theharperproject


The Acne Chronicles – Part 1 – Background, Make-Up and Confidence
January 6, 2013, 11:30 am
Filed under: The Acne Chronicles | Tags: , , , , , ,

acne

Ugh another bump!!?!!

That’s what I usually whine to myself in the mirror at least once a week. Acne has been a major issue in my life since about the 3rd grade. Starting with little bumps on my chin, then spreading to my forehead, then in junior high accumulating on my cheeks. Until high school, when my face resembled a big greasy beef pizza.

Despite my hate for acne now at 18 years old, I can look back and see how these little annoying bumps on my face have help grow me as a person. Around junior high when my acne began to really take over my face, the joyous wonder that is public school sent me even more issues to face.

Bullies, I was never a victim to any physical bullying but I defiantly shed more than a couple of tears walking home from school some days. “You shouldn’t care about what other people say to you” my mom would always preach but it hurts when you get laughed at in front of a crowd of people, when someone points out how oily your skin is or that you have a few bumps on your face. All of the teasing really made me look at myself as lower than other people, just because I have acne. It was a really big blow to my confidence.

So one day I decided to cover up all my problems with makeup. Being a 14 year old, African American boy at a mostly minority school in Texas and wearing makeup is not a good formula but I could hardly look at myself in the mirror without crying. So every morning I would dab little foundation on, to cover up the spots that would appear after a pimple would go away.
Makeup healed about 50% of the problem. The good that resulted was, I could put some on and walk out the house and know that when people look at me, they weren’t looking at me because I had blackheads or oily skin. But the bad was that I was so self-conscious, yeah they weren’t looking at me because of my acne but were they looking at me because I was wearing makeup. “If someone found out I would never be able to live this down” I always thought. So I remained pretty much how I was before I wore make-up, quiet and in the background because I never wanted too many eyes on me.

I wore makeup until about the middle of my sophomore year in high school when in the middle of band class a classmate turned to me and asked me the question I had been dreading for years. “Are you wearing makeup?” she asked.

My heart sunk “No!” I said. I quickly tilted my head down and fixed my eyes on my shoes.
The girl didn’t argue my answer, she just went back to playing her instrument but I was a wreck. My stomach was doing kart wheels, my head was throbbing and I was sweating furiously. Trying so hard to hold back tears.

When the bell rang for lunch, I jolted out of the band hall to the nearest bathroom, shut myself in a stall. Bundled up a handful of the one ply bathroom toilet paper and began to viciously wipe my face.

I cried all through lunch in the bathroom, dreading to see anyone. But I knew I had to go to my last two classes.
The rest of the day went okay I was still very shaken up.

When I got home I decided I couldn’t cover up my problems anymore with makeup, I hated wearing it anyways and I was determined to clear up my skin. So I looked up acne and black head remedies and tried all of them, yes all of them.

A few worked and a lot didn’t but the best result was that I got to know my skin. And now as a senior in high school I can look back and say I learned a lot from my bad bad acne days.
The most important lesson was that life is too short to spend your life unhappy at someone else’s expensive. Words hurt, very badly sometimes but I love myself way too much to let what someone says about something I can’t even really control break me down.

Yeah I still have blackheads,zits,pimples,marks,bumps, but they’re not me and whatever is on my face won’t control my confidence level.

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In the Acne Chronicles series, I plan on sharing some of my experiences with facial products, home remedies, dermatologist etc. I also have a few more acne stories I’m excited to share as well.
I hope all of you  enjoyed this post and I’m very interested in hearing your experiences with acne and acne products so please feel free to share your stories below in the comment section.



Just A Thought: Concerts Are Overrated
April 18, 2012, 4:20 pm
Filed under: Just a Thought, Music | Tags: , ,

Concerts are so overrated. Especially if the tickets are $300! Now I’m sure their are some people who are willing to fork over $300 for a crappy seat to see their favorite artist preform but their is honestly no artist who will ever get that much money from my pocket for a nose bleed seat. I recently read a statement from Madonna,who is notorious for having outrageous ticket prices — comment on the public response to the price per seat for her upcoming concert tour. She said “Start saving your pennies now. People spend $300 on crazy things all the time, things like handbags. So work all year, scrape the money together and come to my show. I’m worth it” via Newsweek. I must  say the only time I’ve heard of someone spending $300 dollars on a handbag, is while watching one of those Real Housewives shows but never personally . Maybe by “people” she was referring to her filthy rich friends.

I did do my research and found that some tickets are indeed $300 and more, but there are cheaper options. I believe they were around the $60 range. The only catch is that the seats are located behind the stage… Now I know they aren’t literally behind the stage –well at least I think they’re not . But I guess pretty much they are saying you won’t be able to see much, if anything at all. My first thought when I saw the warning sign that was  in all caps was “I’d have my ass in someone elses’ seat for $60 dollars!”. Maybe I’m just being cheap I mean it is Madonna — and she is worth it — right … Well putting aging pop star Madonna to the side, paying $60 dollars for some seats that won’t even have a decent view of the stage + parking,  for any pop star is beyond me. Now a die hard fan might get some enjoyment by the fact that they’re just at the concert but everyone’s pockets are tight regardless. Madonna may need to take a class in accounting because pennies buy gum , not a ticket to one of her concerts — that’s half a paycheck… Just a Thought.



