Tag Archives: change

These Four Walls

1 Jan

From the description: “Dare to explore a world that is bigger than you know. There are a lot of reasons to not do something or not feel something. Those boundaries and walls are put up by ourselves. Once we’re able to step outside of them, we can truly realize the endless possibilities the world has to offer.”

Thank you to Wong Fu Productions for this amazing video.


5 Reasons Why the Holidays Suck in a Foreign Country

22 Dec

Having spent almost almost half of my Christmas’ in a country that is not my own, I am a veteran in the methods of spending holidays in foreign countries. Yet whatever I do, however many times I spend the holiday season in a foreign country, there are some factors that I just can’t get around. Not that you can’t have a good time in a foreign country, but there are some minus’.

1. Family – Unless your entire extended family has traveled with you to your country of choice, you will probably have little contact with them during this holiday season. I mean, yes, with today’s technology you could chat with them or even video chat with them, but is it really the same as having them around the tree with you on Christmas, or around the… menorah on Hanukkah? Maybe everybody doesn’t feel the same as I do, which is that the holidays are very family oriented. Maybe some people want to use this as an excuse to get away from their family, but it’s always nice to have them as an option, and in a foreign country, that’s next to impossible.

2. Shipping – This one might be slightly self-explanatory. Shipping presents to a foreign country is not fun or cheap. The shipping can sometimes cost more than the gift, and sometimes what you want won’t ship to your country. Now these might not sound like big problems but these are the bane of my existence, I guarantee you. Even worse is shipping presents to other countries, what with labels that have to be printed out and the extraordinary cost of such things.

3. Does that country even celebrate your holiday? – I mean, almost every country has some type of Christmas-y celebration (Although in Armenia it’s on the 6th of January – who knew?) and so if that is your holiday, count yourself lucky. With every other holiday, your chances for your country celebrating that holiday decrease exponentially. And that definitely sucks.

4. Type of celebration – What if the country you are living in doesn’t celebrate the holiday the way you do? It can be extremely unsettling to have different points of views on your traditions and culture. For instance, the traditionally Scandinavian holiday of Saint Lucy’s Day isn’t really celebrated like that anywhere else. Girls wear candles on their heads, which would be kind of surprising if you were living there and you had never heard of this holiday. But if you open up your mind, other holiday traditions can be just as fun as the traditional tree or advent calendar.

5. Weather – This one might be a little out of place in this list, but this one really gets me personally. I have spent some of my ‘formative’ years in a place where it usually snows every Christmas, and when I moved to a much more tropical place, all of my holiday cheer just went down the drain. I forgot to buy presents (something I never do) because it didn’t feel like it could be even remotely close to the holidays yet. To me, snow means the holiday season, and vice versa. I hope not everybody has these kind of problems!

A Jonah Day

1 Dec

You may not have heard this phrase, but it is one I’ve had much cause to use over the last week. A Jonah day is just one of those days where you feel like no matter what you do, nothing is going to go right. I learned this phrase from one of my favorite books of all time, Anne of Avonlea, the second book in the Anne of Green Gables series, which some people may have heard of. In this book, Anne ends up with a toothache, whipping one of her pupils, and accidentally setting off fireworks in her school house. I guess my bad days don’t really compare as well. Getting yelled at by a teacher is not so bad in the grand scheme of things. It was just a Jonah day, and there wasn’t much I could do. I can accept that there will probably be others, and I think I will be able to handle them, because you have to go through the Jonah days to get to the heavenly ones. Just a Jonah day.

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.”

You Are What You Eat

8 Nov

I know, I know, nobody like to hear things about healthy eating, exercise, and stuff like that. But I’m here to talk about it in terms of how these great things can affect your life in a positive way and how they can help you cope with big changes in your life. I personally have been eating healthy since the day I was born, my parents being rather conscious of what I ate, and at what time I eat it. During the past 2 or 3 years, I’ve had a bit more freedom in my food choices, and I am just starting to realize what a bad effect my choices are having on me. My healthy eating has gotten me well through multiple countries, and I’ve always been at the top of my class, which may not have anything to do with my eating habits, but somehow I suspect it does. I have looked over these facts and resolved to change my eating habits, because I have learned that it can have a really big effect on everything that you do.

The same goes for exercising. I have been taking a psychology course, and I have been learning about how when you exercise, your mind releases endorphins that make you feel happy and healthy. And perhaps my mind has been starved of these things lately, but I have also resolved to exercise more regularly.

These things can help you when going through big changes if you keep up a routine, and stick to it through thick and thin.


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.

Eyes Up!

2 Nov

“Life is like a box of chocolates.” This famous line, delivered into the minds of anyone who has ever seen Forrest Gump, has so many meanings that it would be hard to name them all. Basically, the metaphor is that every day is something unexpected, you never know what is going to happen. I’ve had this theory in my head for a long, long time, way before I ever saw that amazing movie. I put it into similar words circa 7 years old, but unfortunately my genius wasn’t appreciated at the time, or perhaps I would be a famous philosopher by now. ” Life is like a fashion show.” Was, and still is, my theory for the way life works. Each outfit that comes out from behind those curtain could be great, or it could look like the model just put glue all over her body and rolled around on fabric. (I believe that this is what Lady Gaga does, except she rolls in random household objects instead of fabric.) And perhaps to somebody else, that same model looks horrible in what you think is a great outfit or looks amazing in what you think looks awful. Your bad day may change somebody else’s life for the better, or vice-versa.

Another philosophy that was brought to my attention only a few days ago was the physical manifestation of our personalities in they way we go through life. Some people walk with their eyes always on the ground, looking for problems in their path, and never tripping. Others walk through life with their eyes consistently focused on something in the distance, but they always seem to be tripping over something. Could this be a metaphor for their personalities, with pros and cons of both?

Just a couple of things to keep you awake,

xoxo, ~ Harlow