Dear Harry, Niall, Liam, Louis, and Zayn,
Apologies are in order.
I’m a 22 year old almost-college grad with a fairly decent grip on reality. I consider my music tastes to be reasonably refined. Now, I’m no taste-maker, but my musical preferences generally extend beyond overplayed pop radio singles.
But I have just experienced one of the most absurd – and life-changing – weeks of my life.
This week, something happened to me contrary to anything I ever could've foreseen for myself.
This week, I became a One Direction fan.
For years I've dismissed your music as childish, shallow, and unoriginal. In the past, I’ve silently condemned my peers’ fondness for you. Yet in my pretentious preoccupation with trying to determine the symbolism behind abstract indie-rock lyrics, I’ve overlooked you. While I’ve been sipping on high-price musical wine, I’ve missed out on just what your sweet, sugary pop has to offer.
For that, I'm sorry.
In an interview with Zane Lowe, Chris Martin named you as the world’s biggest band and even fan-girled a little over you specifically, Harry. I dismissed Chris’ claim as comical, but now I’m starting to understand what it is that Chris and the teenage girl population of the world see in you.
All famed love stories follow a similar pattern: it begins with a general distaste for the other before diving headfirst into the choppy seas of a passionate love affair. This has been no different.
It began innocently enough for me: a passing song on the radio, a quick search of said song on YouTube one quiet Sunday afternoon. But Harry, when you opened your sweet man-boy face in a live performance of "Night Changes" and your angelic voice graced my ears, my heart stopped for a brief period of time and in my oxygen-deprived state, I swooned. I proceeded to watch the video three additional times. There was no going back.
From there, my life went into a tailspin. I started watching videos for so much more time than I’m willing to admit (and for multiple nights in a row!). Embarrassingly enough, my YouTube video recommendations are now centered primarily on you. I went to bed with your songs in my head and woke up in the same state. In a back-alley deal, I requested a 1D mix CD from a friend.
But my heart was still guarded. I wasn’t ready to admit my love – publicly or even to myself. Yet in a particularly magical moment one night, snow started to fall as "Night Changes" drifted from the car speakers. Even nature wanted me to love you, and it was in that moment that I submitted to the natural order of things: I shed my pride - I’ve learned you don’t need any of that as a One Direction fan - and I fell in love (the real kind).
Baby look what you’ve done to me is right… I’ve been shaken to my core beliefs and am experiencing an existential crisis over this: Who am I? Do I even know myself anymore? How do I explain this to my family and friends? What is life?
I suppose this is what karma is – after my lack of respect for you all these years, I’m now crushed under your iron grip of unreasonably catchy tunes. But kudos to you – you know your target audience well, and you have no trouble playing up your boyishly British charm. I simultaneously hate you and love you for this. (The "Night Changes" music video does unkind things to my heart, but I can’t stop watching.)
I’m left wanting my former life back yet also never wanting this love to end. The heart wants what the heart wants, and apparently the heart wants five barely-legal British boys (coughHarrycough) singing catchy pop songs about girls.
On Thursday, I spent ten hours on the road. Aside from two listens of Taylor’s 1989, I listened to you the entire way home, and sadly enough, that’s not even an exaggeration. In one instance, I tried to take a break and listen to The 1975 instead, but six songs in, I had to switch back to your tunes. I’m under your spell (is it witchcraft?); I listened to your new album, Four, nearly four times in that one drive. WUT! Listening to you is addictive and certainly the closest I’ll ever come to using drugs.
I’m even past the point of questioning the logic behind your lyrics (“She floats through the room on a big balloon” … I mean I’m all about imagery but come now …). Because that’s what love does. It accepts everything, flaws and all. I don’t even care anymore that 99.99% of your songs are about girls; it just makes it that much easier to pretend they’re about me.
But fear not, I haven’t gotten to the point of changing my Twitter name to Mrs. Styles and a picture of your face, Harry (yet … lolol just kidding you guys !!!).
I don’t (I don’t, don’t) know what it is, but you’ve got that one thing. And, guys, I’m officially hooked.
P.S. This apology extends to everyone I ever judged for liking 1D. My b. Please welcome me into your community.
“Story of My Life” // One Direction
I hate myself just a little bit for how hard it was to pick just one song to share here. But Story of My Life was one of the first songs I ever liked from 1D and still remains as one of my favorites. (Side note: the phrase “one of my favorites” referring to One Direction is still a foreign and frightening concept to me, yet here I am.)