being true is being brave

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∙ Would who she was, who she really was, be enough? There was no magic to help her this time. This is perhaps the greatest risk that any of us will take. To be seen as we truly are.

Can we just take a moment to appreciate the fuck out of Michael Clifford?

He publicly stated he went to see a therapist – that he had mental health issues. As someone who’s struggled – and still is struggling – with depression, anxiety, and self harm, it is extremely difficult to come out and admit to things like that. Fear of being judged. Fear of being looked down upon. Fear of being turned away. It’s fear of everything! So we go through the days, months, and even years with a smile on our face so we don’t have to make people worry. And the most loneliest and most hurting of people are the ones you least expect.

Michael was that person because he’s always so happy. And I am not kidding when I say that this guy became the light of my life the moment I saw his smile. Michael has that smile that literally warms my heart. His laugh makes my soul smile with joy. Michael is (aside from Luke, Cal, and Ash) the reason why I haven’t cut. One Direction was the first reason why I stopped and how I got better, but with 5SOS, they’ve kept me going stronger.

Michael helped me find a strength I never knew had. He started a flame within me that has burned so brightly and so powerfully, I never thought I was capable of feeling such happiness! I look at the scars on my arms and smile because there hasn’t been a fresh wound for 6 months and 5 days, counting. Michael saved me. For people to make him feel so low about himself, it sickens me. It hurts to be told things:

“You’re ugly.”

“You’re not talented.”

“Why are you even in the band?”

“5SOS would be better without you.”

“YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH.”

Michael hears and reads things like this on a daily basis. And to especially be told you’re not good enough? That really gets to you. Because once you begin to feel like that, as Michael said, it kinda sucks. He felt like he “kinda sucked”. Well I have news for our precious little Kitten – YOU ARE WORTH MORE THAN YOU COULD EVER KNOW!! I don’t say that because I just say so. You breathe because you do. Not because someone says so. It’s the same as being worthy. You are worth it, Michael.

This Australian boy has become my sun, moon, and stars. He has become my everything. I want, now more than ever, to just hold him. To tell him that I know how he feels and that he is such a brave fucking person. To admit to your mental health issues, that takes a large amount of balls to do. Michael Gordon Clifford doesn’t have my heart and soul because he’s attractive or because he’s in a band or because he can play guitar. Michael Gordon Clifford has my heart and soul because he has a personality that hits you like a fucking tidal wave. He is caring and loving. He has your back and will be there for you when you need him most. Michael is told everyday from fans how he was and is the reason why they don’t go through some rough issues anymore or how he is getting them through so much shit. And he is there. He listens. Michael needs us now. And you can bet your ass that I am here to catch him when he falls just like the rest of the 5SOS Family. I love Michael with everything in me. Our baby is strong and brave.

Michael has become a bigger inspiration. He just made me feel like I wasn’t alone. He deserves all the fucking happiness in the world filled with Pokemon and unicorns and pizza with the boys and us all there with him! Michael is loved and I hope he realizes that. I don’t think I’ve ever had a hard time expressing in words how I feel about someone. I want to say more but the woods aren’t coming to me. All I can probably say, is that God has sent us the right Angel. Michael is the love of my life and I have no shame saying that.

Buffy: A 20 Year Retrospect

I was 13 years old when Buffy, The Vampire Slayer premiered. I was an only child living with my single mother, and rarely saw my father. I was an outcast with a few super close friends. I spent a lot of time at the library. There was so much relatable about Buffy. And yet, she was a foreign entity– a powerful young woman with wit and self confidence and bravery. She was a million things I thought I could never be. She came along at the most influential time in a young girls life, and taught me a million life lessons. Like that being true to yourself is more important than what people think. That being a brave, strong, in charge woman does not make you any less feminine. That it’s okay to make mistakes. And that your people will still love you if you do. To face your problems head on, because running away and working in a diner only leads to a demon dimension. That you will love and lose, and then love again. And that’s okay. That the hardest thing to do in this world is to live in it. And that living is fighting. And you have to do it every day. But that it’s worth it. And that even the least likely, most ordinary person can save the world with just a yellow crayon. (Ok. Maybe I leaned that from Xander.)

Buffy (the show. And too, the girl really) was smart, funny, engaging, enlightening, empowering. It is quite literally my favorite show of all time. It was my first introduction into Fandom. It was my first pop culture obsession. My first shipping experience. It opened me up to so much in life, and was a huge part of my life. Buffy and I grew up together. Her losses were my losses, her triumphs my triumphs. I cried when she cried, I laughed when she laughed. I learned when she learned.

Two years ago I got the chance to visit Torrance High School, aka Sunnydale High, with my bff. He’s known me since middle school and we were even roomies in college. So it’s safe to say we’ve been through some life together. He still says that he has never seen me as happy or as excited as the moment we turned the corner and that building came into view. He didn’t get it. And I couldn’t explain it. I just spun the silver Claddagh ring around on my finger (the one I’ve worn everyday for the past 15+ years), sat on the same bench the Scooby Gang gathered around at the end of Graduation Part 2, and smiled through my tears.