Monday, June 20, 2005

Growing up there were people that influenced the way I am now. I'm sure there are ones that influenced in little ways and I no longer remember them but there are also ones that stick out in my mind. Not all of them were good but despite them being not so good they helped shape who I am and for that I am thankfull. I've decided to write about some of them.

In grade 5 I had a teacher that I wasn't particularly fond of. She was all right but nothing special. Except that she taught us this lesson that I've never forgotten. She taught us the unfairness of discrimination. One day she had us move all the desks to the wall and had us sit on the floor. She then said today all the light eyed people are to be treated with favor. They will get pillows to sit on and the dark eyed people won't. The dark eyed people have to do what the light eyed people want. So she had the dark eyed kids bring the light eyed ones pillows to sit on... it went like that for the rest of the day. A week later she did the opposite. I don't know if the message got to the other kids but it sure got to me. How unfair it was that just because I had light eyes I was to be treated better and then the next time how I was to be treated like dirt.

All through elementary I was not popular. I was made fun of every day. People would purposely make me cry. I could never understand why. I thought I must not have been 'cool' or that there was something wrong with me. I didn't realize until later that my sister played a huge part in my unpopularity. I didn't know that she would spread rumors or tell things about me that the other kids would make fun of me about. All I knew at the time is I wasn't really liked. Growing up like that was horrible. I hated school and still do because of it. The thing I am thankful for and the lesson I got out of that was to treat others better (I didn't learn that lesson right away: see next paragraph). To not make fun of them. To not hurt peoples feelings. So even though it was hell to go through I know I am a better person because of it.

I knew a girl in high school that gave me the best advice. I still remember it. I barely remember her and we never were really friends but I will never forget her advice. She told me that you are who you want to be. That you are the one who controls how you react to others. I'm not really sure how to put into words the lesson she gave other than to say that at the time I wasn't the nicest person. I wasn't bad or evil or anything but I wanted popularity. I thought that to get it all I had to do was pick on someone else. I also thought that lying about things I did or didn't do would make me cooler. She pointed out how unfair it was to the person I made fun of and that lying will only get me to lose friends. I said I couldn't help how/who I was. She made it clear that I could. That I am choosing to be a certain way but that at any time I could decide not to be that way. Its not a simple thing.. changing who you are but if you really want to you definitely can change. I have her to thank. Without that lesson I'm not sure where I'd be today.

I learned a long time ago that the person I want to be is someone that does the best they can. For others and for myself. I learned that I want to be reliable and someone that no one would be afraid to confide in and someone that would be there no matter what. I've had my back stabbed more times than I can count. I've helped people that then turned their backs on me because their friends didn't think I was cool enough. Stuff like that will still never stop me from being there for people.

I learned that you have to love yourself. I decided a long time ago that I wouldn't love myself if I wasn't a good person. If I hurt people or wasn't honest. I learned that getting upset and letting your anger or frustration control you isn't a positive response. In the end it will only hurt you. So I am laid back. If I get upset I try deal with it in a positive way instead of just using the anger as a sheild. I am a much happier person because of these lessons. So I thank all those that influenced or taught me these lessons. The ones that taught it in a positive way and the ones that taught it in a negative way.

33 Comments:

Blogger lowk said...

I think you've done a great job making yourself be a better person. Both Callie and I think you are a very good friend and very trust worthy. I know we will always show you the kind of friendship you deserve and have earned.

10:08 AM, June 20, 2005  
Blogger Danikabur said...

Thank you. I treasure your friendship!

10:43 AM, June 20, 2005  
Blogger Callie said...

Yes, Dani - you've lived by your rules to the extent that no one else I know has. You're a beautiful person, and a wonderful friend. I don't know where we'd be without you.

I, too, was made fun of in school. Mainly because I was a geek, but still - it hurts to not be included, or to hear the whispers and laughter as you pass people. I'm trying to raise my children better. Sadly, I have a feeling they will suffer the same fate as I did. Hopefully, they will be strong and wise enough to know that it will pass.

