It’s fairly obvious what this post is about and if you know me you’ll know I’m slightly, very unhealthily obsessed with TV, most importantly One Tree Hill. For those of you that haven’t watched it, it’s an early 2000s teen angst drama – boy meets girl, boy has evil brother, evil brother loves boy’s best friend, boy gets in a love triangle, evil brother redeems himself, relationship drama, tears, weddings, car crashes, lots of basketball, more drama, etc., etc.. I highly recommend you to watch it, but I may be slightly biased.
I still remember the first time I ever watched the show, it was a snow day and I was watching random TV show repeats, and guess what came on… One Tree Hill. It really was love at first sight, mainly because I fell in love with the ballsy and badass Brooke Davies. It was Season 3 Episode 16, a B.Davies centric episode, her starting her own clothing line aged 17, Clothes Over Bros (listen up ladies, don’t forget it). Since then, I’ve been hooked. I think it took me about a month to catch up from Season 1 to Season 5, somehow I’d discovered a repeat of an episode right in the middle, so the binge began. That was 10 years ago now, just under half my life and I’ve never looked back.
“That’s what I’m scared of. Not being enough, not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, (…) People are going to label you. It’s how you overcome those labels, that’s what matters.”
– Brooke Davies, Season 4 Episode 13
I spent all of my teenage years watching One Tree Hill, learning from the characters, relating to some storylines and being inspired by the characters off screen selves as well. To me it wasn’t just a show, it was an escape, a place to immerse myself in someone else’s drama and to just disappear from my own life for a while. That’s really what tv and film is to me, a chance to escape, fall in love with a story and find similarities that can inspire me in my real life. That probably sounds crazy to some people, but just as exercise or music or art is a release for some people, this is my release. But don’t get me wrong music heals and art soothes, it’s just TV is my first choice, I am a couch potato after all. Since I was 12 One Tree Hill has been my escape, my family knows I’m obsessed, my mum loves it because I made her watch from start to finish and I’ve tried to convince all my friends to start watching just so I can fangirl with them. I find it ridiculously easy to dedicate my time to watching a show, but any small decision in my life or piece of work I have to do I struggle with. That’s just me. So deciding to visit the place where it all happened, and to meet my favourite people from the show was probably the easiest decision I ever made (…although my brain is really stressing now and overanalysing the money I spent to make it happen, but it happened, it was amazing and worth it to fulfil a dream).
So there I was, in the place where everything’s better and everything’s safe. Completely flawed by the fact that this was my real life currently. It didn’t feel real, I was spending a week in a town I’d fallen in love with on TV and meeting friends who I’d only talked to online. To many people, that sounds crazy and insane and stupid, but to me they’re the crazy ones. That weekend was unreal, I still can’t believe it happened and it’s been nearly two months, the friendships I formed in such a quick time and the kind, lovely, kindred spirits I met and fell in love with is what I will treasure forever. Especially the Little Coven, who invited me into their home to stay with them, who shared their hearts with me and whom I love so deeply now because of it all. I am eternally grateful I got to spend my first time in Wilmington, my first time in the USA and my first OTH Convention with you, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. We all learnt from and are inspired by the greatest and kindest human of them all, she’s how we all met, so it was no surprise to me how lovely you all were. But, the kindness and generosity you all showed me was more than I deserved and more than I ever could have expected. Friendship magic and free food (thanks Tyler Hilton) was the best way to spend a weekend. I’ll remember it forever, it honestly and truly was the best most magical and beautiful way to spend my first time in Tree Hill.
To me, the biggest moment of the weekend was meeting the person who I have looked up to for 10 years, since the first episode of One Tree Hill I watched and every time after that. Sophia Anna Bush – actress, activist, storyteller, adventurer, foodie, designer, inspirer, lover, fighter, dreamer and all around badass. There are not enough words in the english language to fully comprehend all the ways she has motivated me over the years. Through her words of wisdom, inspiring speeches on education and transparency about her life, struggles, experiences and worries I have gained the most phenomenal woman as a role model. I could write an entire novel on what it meant to meet her and finally thank her in person, but that would bore a lot of people, so I’ll leave it with the words I somehow managed to speak while having an emotional breakdown in front of her… I’m constantly inspired by her want for a better world, it’s something I’m passionate about also and got to fulfil when I volunteered in Nicaragua for 3 months. And now I will continue to become involved in when I start my masters degree in International Development in September, I actually found out I’d got a place at my former University while in Wilmington but I’ve now decided to study elsewhere as I believe it’s a better fit for me. But still, I’m on my way to being the change and making a difference and I can’t wait to prove that smart really is sexy and to continue to be inspired by her for years to come. So, thank you Sophia from the bottom of my heart.
Then as if that wasn’t enough crying for the weekend, I cried when my friends left, I cried when I left Wilmington and I cry a little bit more at the perfectness of it all when I look back on it. The memories I made, the experiences I had, the places I saw, the amount of food I ate, the friends I got to do it all with. It truly was a once in a lifetime trip and I can’t believe I was finally able to do it. Thank you will never be enough to say to the universe or forces or spirits or whatever kind of thing made this happen to me, but I’ll continue to say it anyway.
“The greatest rewards come from doing the things that scare you the most. Maybe you’ll get everything you wished for, maybe you’ll get more than you ever could’ve imagined”
– Whitey Durham, Season 3 Episode 15