Thursday, January 28, 2016

Forgetting How To Lose Myself In A Book & Popularity

     A thought has crossed my mind several times through the past few days, and I figure that it's time to type it out. To explain it, to both you, and me. I need to figure out why this one thought has itched at my skin and made my brain tremble. This one eerily simple thought, the thought of, "Why can't I lose myself in a book anymore?" I've always loved reading. Growing up, I devoured books like they were food, but suddenly, I feel as if reading has become a chore, and I want to insist over and over that I still love reading, but something has changed. The worst part is, I think I know what has changed.

     During the summer of 2015, I was going into eighth grade, I decided that I wasn't going to deal with the person I had become. A girl weighed down by drama, and defined by her nerd-iness. I didn't like myself, I really didn't and at the time, I thought it was better to try and become popular. Popular, powerful, confident, all the same thing to me at the time. So I changed. I wore more makeup, wore contacts, and I became the nicest person I could be. I smile, and try to be nice to everyone, and I try to hide my opinions so that they don't bother other people. I thought this would help. I really did. Today I look back on this, just writing this, reading this, it sounds terrible. It sounds sick, and awful, but yet it happened, and I was happy it happened. Becoming popular, being friends with the cool kids, controlling everything, it came with a price, and when this school year first started, I was happy to pay my due.

     The price tag that hung upon my article of popularity, asked for my hobbies, passions, and my personality. Today, I am sweet, and kind, and funny, and a great person. I'm also an terrible person. I don't make my own opinions, and always fear what people think of me, and always fear what I say and do. I don't want to make any mistakes. Being popular, it consumed me. I also lost the ability to share my passions. I'm trying to overcome it, but it's the constant fear of being judged for liking fountain pens, and books, and the crazy stuff I like. I still do, and use, and enjoy my hobbies and passions, but I feel like I have to hide it from others. I also feel I lost part of my personality. I lost my history, which wasn't always happy, and had tons of drama, but with this I lost my sarcastic jokes, and little habits that made me, well, me. Just another thing to explain to people that everything comes at a price.

     Now, I want to explain that I am not blaming this on popular kids, or anything, I'm honestly blaming it on myself. I don't believe popularity is a bad thing either. The bad thing, is when people are consumed by it. I decided that I needed "Natasha 2.0", and that made me into, literally, a robot. I'm terrified, and fearful, of myself. I want to become special now, but I feel like I've locked myself in a box by being so innocent, and stupid, to fall in the hands of obsession. Popularity has pros, and cons, just like everything, and I fully, completely encourage folks to look at what they're paying for before they buy it.

     To further explain this, I want to establish how I've forgotten how to lose myself in a book. I can no longer sit down and really get into the dream-like reading state I had before becoming "2.0" I read for half an hour everyday, and when I used to get maybe twenty five minutes of losing myself while reading, I get maybe five to ten now. It hurts, to have lost the ability to really read a book. So, I'm slowly teaching myself to savor the words, and learning how to truly read again. I loved losing myself, and now I feel like I'm stuck in my body, no longer able to visit characters in their worlds anymore.

     Wrapping this all up in a bow, I've forgotten how to lose myself in a book, and the thought has bugged me, and I realize why. Perhaps now it's times to find myself, my passions again. Yes, I'd like to remain popular, but I really do want to lose the fear I live with. So, as I learn to lose myself in a book, I'm also learning to be myself. Maybe I am starting at step one, but soon enough, I'll be way past where I used to be. I'll be at step fifteen instead of ten, and then I'll love myself. I love myself more than anyone's loved themselves before. All because I learned how to truly read. So, I believe it's time to get going on step one.

Falling head first into my little world, Natasha

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Quick Middle School Guide

Hey everyone! Middle school can be a rough time, and I've faced plenty of drama, and trouble since starting 6th grade. Hitting 8th grade, it's all sort of disappeared, but there's plenty in 6th and 7th that went terribly wrong. Today I'm going to give some tips to you all on how to handle and transition for a great year at school .

6th Graders

1. Understand that older kids might not like you - At my school, 6th graders are looked down on, and thought to be silly, some what idiotic, and not mature at all.

2. In order to overcome the dislike, make friends in your own grade, and be a decent person so you don't get a record for your next few years. Then, next year, you'll probably be liked, and not looked down on.

3. Move! At my school, 6th graders tend to be everywhere, and are quite unaware of their surroundings. Be careful not to run into anyone, and don't stand in the middle of the hallway when others are trying to get by.

4. Don't feed the fire - Drama can be everywhere and I advise not getting involved. From my own experiences, don't get into huge fights filled with drama. Sometimes that little fight will escalate... all the way to the principal's office.

