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Birthdays: A Tale of Woe

19 Nov

This is a little story from one of my previous contacts, a mister Scooter. He’s been telling this horror story for many a year, and it has always made me laugh, while at the same time having kind of a moral. I always try to live by his words because I look up to him, and he has some good advice.

“I always have terrible birthdays. This day of happiness, the one day of the year you get to celebrate being alive was always ruined for me by the ‘conspiring of fate’
The first birthday I can remember being horrible was in like 1st or 2nd grade, where everybody at my party was super mean, doing all the party things without me. This set the tone for the eternal suckiness of birthdays to come.
I would say would say that my worst birthday could have been my sophomore year, where I got broken up with on my birthday, or maybe my freshman year, where I had to go to the hospital. That one kind of sucked.
This has taught me that there is no universal binding force that makes birthdays rad. It’s also taught me to take things less seriously, because if you can’t laugh it off it’ll start to get to you. So now I can laugh about these things, possibly because I’m kinda forgetful.”

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‘Scooter’

6 Nov

My entire life, Scooter (as he wishes to be anonymous, but did not provide a name, this is what he ended up with.) has been a personal confident yet also a antagonizing presence in my day-to-day life. He’s been with me through quite a bit, and always seems to make me laugh, or at the very least, get ready to throw something at him. He has been through a lot of changes in his life, and I interviewed him on the subject… for the most part.

Harlow: Have you ever been to a school you didn’t like?
Scooter: Yes, I’ve definitely been to a school that I didn’t like. There were tons of bullies, and the teachers were all biased towards Americans. Bullying is a huge problem in a lot of schools, and this one was no exception. Bullying can have a really lasting effect. The person doing the bullying becomes the alpha and the victim develops the mindset that they will never be the alpha. This type of thinking can last a lifetime.

H: What types of things helped you get through this time of trouble?
S: My dogs and my friends really helped me through this time, but it also helped that I faced problems and trials head-on. When I got harassed I fought back, and got to know the principal really well.

H: You went to 8 different schools in 4 different, and you graduated from and international high school. What advice would you have for someone who changes schools frequently?
S: Maintain your confidence. If you get hassled for being new, hassle right back. Don’t be afraid to be friends with anyone who seems friendly. Don’t be afraid to sit at the nerdy table at lunch.

H: You seem to make friends easily. What’s the secret?
S: Find things in common with someone else and be ready to point it out. But don’t be something you aren’t. Be confident in who you are.

H: Going from high school to college must have been world-flipping. What would you say is the best way to maintain your confidence when faced with a new thing?
S: Be sure to always hold onto the things that make you, you. Hold onto the things that you like to do: Personal distraction tools. For me this is video games, and my artwork. Another thing is you shouldn’t be too cautious. People may play tricks on you and whatnot, but afterwords, those people are going to seem like bullies and people are going to take your side. Maybe you’ll have gained a few friends from the whole experience.

“Lena”

2 Sep

The girl who has been cool-y nicknamed ‘Lena’ for the purposes of  this interview is a very old friend of mine who agreed to be interviewed, for which I am very grateful. I an no longer living in the same country as her, but I like to think we keep in touch… kinda. Anyways, she is a very opinionated person (as you can see in her blog, link under the interview)
Anyways, here’s the interview, conducted over the magical Facebook Messages system

Harlow:  Have you ever had to deal with any large changes in your life? Or anything that has made it hard for you to deal?
Lena:  1.) I left my religion for a while (Christian) to explore some other religions. When I left Christianity, I felt incredibly liberated but at the same time it was frightening because my reality had changed. It was hard to deal with because I felt lost and confused, I didn’t know where to go. My parent’s were also very upset. Eventually I came back to Christianity, and I’m happy with my beliefs.
2.) Cutting my hair super short. I was very attached to my hair before and kept it past shoulder length (until one hair accident which forced me to cut my hair into a bob; I hated it). But I always admired girls who sported short hair. One day I thought, “screw this, I only live once and I might as well just do it!” so I went to a hair salon and got a fohawk. I laughed manically as the stylist took an electric razor and buzzed the back of my head. After I chopped my long locks off, I felt so free and so confident. I could take on the world and do anything. Eventually I let it grow into a longer pixie and I now have bangs, but I will never go back to long hairstyles again. I think every girl should get their hair cut super short at least once in their life. I’m thinking about shaving my head entirely once I go to college (so my parents don’t throw a fit, haha).

