Humans of NY http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 http://humansofnewyork.tumblr.com/ “I never saw myself as a smart person.  Definitely not book...

“I never saw myself as a smart person.  Definitely not book smart.  Maybe smart in other ways.  I never liked school all that much.  No matter how hard I tried, I could never reach past a B.  I even got a tutor in high school, and she was great, but my grades didn’t really improve.  I was intimidated by how well other students could write and speak.  I didn’t think I’d ever reach that level.  I figured that college just wasn’t for me.  After graduation I took a year off and backpacked through Southeast Asia.  I loved it so much.  I didn’t want to leave.  When I came home I decided to major in history, because at least I could keep learning about Asia.  I’m almost finished now.  I made it through with about a ‘B’ average.  Last term I even got nominated for an award by my favorite professor.  His name is Arne Kislenko.  He’s a little bit of a hard ass.  He expects a lot.  He doesn’t even post lecture slides.  But he has stories and tidbits for everything.  Even though I almost failed his class, I registered for two more because I learned so much.  I wrote my final paper on Thai Foreign Policy from 1932 to 1945.   He handed it back with a note that said: ‘See me.’  He told me that he was nominating me for the Dean’s List Essay Award.  I was the only student he chose.  I didn’t win, but I didn’t care.  It showed me what I could do if I write about a subject I care about.  It was the first time I’d ever been recognized for something academic, and it came from the smartest person I know.“  
(Toronto, Canada)

https://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/186318720521

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Tue, 16 Jul 2019 02:30:17 +0000 https://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/186318720521 https://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/186318720521
“I had an incident at the end of last year.  It was during exam...

“I had an incident at the end of last year.  It was during exam time.  I was on edge, and irritated, and it was kinda like a storm.  This one kid kept bothering me.   Just bothering me.  And I sorta went blind with rage.  I didn’t actually hit him, but I grabbed him aggressively.  Then I started hitting the desk, and yelling about how I hate myself, and how all I do is annoy people, and how I know that everyone hates me.  I felt so much shame afterwards.  I was disgusted with myself.  I used to have so many emotional problems when I was younger.  I’d yell.  I’d cry.  I’d throw tables and chairs.  But none of that had happened since primary school.  I made a promise to myself.  No more outbursts.  The incident happened on Friday, so I was able to go straight home.  All weekend I thought about suicide.  On Monday they called me into the office, and I confessed everything.  I told them I was in a bad place.  They sent me to the hospital for a few days.  When I came back to school, a lot of kids approached me in the hall.  They told me they were worried.  And they hoped I got better.  I just kept saying ‘I’m fine, I’m fine.’  But one girl told me that she’d cried during cheerleading practice.  And that shook me a little bit.  I laughed it off at first, but later I started thinking about it.  It’s easy to say ‘get better.’  But I never thought someone could actually cry for me.”          
(Montreal, Canada)

https://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/186285851756

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Sun, 14 Jul 2019 18:57:32 +0000 https://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/186285851756 https://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/186285851756
“I just finished my first year of college.  I expected it to be...

“I just finished my first year of college.  I expected it to be like a 90’s movie where I’d sit under trees, read books, and meet a nice boy who’d show me his yacht.  But I’m not a good protagonist.  My life would be a terrible movie.  I sit around in my dorm room.  I sleep a lot.  My grades are terrible.  I got one ‘B,’ but that’s it.  The rest were C’s and D’s.  My parents have always been supportive, so there’s nobody holding me back.  I’m just not handling my freedom well.  I’ve got to learn how to keep promises that I make to myself.  The funny thing is that I hate letting other people down.  I never want to seem unreliable.  Because if you disappoint other people too much, they’ll turn away from you.  But I have no problem letting myself down.  Because I know I’m not going anywhere.  I’ll always be here.  And I have a whole lifetime to work on my issues and bad habits.  So I keep putting them off.  But that’s got to stop.  I don’t want things to get so horrible that I’m forced to change.  So I’m going to join a study group.  I’m starting to eat out less.  I’m going to exercise more.  I’m not drinking every weekend. And from now on I’m going to know my boundaries.  I’m not talking to boys who treat me bad.  This summer is my redemption arc.”
(Toronto, Canada)

https://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/186240383216

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Fri, 12 Jul 2019 19:31:05 +0000 https://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/186240383216 https://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/186240383216
“I come from Iran.  Twenty years ago I went through a bad...