10:46 AM, June 20, 2005  
Blogger Danikabur said...

Thank you :)

I really don't think Munchkin will suffer the same. Maybe Kidlet but only because she is so sensitive.

When in school I just wish someone would have told me the reasons people pick on others. That they do it to make themselves feel good.. or because they are afraid people will turn around and pick on them. That it wasn't because I was some freak... I think if your kids know that it won't be so bad (still will hurt but at least they may not feel so alone and dislike themselves)

11:04 AM, June 20, 2005  
Blogger Digitalicat said...

I always knew that you light-eyed people weren't to be trusted.

11:30 AM, June 20, 2005  
Blogger Danikabur said...

:P

It was the dark eyed people that got the last laugh..

11:33 AM, June 20, 2005  
Anonymous Stephie said...

Danikins!

I think I figured out how to post replies here without having a blog of my own! It's incredibly simple, I guess I was just a dumbass before.. lol. ;)

That was a very nice post, very thought-provoking. It makes me think of all the people in my own life who similarly influenced me. I was another "not overly popular" kid in elementary school. High school got better from grade 10 on, but I still wasn't the most popular of kids (I was always a bit geeky I guess!) I wasn't always made fun of by everyone in the "whispers behind your back" sort of way, but I had my fair share of bad days growing up too. I think everyone goes through it in elementary school. I even bet those ones who we all thought were the "cool ones", the ones who did the picking on, had someone picking on them too and they always probably didn't always love their elementary school experiences. It's all a perspective thing I think, like a lot of stuff.

I think knowing you guys online sort of shaped me in some ways. We used to speak frequently, and in a lot of ways I felt a connection with an older influence, a sort of role model in some ways. I most definitely considered your friendship to me (and likewise Sarah's and others) to be a very important part of some of my teen years, so thank you for that.

This is turning into a novel, so I shall conclude! LOL. (Can you say, 'Stephie's bored at work' much?! lol). So glad we've been able to connect again through our blogs and journals, I'll continue to read and be interested in your life and I hope you'll do the same with mine.

Friends always,
Stephie

1:53 PM, June 20, 2005  
Blogger Danikabur said...

I like to think that our influence on you was good. Not only on you but on all the HB's. I know things would have been better had I had friends online that liked to talk to me. It would have made me realize sooner that I wasn't what everyone said I was.

In fact the people I met through buffy are ones that have/had great influence in me starting to like/love myself and helped build my self esteem.

I will definitely (always) be interested in your life. I have thought and wondered about you fairly often during the times we didn't talk. I also know that Sarah has as well. :)

1:59 PM, June 20, 2005  
Blogger Callie said...

Stephie! THE Stephie!

OMG! Didn't realize it was you over at my blog. Woo hoo!!!!

2:08 PM, June 20, 2005  
Anonymous Stephie said...

Aww! We'll, I've definitely thought about you guys as well! And yup, your influence was definitely good. I felt a bit popular amongst a group, even though it was only online, and it does give you a better self-image (Especially being such close friends with you and Sarah, since you two were in your 20s already). You helped my self-esteem greatly! All the times you guys told me I was funny, cute, mature or smart or whatever else. It was all that stuff I needed to hear at that age where I could have easily dipped down into low self-esteem world where I was depressed about myself all the time. All my internet friends helped me realize the good person I was inside.

I think a big part of that too has to do with how you don't even know what the person looks like when the friendship begins, it is all based on your personality and not on the shallowness of "how you look" or "the way your voice sounds" or anything that teenagers are so harsh about. And then when you see a picture, or share one, and you hear the person say "Wow, you're so pretty..." or whatever else... it is a very honest, nice compliment and really boosts you up.

Yup, work is still boring... I'm in a typing mood I suppose! hahaha. It's just been ages since we've talked! GAH! haha.

I've thought about you and Sarah a lot too, wondered what was up. It's really nice to hear that you guys have thought of me. :) Honourary sisters 'n all, remember. ;) lol

2:12 PM, June 20, 2005  
Anonymous Stephie said...

