to our car and I cried. These people that I hadn’t seen in 15 years could still hold so much power over me. They could reduce a woman who was so proud of her life to tears in a matter of minutes. If I at 30 couldn’t let others have power over me, how can we expect our teens to deal with it?
So we watch 13 Reasons Why and we see our school years, we see actions that are hurting us still today and we think about how we can change the world. What would you do if Hannah left you a tape?