There Is Only One Tree Hill

It’s the oldest story in the world. One day, you’re seventeen and planning for ‘some day’, and then quietly and without you ever really noticing, ‘some day’ is today. And then ‘some day’ is yesterday. And this is your life.

In English 10, we were asked to read our favourite poem or song to the rest of the class. One of my classmates recited the lyrics to a song called “I Don’t Want To Be” by a singer named Gavin DeGraw. It was the theme song of a show she liked called One Tree Hill. As a teenager who was struggling to figure out who I was amidst the pressures of people telling me who I was supposed to be, the song’s message of finding the courage to just be you resonated with me. Out of curiosity, I decided to check out One Tree Hill and see what it was all about, and from that day forward, I was hooked. I had found treasure in a show with heart and soul. For nine seasons, I grew up, learned life lessons, graduated, and evolved with the inhabitants of Tree Hill, namely the main characters of Lucas, Nathan, Peyton, Brooke, and Haley. Each episode drove home the point that every single person matters on this Earth.

Human beings are ambitious. We spend so much time wanting, pursuing, wishing. For the most part, that’s okay. Ambition is good. Chasing things with integrity is good. Dreaming. As long as the chase doesn’t diminish what we already have. The goodness we take for granted, the people we take for granted, the lives we take for granted. My life… is good.

This week, we said goodbye to Tree Hill after nine years (and many time jumps) later. The series finale was an emotional tribute to the many special moments throughout the course of the seasons. Fans got to see Tree Hill High School, the River Court, Karen’s Cafe – the places were memories were made – for the very last time. Gavin DeGraw made a special appearance at Tric’s tenth anniversary concert, where he sang “I Don’t Want To Be” as the Tree Hill gang sang and danced along. Fast forward five years as the group cheered for the Tree Hill Ravens one last time, and Nathan, Haley, and Brooke looked back at their younger selves to reflect on how much has changed since their high school days. Through it all, one thing has always remained constant – that Tree Hill is home.

If you had a friend you knew you’d never see again, what would you say? If you could do one last thing for someone you love, what would it be? Say it, do it, don’t wait. Nothing lasts forever.

Thank you to James Lafferty, Bethany Joy Lenz, Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, and Chad Michael Murray for bringing these incredible, relatable characters to life. I am so happy that they have all achieved their happy endings with their families and friends. Thank you to Gavin DeGraw, Tyler Hilton, Bryan Greenberg, Kate Voegele, Jimmy Eat World, and all of the artists featured on One Tree Hill for sharing your music and being the soundtrack of my last two years of high school and beyond. Thank you for the storylines, voice-overs, and words of wisdom that challenged me to think about love, loss, and life.

Make a wish, and place it in your heart. Anything you want, everything you want. Do you have it? Good. Now believe it can come true. You never know where the next miracle is going to come from. The next memory, the next smile, the next wish-come-true. But if you believe that it’s right around the corner, if you open your heart and mind to the possibility of it, to the certainty of it. You just might get the thing you wished for. The world is full of magic. You just have to believe it.

Make your wish.
Do you have it?
Good.
Now believe in it with all your heart.

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