5. My friend Belen says, "Understand that in a couple of years you and your friends right now might not be friends anymore because people change. So if this does happen do not make a big deal out of it. You can find new friends that have more things in common with you."

6. It's okay to be goofy, but in middle school you will need to step up at times and be serious. Know when to laugh, and talk, and when to just keep your mouth shut. Don't spread rumors, and don't be rude.

7. Don't worry if some people dislike you. Chances are, by the end of the year you'll be acquaintances and won't be enemies anymore. It's better to just be nice to people who dislike you, and who you dislike because that way like 4, you don't end up in the principal's office.

8. Get your homework done - ALL YEAR. It sounds hard, but really, just do your work. I've found that if you do most of your homework for the first year, in the next years, when you slip up, it'll be easier to be forgiven.

9. Be yourself, and you will most likely change through your years at middle school. My change occurred at the end of 7th grade to the beginning of 8th grade. Stick to your morals, and do what's right.

10. I let my friend Colton pitch in on this last one, "Do Not Screw Up. In some teachers' classes, the tale will live on forever." I also add, that if mistakes happen, just try and move on, and wait for someone else to slip up.

7th Graders

1. Don't be afraid to find yourself. You might find your seventh grade year realizing how stupid you were in 6th grade, and that it's time to mature more. When I found myself, I had been feeling lost, and I wasn't happy with how I was acting. I was better than that, and slowly I became pretty much an entirely different person.

2.  By 7th grade, you know all the basics of how the school works, so that makes this year the perfect your for personality rather than academics. Decide what kind of student, friend, child you want to be to the people you are around. Develop a personality that is true to you. This goes along with a lot of 1.

3. Stay organized. I don't know exactly why, but 7th grade seems to be the year of clutter. Papers will pile and pile up, and unless you want to flunk because you lost something, organize your stuff. Having at least one extra folder for extra stuff is extra great.

4. Be friends with some of your teachers. It will let you understand them a bit, and might even help you understand what they're looking for in your work. Not only will it help you to get a good grade, but it will just help you grow. Usually, when friends with a teacher, I've noticed they push you a lot harder because they truly know your potential.

5. Belen again has a word of advice, "Don't get too excited to be an old kid. Don't try to grow up too fast." Seriously, I agree with this. I've seen some 7th graders trying to act like they know everything, and I want to slap them. You are not all mighty and great for being a 7th grader. You are just a school kid. Not a celebrity. Sorry to wreck your dreams, kid.

6. You also have a better chance of losing friends this year. Some kids 'grow out' their friends. It's a part of maturing where you can lose your friends, You might grow apart, find different interests, it'll happen. Just make sure you have a good friend or close family member to talk to when it happens. Who knows, you might be the one who is trying to lose your friends!

7. 7th grade is a really fun year, and make sure you enjoy it. Experiment, have fun, be silly, and be good! There's nothing wrong with trying something new and talking to someone new. It might just be worth it in the end.

8. Enemies are not worth your time. Maybe you made some enemies in 6th grade, and now you must learn that it's not worth your time to try and spite them. Be the better person and let them go, be nice to them, jsut be a good person. Enemies aren't worth it.

9.  Don't be afraid. This is the year to let go and try new things. Challenge yourself, and try and join a few activities. You'll have fun, and maybe even make some new friends.

10. My friend Alonzo is here for the final one, "Don't let people change who you are. No matter if they are your friends or not, stay true to your true colors. I've been told so many times that I should stop being the way I am, but I will never stop being me."

8th Graders

1. Don't be arrogant. I know this because I was a bit arrogant at the beginning of the year. Even though you may be the oldest one their, you don't need to terrify little 6th graders and make them think you're a jerk.

2. This is not the year to get stressed, so try to stay on top of things. Take them one step at a time, and try to get ahead if you can.

3. Enjoy your childhood. It's coming to a close, and you want to enjoy it while you have it. High school is a big step into becoming an adult, so try to have fun and enjoy being a kid.

4. Try to be yourself, and don't give into peer pressure. You don't have to dress/act/be like anyone else besides yourself. Even for me, this is hard, but you really have to try.

5. Belen says "Near the end of 8th grade you need to start thinking about what high school courses you are going to take. It never hurts to be prepared."

6. Stay healthy, don't indulge too much in sweets and other foods that are bad for you. Your metabolism may be fast, but it's best to make it last.

7. Find something to do in your spare time to help with stress and such. This blog is a big one for me, because I enjoy writing and connecting with people. Maybe yours is an instrument, a sport, a hobby, but find it.

