New Bedford, MA, US
countryfanson97 Lauren Allison
New Bedford, MA, US
I have been a Hanson fan from the time Hanson hit a world wide phenomenon with success and stardom. Back in 1997 I was just a 9 year old little girl.. growing up in a world that was very happy and healthy for me. But in grade school came some issues with friends at around this age. See I was diagnosed with ADHD and Dyslexia back in 1995 and I was immediately put on the medication Adderal. It was very clear that I was "different" then a lot of my peers. And to make it worse, I was in a private school with kids who were very bright (or at the time it seemed that way). By the 5th grade I was changing (both physically and mentally) and quickly learned how cruel the world could be. I was made fun of by my peers for my math skills and judged because of the way I read and mixed words up. It was not only heartbreaking, but also very eye opening knowing that these kids were so brutal to their own classmate. It hurt deeply that I was judged and often went home crying even though I did have some good friends who didn't do this and stuck up for me. Back then being "bullied" wasn't really a "thing" and was often looked over and the student who was in control of bullying classmates was given a "slap on the wrist". This is the first time I remember how Hanson's song "Weird" helped me to realize that being different was "ok" and as an adolescent pre-teen it meant the world to have this song to relate to in such an extraordinary way.
Fast forward now to the year 1999 and 2000... oh how things were to change from the realities of a child to now a true pre-teen. I was 12 years old in a brand new private school in the 6th grade. Well, my love for Hanson was growing of course, and with that came many sleepovers with my Hanson cousin Christina who was a HUGE fan just like I (and still is, lol). We were inseparable and were always together and never apart, and we also shared an amazing bond (we still do until this very day). In October of 1999 at just 13 years old Christina lost her father to a major but sudden heart attack. This was not only heartbreaking, but had put forth my underlining issue of anxiety that I never knew I even had, but looking back at as a child it makes sense. My anxiety was SEVERE to the point that I had to have Behavior Modifications implemented in my school setting. I could only go to school for a few hours a day for months until I built up the strength and confidence to be in school for a full day without having my mom there. This was completely eye opening and something that would change me forever. I remember the fear, the tears, and holding on to my mom and dad not wanting them to "leave me at school". It was not just hard on me, but hard on my parents and my family as well. In March of 2000 I got what I call a "gift" that was heaven sent. Hanson was back in the spotlight with a brand new song called (and so fitting) "This Time Around". This song spoke to me instantly the moment I heard it at 9PM on the radio for the first time. I cried... and I didn't know why I was crying back then but I do know now... that song was about FIGHTING to survive and everyday of my life as a 12 year old... I was fighting a battle to get my mental health better. This song empowered this anxiety ridden 12 year old and is what I listened to in moments of FEAR. "All I know is fear has got to go this time around" I'd sing with emphasis to get better and get STRONG. That April Hanson came to my local radio station and I was able to shake their hands and that changed the course of how my life would go on forever (as crazy as that may be or sound).
Through the years Hanson gave my teenage self something to go on for with the amount of heartbreak I encountered as a teen from boyfriends, friendships that broke apart, and so on. As an adult Hanson still played a HUGE part in my life. As life went on and I was in college in a bad relationship in 2009 I was hit with another battle besides anxiety... I was hit with depression. Not just any depression, but the kind where you don't want to get out of bed. I fought through tears, night after night of homework and late nights, fear, self doubt, and feeling like a "failure". During the Christmas season of 2009 I was out shopping with my mom and dad at a local mall. I was there shopping feeling pretty crappy but didn't want to let on that I was just "not ok" to my parents... and at the time my ex boyfriend (who I got back with multiple times before that) wanted to take a "long break with me". I was sitting at the Nordstrom café outside the mall feeling beyond horrible, sad, broken, and just hurt. And this was a moment that would forever change me and make me the strongest woman ever as I am today. As I was sitting there looking at all the escalators moving downward I noticed how "high" up I was... and in that moment a "odd feeling" I had never felt before came over me... I wanted to JUMP!!!! Right then and there I contemplated suicide for the first time in my life at only 24 years old! I instantly had a panic attack from this fear and was rushed home. I did tell my mom, and yes, I did go to my psychiatrist right away the following Monday to talk and be evaluated. At this moment in my life, if I hadn't prayed to God and I hadn't told my mom or listened to Hanson to soothe me (I listened to "Watch Over Me" like crazy that year, which is also why I still cry now when I hear it) I don't know really if I would be here writing this. Life is so funny isn't it? Life is a beautiful ride!!! It is mysterious and just wonderful.
Through the years after that I have gone through changes, awakenings, transformations and have stood my ground. I let unhealthy relationships (both romantic and friend) end and built new better ones. I graduated college in 2017 with an Associates in Communications and General Studies. I found an incredible boyfriend who I am happily currently living with for the past 3 years as we plan on engagement soon, marriage, and a baby. I am the HAPPIEST I have ever been in my life and have grown as a human in so many different ways. I am currently back in school for an 8 course certification in Business Administration and have a year down where I am considered a Junior for my B.A. I have a year to go after I get this certification to obtain my Bachelors in Business Administration/Office Management.
I know for a fact that today wouldn't be if it weren't for Hanson. For they have allowed me to BELIEVE when I couldn't. They allowed me to focus on who I am and what I represent. Kept me from bad temptations in my past and have always been there when I needed them. Because of them I never needed to hang with the "cool crowd" to fit in or do drugs or drink as a teen AND an adult to get through my life. Because of Hanson and their music I have come so far. I have survived. I have lived so many dreams and realities because of them. But the best lesson I learned by them is that "there is NO day like today". I never gave up. I didn't give IN. I conquered my fears and I took every step back and heartbreak and came out on TOP. I am here and able to tell this story because I at 10 was "going to be just like Hanson when I grow up", and Hanson NEVER gave up... so I couldn't either.
Thank You Hanson! Isaac, Taylor and Zac for listening to my story! And thank you for inspiring me for all my life. Your music means so much to me and your presence is an honor to be in, always.
A VERY LONG TIME FAN, Lauren Allison all the way from Southeastern, Massachusetts, 31 years old.