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"Hey, it's Hannah, Hannah Baker."

April 14, 2017

 "Now adjust your- you know, whatever device you're listening to this on. It's me. Live and in stereo. No return engagements. No encore- and this time absolutely no requests. Get a snack... settle in. Because I'm about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, the reason why it ended."  Tape One, Part One.

 This entry will contain many spoilers to the newly amazing 13 Reasons Why Netflix series. So if you haven't seen it yet, exit the page and come back later. If you have, welcome reader.



 I wanted to write a little blog entry about the series because it truly affected me, and it seems like I'm not the only one who feels that way. There were thirteen tapes and thirteen episodes, how did you watch them? I took my free Friday, sat myself down on my couch, and binged them like Alex did. Or did it take you a while longer like Clay? Only listening to tiny bits at a time because it was all too hard or horrific to you?
 And how about you? How are you? Is it doing things to your mind? It is for me, it's bringing back old memories I'd rather have buried but also making me think more about things. How are you doing now that you've 'listened' to all the tapes? Did you pass them on? I did. I passed them on to my friends, sister, and mother.
 Is everyone talking about it around you? Your high school, your college, your work? Is every speaking about Hannah Baker and her tapes?
 Did you pick up on things before they happened? Usually I'm really good at that with tv shows and movies. Within 5 seconds of a One Tree Hill episode I could tell that it would be about a serious topic, a school shooting. But with this show, I never read the book so I was expecting anything. But a lot of the things that happened, I didn't expect.
 When the book came out, I was essentially Hannah Baker, but I didn't end things like she did- though I tried. I knew what the book was about but I stayed away from it, purposefully. So when I sat down to watch these 13 episodes I expected triggers and flashbacks and tears. But did you pick up on the things? On what would eventually happen to Alex? On why Tony was following Clay, and not the tapes?
 Did you realize that Tony was in fact following Clay around? Or did you just think he was looking after the tapes. In my mind, I think he was following Clay around because he was scared of how Clay would react to the tapes, including his own. I think he followed Clay because he didn't want to end up finding Clay like he found Hannah.
 And with Alex, did you see the warning signs? The warning sings Hannah was showing plain as day to all of us, and trying to show to everyone else who just wouldn't see them, but we somehow missed in Alex. Or did you catch those? I didn't, and I know the warning signs like the back of my hand. Did it make you rethink all the scenes that Alex was in? Or maybe rethink the past couple of weeks with your friends, wondering if they were showing the same warning signs you just missed?

 I have been in Hannah Baker's place. Not the 'making tapes to send' foot steps she took to get to where she ended up but I easily could've followed her exact path if I wanted to. Mine wouldn't have had thirteen different reasons but I definitely had a good few. I could have made my own tapes with the names of people who I now see on social media saying how sad 13 Reasons Why is, ironic huh? The same girls and boys who back in middle school and/or high school who could've landed themselves a side on my tapes are now speaking out about how sad it is that Hannah Baker represents real people. I'm glad they realize now the things they didn't realize then, but just like Justin, Jessica, Alex, and more of the people on Hannah's tapes, they realized them after the fact when they should have realized before. But yes, I have been in the spot where I was showing signs, and literally no one noticed, but at the same time a small few eventually picked up on them. I have been in the place where I was ready to give up, but decided I'd give it one last attempt at a go in life. I have been in the place where I'm heading home after being assaulted, feeling numb and empty, ready and willing to die. I have been in the place where I got things ready, for when everything was finally over. I have been there, sitting in the bathtub, getting up the courage to finally just do it. Holding the blade to my arm and trying to get myself to do it. And so on.
 I have been Hannah Baker. In a way- I have been Hannah Baker.

 Now I share this not to draw attention to myself and my horrible middle school/ high school days, but to say that people you might not even think could identify with Hannah Baker, totally could. The reason I bring this up is because there are many Hannah Bakers out there, people that are showing signs with no one listening. Dealing with things you couldn't even begin to imagine. Hoping for something to turn around for the better. Reaching out to those who just don't see it. Waiting for someone to say something that just hasn't yet.
 I wanted to share this because it is important. Hannah Baker is a mere symbol of something important...


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