LOL @ Cali! Or... Callie as you go by here... I always did it like "Cali" I think... so I'll probably stick with that one. hahaha.

Anyway, you're adorable. That made me feel so smiley inside! haha. So glad to find you guys again!!

(Danikins, sorry for posting comments like a mad-woman, hope it's not annoying! hahaha)

2:14 PM, June 20, 2005  
Blogger Danikabur said...

Definitely NOT annoying!! I'm glad that you read/enjoy/comment on my blog!!

I think you are right. That online its about who you are and not what you look like. At least it was when I 'met' you guys. I think our 'meeting' was a once in a lifetime type of thing that I am so happy to have been through.

I know more people online now but its through blogs which is a very different way than we all got to know eachother. How close we all became and how comfortable we all were with eachother (some more than others) is something I treasure and look back on with fondness.

The amazing people I have met through a show is unbelievably awesome. :D

2:18 PM, June 20, 2005  
Blogger Callie said...

Weren't we just talking about this, Dani??

LOL.

Steph - you can call me Cali, or calamity, or whatever you want. I'll answer to just about anything.

I loved the fact that I felt so welcome all those years ago. I was completely new to the whole internet thing. I made some mistakes, but no one really minded. We were open and as honest as we could be, and we were all accepted, no matter what.

*sniff* I miss everyone!!!

2:33 PM, June 20, 2005  
Anonymous Stephie said...

I feel the exact same!

Glad this isn't annoying. I'm bored at work A LOT. lol. Expect muchos commentos. lol.

Maybe I should say your favourite...

bored now.

hehe. Long live Buffy. lol

2:34 PM, June 20, 2005  
Blogger Danikabur said...

Of course I have to say it... I was one of the originals of the 'AA' group... neener neener ;)

*capers*

2:36 PM, June 20, 2005  
Blogger Callie said...

*capers nekkid*

Does blogspot have any dress codes?

2:40 PM, June 20, 2005  
Blogger Danikabur said...

Probably not and I'm sure that (especially the male)the people reading my blog have no feelings against you capering naked.....

*gets out the fig leaves* Just in case.

2:42 PM, June 20, 2005  
Anonymous sardi1 said...

Dani told me I had to come read this post and of course I have comments. Whats very unique about our group of online friends is that no matter where life takes us or how busy or lives were we still manage to connect. Dani and I don't talk as much as we used to, but still keep each other in the loop about our lives. I also get to hear about whats going on with everyone else. LOL

Stephie. I want you to know that I am truly flattered by your kind words. However, I want you to know that it went both ways. Sometimes when you're in your early twenties you start to questions everything. What you're doing, where you are going and who you are. Having someone so young yet so wise in ways to talk kind of gave me some new perpestives on life. You kept me young at heart and made me realize no matter how we get, we all need to laugh. (and not forget the glue)

Dani. (I don't remember the last time I called you that. LOL) You have been such a true friend to me. You have been there to listen, and read, about all my ups and downs. You are honest with your opinions and caring when I need it. Thank you!

Although some of us have met and some of haven't, the friendship we built is true. Like Stephie said it based on looks or popularity just pure personality. I could be myself talking to all of you. I could truly tell you how I was feeling or what was bothering me without fearing you would judge me.

Anyway, now that you all have made me all sentimental I should get back to work. I love you guys and wouldn't trade any of the online or real life experiences we have shared for anything.

P.S. Can you beleive its been 5 years already! WOW 5 years!

2:48 PM, June 20, 2005  
Anonymous sardi1 said...

Hey I was an original member of the AA's to. Heres a bit of trivia. Can anyone tell me what the topic was that got this all started?

I do know the answer, but do you?

2:49 PM, June 20, 2005  
Blogger Callie said...

Yeah - but did Sardi get nekkid for that post?