H: And so you feel that you are stronger because of these decisions that you’ve made, even though they completely turned your life around?
L:  Yes, definitely! :) I feel empowered because of these experiences.

H:  What advice would you give to people who have you go through big changes just like you did?
L:  Be true to yourself and stay strong. If the change is negative, remember that there are worse situations out there and make the most of it. If the change is positive and controlled by you, be audacious-bold-daring and don’t mind what other’s think! You only live once.

H:  Can you give me an example of how you live by these rules in day-to-day life?
L:  I always focus on the future and I open myself to change. Whether it’s something small like trying new food or moving.

Thank you so much to Lena for this amazing interview with a very strong message. I believe that strong and opinionated people will go very far in this world, which leads to the conclusion that I will one day be saying “I knew her in the 5th grade!” when Lena receives her Nobel Prize for something or other.

~Harlow, xoxo

“Maximillion”

23 Jul

Again on the subject of change, I interviewed one of my best friends and boyfriend, known fondly here as “Maximillion” (Because he couldn’t think of anything else at the time.) He is currently on a trip (Everybody is taking a trip!) so the interview was conducted via the very user-friendly and convenient method of Facebook chat.

The Interview:

Harlow: Would you say that moving around so much as a developing person has affected you greatly?
Maximillion: Yes, it has exposed me to many different cultures and lifestyles. It changes the way to react to certain things and is helpful in dealing with things if you have to move around again.

H: Can you give me a specific example of how things like that have changed you as a person?
M:  It made me a much more tolerant person of different cultures and the different ways people live.  Growing up where I grew up there were always different cultures in the community, and I never fully accepted the way some other people live until I moved to a new place, a different country.

H: How do you deal with big changes in your life?
M: I try to take a good look at the situation, and see what good I can take from it. When a big change takes place in my life I always try to make the most of it, even if the situation is bad, I always see what good I can make out of it.

H: You don’t freak out or anything?
M: Not much freaks me out. When you’ve been through as much as I had, you just learn to accept it, and go with the flow. It’s as simple as that.

H: So what advice would you give to people who have to deal with big changes in their lives?
M:  I think its pointless to try and change what has already happened. No matter what the situation it is best to just stay positive and try to make the most of it. Stay strong and don’t give up.

So he sends the same sort of message to all you guys out there going through changes. There are always positives, and it’s best not to get too worked up over things that may have already happened. Go with the flow, stay strong, and you will make it through. It’ll all be okay in the end. If it’s not okay then it’s not the end. ~ Harlow xoxo

“The Lone Traveler”

23 Jul

My best friend in the whole world, known fondly here as “The Lone Traveler”, is just about to leave on a trip. This trip will bring about another change in her life. She travels as much as I do, if not more, so together we should be able to tell you all about change.

The Interview:

Harlow: Would you say that moving around so much as a developing person, has affected you greatly?
The Lone Traveler: So, traveling, moving around, by yourself or with others, can greatly affect you because it changes your views of yourself and other people. Traveling helps you find that there is beauty, not just where you live but around the world as well.

H: So can you give a specific example of how this has changed your viewpoint?
TLT: When I moved to Colombia, the country, transition from a first world country to (is Colombia a third world country? I think it is…) Anyways, that was a very hard transition to make. Not only was the language different, but the culture and landscape of this new country was different as well. I learned to love the country how it was, and it’s simple beauty always seemed to amaze me every day.

H: How do you deal with big changes, such as moving, in your life?
TLT: I actually take it pretty hard. On the outside I may seem like I’m calm about it, but on the inside there are little Lone Travelers running around screaming that I don’t like it. An example would be: “Oh no, oh no!! The world is coming to an end!!”  After a while, when I realize that I can’t do anything about the change, I come to terms with myself and accept it. And then I can happily move on, knowing that I am handling the change the best I can.

H: What advice would you give to somebody going through a large change in their life? To avoid the running and screaming.
TLT: Really, you just have to look for the better things that come out of the change, rather than the negative ones.  In a TV show I saw once, they made a chart listing all the positive and negative things, comparing them. And when they were done, they found that the positive things overruled the negative ones, and decided to move on. And so that’s what I try to do.

So basically the advice we have to give is that you should always look on the bright side of life, because there are always more positives than negatives.  ~Harlow xoxo