About four years ago, I was what you would call a problem-child, although I did not flunk school nor did I engage in chaotic activities; I was problematic and dysfunctional in a way that I distanced myself from my parents, my schoolmates, and the world until I found solace and euphoria in One Direction.
I was a fangirl even before I became a fan of One Direction since I liked to find inspiration that would keep me sane and felt understood. It was only during late 2011 when I came across What Makes You Beautiful and I had no idea then that it was only the beginning. Later that night I found myself watching their X-factor performances, their video diaries, and the ridiculous ‘funniest moments’ compilation videos and trust me, if you want to grow tall and be healthy, do not stay up until after midnight watching like I did. The first ever Philippine album launch was in February 2011 and I was only able to go after fulfilling an obligation in the province, and this took away my chance of getting the special edition. This was a big deal to me then, so I cried, cried, cried and I did the same three years later on national television after queuing for sixteen hours and finding out that I purchased the last VIP ticket for their concert. Now, I know as hormonal teenagers we tend to be more emotional but please, please stay away from a lifetime of embarrassment and don’t get caught crying in public over something most people won’t understand.
In the process, I have learned and achieved a lot of things with them, because of them, and for them. I have rekindled my relationship with my family by speaking out about their music, I have made so many friends through continuous events and through social media, my grades skyrocketed from its usual average marks, my terrible English speaking skills developed and now I am an English major, and most importantly, I have learned to give without the promise of anything in return. That was One Direction to me.
I have cried countless of times for this boy-band; but one day, I finally saw them. They were so beautiful, so good live, and just so unreal. Four years’ worth of waiting has come down to that moment Niall sung: "you never love yourself half as much as I love you; and you never treat yourself right darling, but I want you to. If I let you know I’m here for you; maybe you’ll love yourself like I," and he made the crowd finish the song so I sing-shouted, "I love you," with all my heart, letting out every single emotion I’ve bottled in.
Perhaps, obsession taking control isn’t always a bad thing and maybe happiness comes with grief, excitement, frustration, and an Irish bottle blonde. But remember that the fangirl life has an expiration date like everything else; so you have to live in the moment, though it may be gone tomorrow, what’s important is what it made you today. I could and would probably stop being as devoted in time, but I will never forget. This boy band has been my safety net for so long and they have given me so much to remember that there are too many memories for me not to love them and just forget about them.
- Mela Papio