:-D

(Sorry, Sardi - I'm in a goofy mood)

You know, the next time Dani comes to California, I'm going to try my damndest to join her in SoCal to meet you. You'd think, after 5 years, I could have made the effort. I'm entirely too lazy.

2:51 PM, June 20, 2005  
Anonymous sardi1 said...

Don't worrya bout it Calam. I haven't made much effort either. Especially considering I was up that was last year. *ducks*

Oh and to answer your question.....I was nekked for that post. How else are you supposed to stand on a soap box? LOL

3:04 PM, June 20, 2005  
Blogger Danikabur said...

It was a post on abortion. Yeah see its me (and Mac) doing all the traveling. You lazy bums. :P

Not that I don't frickin LOVE it. LOL

Sardi said exactly how I felt about talking to everyone... including the younger ones.

Like with Dez on the phone... it was easy to stay a kid at heart but we'd still have mature conversations too... its a compliment to have someone look up to you.

You're welcome Sardine (hee hee)

3:19 PM, June 20, 2005  
Blogger Callie said...

Yup - I'm lazy. Xcept when it comes to taking the clothes off.

And Sardi - nekkid IS the only way to stand on a soapbox. How else are you going to get people's attention?

3:23 PM, June 20, 2005  
Blogger Mark said...

All this nekkid talk. Guess it's time for a cold shower!

9:22 PM, June 20, 2005  
Blogger Larry said...

That was a great post. I would love to come up with something deep or funny to say but I can't. So here is an experience that changed me. I have very few regrets in my life, this is one.

I for the most part did not make fun of or pick on kids and have only one regret from the school years. A former friend walked up to me at the beginning of the year and was talking to me. At the time I was trying desperately to hang out with the "cool" kids and tried to shoo him away. He asked if I was just going to stop talking to him. My reply was, "yes".

that was the last time I spoke to him. for the next 3 years I would see him in the halls. I avoided him, not to try to be cool but because I was so ashamed of what I did I couldn't face him.

All that to hang out with a bunch of kids that didn't really give a shit about me. The guy was never one of my best friends but he was, in the short time I knew him, a better friend than any of the others ever were or could have been.

That was the main thing in my life life that made me realize that I had to do things not to be cool but to just be me. If that meant being a social outcast, so be it, at least i would be happy. that approach has helped me live a happy life without many regrets. I am still ashamed that I had 3 years to apologize and could not swallow my pride enough to do it. I hope he is at the reunion next year.

9:26 PM, June 20, 2005  
Anonymous Stephie said...

Did I make it into the AA's? Geeeze.... wow, the WB boards... that was sooooooo long ago. AGES. Holy man. I remember knowing that the first topic ever was abortion though! Look at my memory go! Whee!

I remember one of my first things with you guys was making fun of people on the Charmed boards. But I don't remember who was all in on that one. Fun times though!

Sarah!!!!! Eee!! My big sister! I've missed you! Thanks for saying such nice things about me. I'm glad the positive influence went both ways.

Awww... my people. You guys are all seriously some of the most amazing people I've ever met.

And DANI!! Capering!!! hehehehe. You're going to be stuck capering for the rest of your life. lol.

6:35 AM, June 21, 2005  
Blogger Danikabur said...

That story Larry reminds me of a time when I told a girl off. Just because I could. She was the ex of a friend and she wouldn't leave him alone. I should have stayed out of it but I didn't. I regretted it right after. The look on her face kept playing through my mind. When I was telling her off I felt powerful but when the look on her face would go through my mind I felt horrible. She didn't go to the same school so I never saw her again but I definitely never forgot.

Doing that made me realize that I didn't want to be one of those people either.

I am pretty sure almost all the group made it to the 'AA's but I think we quit the boards shortly after the Charmed thing.

LOL yup.. I happily caper through life now. :)

8:55 AM, June 21, 2005  
Blogger 81 Vaginas said...

wonderful lesson. they made a documentary about an exp sort of like what your teacher did but carried out on a larger degree with midschool kids, and how over the course of a week or so, they perfectly adapted themselves to a sort of fascist existence. it was frightening.