8.  Get a good amount of sleep. Just seriously. Sleep. It'll keep you from falling asleep in class.

9. Don't worry too much! It's not good for your health, and it's just not needed.

10. Colton chips in with, "Don't relax quite yet." I agree. Just because you're in 8th grade DOES NOT MEAN you need to slack off on your work. Work hard, do good, be an eighth grader (Now that's a slogan).

Thanks for reading! I hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving (If you celebrate it) and over all just have a great day! I'll be back soon, Natasha

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Letter To Future Me - 2035

Hey guys! Today I decided it was about time to write a letter to myself, just to give some advise to my future self. Not only will I be posting it here, but I'm also going to send it using a website called Future Me . Do note that I'm in no way 'endorsing' them, or anything, I'm just saying that that is the site I'll be using. Anyway, I've wanted to write a letter to myself for a while now, and I figure, hey why not kick my butt into action and do it now?! So here you go, a letter to myself to open in 2035.

Dear Me,

           By now you're probably what... 34 or 35? I'm only fourteen, but in twenty years I'll be you. Who knows what I'll be like then! Of course you know, because you're there, but that's besides the point. I'm here to give you some advise. Growing up has been fun, and I've learned a lot, but I don't want you to forget it. I've learned that sometimes it's better just not to comment on something, and sometimes it's better to speak up. Words can hurt, so you must use them carefully. I've been hurt by words, and I've hurt people with my words as well. Words CAN hurt.

          At 34-ish, you've probably been through a lot. Already been through high school and hopefully a good college. Maybe you have a family, a husband or wife, and maybe you have kids. No matter what, cherish these people in your life. Friends and family are the people you can trust to help you through rough times. Be happy, healthy, and be wise. Use your head and your heart together, and never trust one more than the other. They are meant to work together, not apart, because bad decisions come out of using just one.

         Today I sit here in my 8th grade Language Arts class typing, and I'm happy. I've accomplished a lot. Even with upcoming stress (HOMEWORK!), I know that everything will be alright. I've stopped biting my nails, a bad habit that stuck with me for thirteen years before I could shake it off. I keep three hair ties on my wrist at all times. I wear makeup, and Wicked jewelry. I like dresses and skirts, and reading and writing, and I am me.

         Don't ever forget yourself, and if you do happen to lose yourself, go find it. Always read, and always dream. Smile. Breathe. Follow your intuition. There may be people who want to bring you down, but hold your head high and keep a look out for feet trying to trip you. You may not be a child anymore, you're an adult with responsibilities and bills, and I know you can handle it all.

The world is a strange, strange place. You'll have to be just as strange to make it through. I love you, and wish you the best. I hope that when you read this, that you can smile and laugh at your little 8th grade self. 

Love and wishes, Natasha

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

My Reading Quest: 2015-2016

Hey guys! I'm back again today for a new post. I just wanted to update you all that I now have a Twitter (See right sidebar), and I've updated my Contact and About page. If you wanted to know more about why I had stopped blogging, you can get a pretty good update on the About page, and if that isn't detailed enough for you, shoot me a message. Anyway, back to today's topic... My reading goals for 2015-2016!

You may wonder why it's 2015-16, and to be honest, that's only because I've planned my book reading around school, so it started at the beginning of the school year, and is going to the end. Anyway, I'm going to list all of them, and as I read them I'll add a quick rating and note!

1. Fahrenheit 451 - September 2015 - DONE 4/5 Worlds

2. Pride and Prejudice - September 2015 - DONE 5/5 Worlds

3. Sherlock Holmes - October/November 2015 - IN PROGRESS

4. Wicked - November 2015 - DONE 4/5 Worlds

5. Looking For Alaska - November 2015 - TO READ

6. Ender's Game - December 2015 - TO READ

7. Game of Thrones - December 2015 - TO READ

8. Animal Farm - January 2016 - TO READ

9. Between The Lines - January 2016 - TO READ

10. To Kill A Mockingbird - January/February 2016 - TO READ

11. The War of the Worlds - February 2016 - TO READ

12. My Sister's Keeper - February 2016 - TO READ

13. Phantom of the Opera -February/March 2016 - TO READ

14. Wicked #2 - March 2016 - TO READ

15. Wicked #3 - April 2016 - TO READ

16. Wicked #4 -May 2016 - TO READ

17. Hobbit - June 2016 - TO READ

That's right folks, I'm only reading 17 books in 10 months! Some of them are classics, and some of these classic novels are very long, which is why my list is quite short. From the books I've read so far, I've found that even if they take me a long time to read, I'm really enjoying the classics. The one problem I have is that after reading all these classics, it's starting to get harder to read YA again because they seem kind of petty, and the narrator is silly, and not worth while. So, to battle this, I did throw in a few YA books to get me back in the groove. Anyway, I'll see you tomorrow!
It's a small, small world, Natasha 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Why I Broke Up With My Best Friend