“I come from Iran.  Twenty years ago I went through a bad break-up, and afterwards I went to the top of a mountain to think.  There I found a pack of hungry dogs.  I bought some chicken and began to feed them.  They wagged their tails.  There was happiness in their eyes.  And that was enough for me.  I began to come back once a week.  Then three times a week.  And I started to learn about the terrible life of dogs in my country.  Some of the dogs began to disappear, and people would tell me the municipality had killed them.  That’s when I decided to create the first dog shelter in Tehran.  I ran it alone for fourteen years.  I had to buy the food, pay the salaries, nobody would help.  Many people in Islam think that dogs are unclean.  It was very difficult.  At the time I owned a shop selling tires, and half of my income went to the shelter.  I grew very depressed.  Our shelter could only handle one hundred dogs, but 10,000 were being killed every year.  It wore me down.  I didn’t have the energy for it.  Two years ago I handed off the shelter to a brave young girl, and I moved to Canada.  I’m working as a barber now.  But I still send money to the shelter.  And every day I come to this bench and feed the squirrels.”
(Montreal, Canada)

https://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/186193159791

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Wed, 10 Jul 2019 19:12:44 +0000 https://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/186193159791 https://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/186193159791
“You could make a horror movie about my life.  My mom died of...

“You could make a horror movie about my life.  My mom died of cancer when I was five, and my father tortured me.  I mean tortured.  Really tortured.  Chained me to a chair.  Slapped me with leather.  It was like Jack Nicholson in ‘The Shining.’  Every single day.  He’d never say a thing.  He’d just kick down my door and come after me.  I was born into hell.  I spent twelve years alone with a demonic presence.  And now I’m nervous.  Really nervous.  I play the piano to calm myself down.  I always have these thoughts they aren’t even my thoughts: fat fuckers, fucking bastards, fuck all of them.  They’re my father’s thoughts.  The violence is inside of me.  My energy is black, black, black.  I used to kill little birds when I was a kid.  Then I moved on to cats.  By the time I was seventeen I was beating the shit out of everybody.  Bigger than me, taller than me, I didn’t care.  It was more torture to keep it inside.  If I kept the violence inside I’d mutilate myself.  Suicide myself.  A few years ago I set a guy on fire.  It was 3 AM.  He was passed out beneath a bridge.  Just some druggie.  I didn’t feel a thing.  I felt like laughing.  If anything, I felt free.”
(Montreal, Canada)

https://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/186169923621

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Tue, 09 Jul 2019 19:30:09 +0000 https://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/186169923621 https://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/186169923621
“I came from India in 2011 to get my Masters, and ended up...

“I came from India in 2011 to get my Masters, and ended up working for a major tech company in San Francisco.  It was a lucrative job, but there was always a looming cloud of uncertainty.  Half of the people in my department were international workers, mostly Indian and Chinese.  All of us were on visas, so our future in America depended upon keeping our employment.  I don’t think the managers intended to push us harder.  But the international workers were more afraid, so we took more abuse.  It just became part of the culture.  We were given extra work, and the only way to keep up was to kill yourself every day.  I just couldn’t do it.  Eventually I burned out and moved to Vancouver.  Canada was very welcoming.  My wife and I have residency already.  I’ve started my own business.  I have all the clients I need.  But most importantly I have a home.  And I’m not talking about a brick structure.  I mean a place that I’m allowed to be.  Because once I had that, all my other problems seemed smaller.  I could start thinking long term.  Because no matter what happens, at least I know I’ll be here.”
(Montreal, Canada)

https://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/186146050321

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Mon, 08 Jul 2019 19:07:36 +0000 https://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/186146050321 https://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/186146050321