1:47 PM, June 21, 2005  
Blogger Danikabur said...

I think the key in that lesson is the switch off. That way both groups get to actually feel what its like to be on either side.

I can see how it would have worked over the course of a week. I remember feeling so much power by the end of the day. (and so helpless when on the other side)

2:56 PM, June 21, 2005  
Blogger Penny Shagwell said...

I hated school - at least in grades 1-6. I had one friend, and she moved away in Grade 4, leaving me stranded. I went to a very cool school and you weren't spoken to unless you were wearing Jordache jeans and Izod shirts. I was tall, had braces, was smart and chubby and I sure as hell didn't have any of those clothes. I was a complete target. At the time, I hated my parents for not getting me the "right" clothes simply because I was so damn lonely. Now, I appreciate what they did.

I finally found my 'niche' in grade 7 and never looked back. My 'group' were all misfits, geeks and nerds but they key to our friendship was that no one was excluded. Not one person. Even if a cool kid wanted to hang with us, we treated them like everyone else.

I know what it feels like to be an outcast and be judged for how you look, think or feel. I have always sworn that I would never judge another person that way and I've tried really hard to live by my vow. My mother always says that I will stick up for the little guy, no matter what. And she's right.

As a postscript to this, my fellow geek and best friend, Al, went to our high school reunion. I was living out of province and couldn't go. She (Al) was chatting with someone that we didn't hang out with in school as she was definitely with the "In" crowd. Al made the comment that it must have been nice to be in the cool group during high school. This girl laughed and said, "Are you kidding??? You and Penny were in the cool group. Oh my God, I would have killed to hang with the people you did -- al the musicians, artists and stuff. You were so cool."

Al and I were flabbergasted and have had to rethink our entire highschool life.

Anyway, I think you're awesome, Dani, and I hope to meet you in person sometime soon. (sorry this rambled on)

6:30 PM, June 21, 2005  
Blogger Danikabur said...

You just described the group I hung around in high school! Seriously. We were the artists... the outcasts. We even nicknamed ourselves the freaks.

I've run into people that knew me in junior high and I'm always shocked they remember who I am. Their response is always how could we not remember you. The same people that made fun of me thought of me as cool. Wish I would have known that back then.

I do want to mention another lesson that helped me deal with being made fun of. My friend and I were in the same class and two boys would make fun of us. One boy would stand up for her and one would stand up for me... sort of. Basically they would argue loudly over who was worse looking.

One day I cornered (without his friends around) the one that always made fun of me and asked him if he really thought that way about me. He told me he didn't. That it was just jokes and he would stop if I wanted. I told him that it was fine (I knew he did it to feel cool) that I could take it now that I knew he didn't really think that way. They stopped shortly after.

I also always thought it was funny that people would talk to me outside school (or inside) as long as their friends weren't around.

Ok now that I've rambled on too... See you in Vegas!

11:42 PM, June 21, 2005  
Blogger lowk said...

I can't say that I've ever been in the group that was picked-on or uncool. I was by no means one of the "beautiful crowd" but for some reason I was accepted by all the groups. I ran with some serious people and did'nt say much. I learned early that everyone is cool, in their own way. I had a friend whose lil bro was always picked on. I put a stop to that easily enough. And some of the others I ran with were impressed with it. They even kept an eye out for the weaker kids. I never thought about it till this post, but maybe slapping the crap outta someone was the wrong way to handle it. But how do you reason with those that think they're better. I think we all just excell in our own way.

11:00 AM, June 26, 2005  
Blogger Danikabur said...

Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. Sometimes with water. Slapping the crap outta someone can sometimes be the only thing they listen too.

I had no problem sticking up for someone using strength (or threat of strength) but only if thats what it took and only if I was protecting someone. Not picking on. Thats probably one reason you never thought about it... because thats probably the only thing that would have stopped it.

11:32 PM, June 26, 2005  

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