Hey guys! I know it's been a while, and I'm truly sorry, but I'm going to jump right back into my post here. Instead of just a book blog, this is going to be my blog and it's going to just be whatever I want to write about. When I had conformed to bring a book blog, I lost the happiness I had in my blogging. Now I'm back and I'm going to write about what I want to write about. Today I'm going to tell you the story about why I broke up with my best friend and how it ended up benefiting me. *Names have been changed My best friend, Kayla*, and I had been friends for just two or three years, but we were practically the same person. We knew each other so well, we were so close. We hardly looked alike, but people got us mixed up. I considered us sisters. I knew her situations and problems and dreams and she knew mine. We had inside jokes that made no sense to others and I loved her. We had been through so much together. She was shy, somewhat socially awkward. I was the butterfly, I found friends and talked, and Kayla was always by my side. I was a nerd though, so I talked books with Kayla, and normal things with others. We were awkward and funny and we were forever. We were everything, and soon to be nothing. 

I know this next statements seems cruel, but we honestly knew each other so much, there was nothing more to talk about. Finally, she got a boyfriend, Jared* in 7th grade. I didn't. At first we would all talk together. Soon she would only talk to Jared and not me. I talked to Jared, and to this day, we are friends, but slowly Kayla faded from my life. She would walk with me to classes, but we never talked. Hardly ever talked. We were stuck together with glue, and for me it was the most painful experience ever. I wasn't the best friend I could have been, I admit that. I was angry at her and blamed it on her that she never talked to me, or hung out with me, but when I confronted her with my anger at being alone, it just started fights. Soon I noticed her withdrawing from even talking with our mutual friends. I talked, okay, more targeted her with anger at her quietness. The worst part about it all, in my mind, was that all our conversations, mostly fights, were all over text messages.

"Why don't you talk to me?! I always feels so alone. All you ever do is talk to Jared, and never me. God, I thought we were best friends."
I would say, and she would reply with something along the lines of,
"Whenever I do, you seem to ignore it! You only want to hear good things, and my life isn't always sunshine and daisies like yours. Even when I have something good to say, you don't care." 
We can all see that I wasn't the greatest friend to her, and she wasn't the greatest friend either. It was a mutual toxic friendship. In my mind, we were just sort of forced to be together at this time. People had seen us be friends the entire 7th grade year, and now at the end we just had to carry through. I couldn't last it though. I started to feel really down and blue. It wasn't a depression, but I wasn't in a normal mood either. I felt alone, abandoned, and betrayed. We both started to slowly pull apart from each other, not sitting by each other, not really doing anything with each other. She hung by herself, and I hung out with my other friends. It was like our unspoken, mutual decision to just stop being friends. I never thought it was completely over, I still had strings tied to Kayla, and if I wanted to move on, those strings needed to be cut. 

It was after a few weeks that I decided to end our friendship. It wasn't even a friendship anymore, and I didn't feel the need to have the strings still attached to me. So I planned, and planned, and I remember that day quite clearly. It was chilly, and we were standing outside our school, on the stairs. I recited my little speech about how I just think it wasn't working out. I explained that I didn't want it to be awkward between us, but I thought that we should end out friendship. I then further explained how down I felt, and how it'd be better to separate. Kayla agreed, and that was that. She went and started talking to another girl, and I went off with my friends. That's when I finally broke up with my best friend.

I thought, and still do think about her. It's hard not to, I mean, we go to the same school! We've both moved on though. We don't talk much, and we're two different people now. Kayla has her friends, I have mine. As much as it hurt to let go, it was for the best. As soon as we ended the relationship, my sad feelings started to gradually faded, and I felt happy. There was no longer pounds and pounds of feelings on my shoulders. No more guilt, sadness, and pain. It's not easy losing a friend, but sometimes it's better to move on. Otherwise you'll be stuck dragging along a whole lot of pain. I'm not saying if a friendship isn't working out to automatically give up, but more saying to think about it. I thought long and hard about breaking up with Kayla for weeks. We had repaired our friendship many times before, and it was my choice after hours of indecision to let it crumble apart. Throughout that whole experience, I learned a lot about myself, and friendship in general. I will always cherish the memories I have of Kayla, but I also moved on. Use these types of experiences, especially in middle school, to propel you forward. Don't hold back, but take it in stride. Losing a friend helped me gain some self awareness, and some self peace. Always remember that you can be a better you today than you were yesterday.

Peace out from my little world, Natasha

Thanks for reading! Any comments, messages, thoughts, will be appreciated and might be replied to.