We’re thankful for you, One Direction

When the Teen Choice Awards announced last night that One Direction won 8 of the categories they were nominated in, my heart could have burst right out of my chest!  I was filled with an immense sense of pride for the boys, for all that they’ve accomplished.  I was also hit with a sense of great joy and thankfulness, which are emotions they always relate to us, and while I was feeling so happy and thankful I began to realize that maybe the boys don’t actually know how much they mean to us.  Maybe they get lost in translation and although they know we love them and work hard to help support them, they don’t fully grasp how full our hearts are with immense thanks for what they do.

Louis, Liam, Niall, and Harry were thrown into a stardom they didn’t have time to prepare for.  They, along with former bandmate Zayn, packed their bags to go to The X Factor as individual acts, were thrown together as a band, and were thrust into immediate fame without ever getting a chance to really return home and figure out what that would mean for them.  One Direction have given 5 years of their lives, critical years of growing up and learning about the world, to us and to chasing their dreams.  Somewhere along the line, behind the headlines, the boys of One Direction grew up, they turned into young men, they matured with their voices, sound, and music style, and also matured with their hearts.

We’ve seen Harry, Niall, Louis, and Liam go from young boys with stars in their eyes to young men with passion in their souls.  We’ve seen them fight for change, we’ve seen them stand up against hate.  We’ve seen them speak out against unkindness, we’ve seen them travel the world to help less the less fortunate.  We’ve seen the stop for fans and hold them together as they cried and told the boys how much they loved them, and we’ve seen them tweet their gratitude to us for keeping them together.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, they rely on us just as much as we rely on them.

Before I really knew who the boys were I was guilty of reading tabloid magazines and catching rumors about who the media wanted us to perceive them as.  I didn’t know how it was possible for these young men to have such elaborate stories attached to their names, but I also didn’t think to dig deeper to check the validity of them.  I was guilty of being sat in front of a plate and spoon fed the agenda without even deciding if it liked the way it tasted.  One day that changed, and I’ve never been more thankful of something.

We’ve written thank you messages to the boys here individually, but this time, I want to thank them as a group.

This time, I want them to know what we know in our hearts, and I want their families and their friends to know too.  I want them to know that we see what’s said, we know what we should believe, and we just allow it to roll off of our shoulders.  We do this because through the years, through the time we’ve spent together with them and as a fandom, we’ve been able to really see the true nature of who they are, and we couldn’t have picked better idols.

Harry, Liam, Louis, and Niall:

Thank you for giving us your adolescence.  I know the dreams you had in your hearts were important for you to chase, but thank you for making sacrifices to become one of music’s biggest acts of all time.  Thank you for deciding to stay together, to stay for yourselves and for us, and to live this life the way that you have.  Thank you for 5 years of constant studio time and touring, thank you for only taking short breaks with your friends and family to recharge before coming back to cities, states, countries, and killing it every night.  Thank you for giving us your all when you may have only had half to spare.  Thank you for singing your hearts out even though you had a bad day.  Thank you for smiling even when you wanted to cry.  Thank you for loving us enough to put up with the bad parts of your career, and thank you for giving up normalcy because we asked it of you.

Thank you for sharing your lives with us.  You could have stayed off the map like some artists do, you could have chosen to try to hide away unless you were on stage, but you didn’t.  Thank you for allowing us to know who you are.  Thank you for laughing with us, for crying with us.  Thank you for loving with us.  Thank you for learning lessons with us, even if some of them were hard.  Thanks for encouraging us to be ourselves, even when the world wants us to be someone else.  Thanks for not only doing that with your words, but your own actions.  Thank you for not just telling us to live one way while you lived another.  Thank you for being as honest as you’ve been given the ability to be in your words, and when you wanted to say something but couldn’t, thanks for finding a way to let us know anyway.  We’ve heard everything you’ve told us, but we’ve also seen the things you’ve shown us when you had to hide your voices.  Those were the times that you meant the most to us, those were the times that we truly saw who you were and fell in love with you for it.

Thank you Harry for standing up to those who were afraid to use their voices.  Thank you for fighting against stereotypes, thank you for being yourself unapologetically, thank you for fighting for al types of love.  Thank you Louis for defending us endlessly, against other ‘fans’ and outsiders who thought we were crazy for adoring you.  Thank you for being who you are, thank you for embracing the parts of you that you’ve been told to hide.  Thank you for being young and having fun and showing us that it’s okay to enjoy whatever we want, as long as our hearts are pure in the process. Thank you Niall for being so supportive of not only us but your band mates, your friends.  Thank you for teaching us what brotherhood is, what it means to truly be on someone’s team.  Thank you for always giving it your all, for respecting yourself and speaking highly of everyone you know.  Thank you for showing us all how important home is too, and family.  Thank you Liam for holding us all together.  Thank you for realizing how important it is to be open about your thankfulness and your love.  Thank you for being what holds the boys together too, you’re truly the glue of One Direction.  Thank you for giving us so much of who you are, for really being a beacon of hope when we needed it.

As a band, thank you for giving us songs we listen to on good days and bad ones.  Thank you for the way you’ve allowed your sound to grow as you’ve matured, knowing your fan base has to.  Thank you for treating the older fans just as you treat the younger ones, for realizing both sides of the spectrum are important to your growth and future.  Thank you for being part of the writing and production process too so that when a song comes out it is truly a reflection of who you are and what you want to say.  Thank you for sharing your deepest love with us.  Thank you for giving us glimpses into a life we could have never imagined living before you came along.  Thank you for realizing that your voice is important, even when some say it’s not.  Thank you for saving us, you’re the reason some people didn’t give up when life got too heavy, the reason some people chased light when their darkness was ready to swallow them.  Thank you for accepting the weight of that and carrying it for us when we couldn’t do so for ourselves.  Thank you for giving some of us a second chance at happiness.

We love you, for who you are, for all that you’ve done and continue to do.  We love you for your music, your hearts, and your souls.  We love you for the way you laugh,  the accents you have, the stories you tell.  We love you for the way you give us your all, no matter how tired you are.  We love you for the way you present yourselves to the world, especially as of late.

We love you for telling us that we’re worth it, just as we are.  We love you for giving us the motivation to be ourselves even if who we are doesn’t fit the mold society has for us.  We are thankful for you.  We are so blessed to have idols that teach us right from wrong, but know we’ll make mistakes too, and encourage us to do so and learn from them.  We are so blessed to see you all grow up alongside of us and share in this journey together.

We know who the media portrays One Direction as, and while that image is okay, we’re truly thankful for the ways you’ve shown us your colors; a rainbow of reds, pinks, yellows, blues, greens, and purples…and let us see what a beautiful picture you truly are as a band, and as individuals.

You thank us all the time, I just hope you know how much we thank you too.

We love you, we support you, and we appreciate you.  The last 5 years have been incredible and we are looking forward to what the next 5 have to offer.  We’re here for the ride!

“Without you I’d never make it out alive but I know, yes I know we’ll be alright.”

 

Written by Ashley

Writer, coffee drinker, mother.