RantDom: Reality TV
April 5, 2012, 4:19 pm
Filed under: RantDOM | Tags: , , , ,

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Bar fights and late night hook-ups have taken over television. Many nights I have had my eyes fixed to the television, consumed by this cheap entertainment called reality TV. Seeing people do the fool on national television for a large sum of money or to extend their fifteen minutes of fame — for some reason is very entertaining. However , all good things must come to an end. By this I’m referring to those shows that have run their courses  — meaning  the plot line and cast  –  are no longer entertaining. So before the show becomes a huge embarrassment, its best they just take a bow.

First example : Jersey Shore— Almost 4 years ago Snooki and Company took over Seaside and pop culture. The fist pumping , house music, tanning freaks were the hot topic everywhere. Millions flocked to the television screen,  intrigued by the way they dressed, partied and the Jersey lingo. Now  — five seasons later —  the hype has dyed down. A show about nothing can only go so far. I’m not a regular viewer of the show but from season 4 to 5 what seems to be the conflict has been Snooki’s “alleged” hook-up with Mike . Which has sparked fights between the two during the 2 seasons. That pretty much shows how far the entertainment factor has dropped. But at least the episodes are not filled with more boring Sammi and Ronni drama.

Now with cast members getting spin off shows and the announcement of a 6th season. The overexposed alarm is starting to ring very loudly. I never got the feeling that the cast members were loved …maybe likable. But now they are just annoying.

File:RealWorldSanDiego(2011)Cast.pngSecond example : Real World — The longest running show in MTV history and the first “Reality” TV show. The Real World defiantly will go down in somebodies book as one of the greatest shows on television. Now 26 seasons later its still blazing the television …almost painfully . The Real World used to be famous because of the “issues”. The show in the past dealt with issues including racism, aids/HIV, homophobia, addiction, politics , religion and more. The “issues” had some type of substance, that added something more interesting to watch for on the show — other than the fights. In the recent years the shows “issues” seem very meager compared to the “issues”,  from the shows golden years. From watching earlier seasons the cast members fought out of passion, rarely  drunkenness  comparing to now when cast members only fight when they are drunk. Also the personalities that stared on the show in the earlier years are like night and day  compared to the dull personalities gracing our television now. Everyone looks the same and even if they weren’t on the show, in actual life they still would probably be friends. Which takes away of the famous “strangers living in a house” factor.  Besides most  reality shows based on regular (boring ) people today  — aren’t that popular anyways. The interest comes when celebrities are placed in these types of situations (Bring back The Surreal Life !) . So it just seems like The Real World is on tv …just to be on TV.

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Third example:  Any dating based reality show —  To understand my disgust with this format of reality television put yourself in the shoes of a hopeful contestant competing on one of these shows —   for love. Imagine being thrown into a house with 17  other contestants —  fighting to prove your  love for a guy or girl that you’ve never met in your life. In the process of capturing this persons heart you have to compete in various task to prove that you love them — of course . And you defiantly  have to put in some overtime hours to show why your better than the rest . By exposing those who aren’t there for love and sabotaging other contestants. Oh and you also get so alone time to be with the conqueror —  that may include a steamy hot tub or if your lucky the bedroom. Where you get to swap spit with this person who has just swapped spit with 16 other people who you have to see everyday.

The people who star on dating shows must have a alternative motive — because falling in love just isn’t it . Why would people  want to look bona-fide crazy on national TV seemingly convinced they are fighting for the love of their lives. The only thing that makes these type of shows interesting are the fights and how pathetically desperate the producers can make these people look.

The reality is that reality tv — is going no where. The format is cheap and easy for networks to create and usually bring in descant ratings.  Unfortunately however for every good reality show there are three more that make you cringe.



It’s Official : Monopoly
February 24, 2012, 5:18 pm
Filed under: It's Official | Tags: , ,

I hate playing Monopoly . Yes its a classic and considered one of the best board games of all time, but so frustrating to play. After playing it at every thanksgiving and Christmas. I have never played a full game of Monopoly. My family can’t even finish the “1 hour game”; everyone either ends up quitting or someone “cheats” which results in door slams and a lot of loud talking. Maybe what makes my Monopoly career such  a horrible experience . Are the people I have had the pleasure or gloom to play with. I hate playing with people who don’t play with a strategy. Well  maybe buying everything you land on is a strategy (ehh). And then being a stubborn (blank) and refusing to negotiate your property with anyone, so you have one of every freaking color  is a strategy also. Even if I did play with rational people. I still don’t think I am sane enough to play a board game that could possible last up to 3 or 4 hours. So next holiday I think I’m just going to stick to playing  UNO :- ) .



Just A Thought : My Eyes Are Bigger Than My Stomach
February 24, 2012, 5:17 pm
Filed under: Just a Thought | Tags: , ,

Image DetailMy eyes are defiantly bigger than my stomach. On Thanksgiving I’m always the one stuffing my plate with everything I see and I end up not eating half of it. The problem is , that when I am hungry .. I’m HUNGRY ! I would eat anything in sight. The worst scenario is being hungry and in a supermarket. The items I end up leaving with are ridiculous. But at the peak of extreme hunger everything looks so appetizing. Then the kicker is that one my way home I usually end up stopping by some fast food restaurant anyways and order  the biggest thing on the menu . So when I get home I’m looking through a dozen grocery bags filled with a bunch of microwavable, easy-to-make, TV dinner crap. So I have refrained (sorta) from food shopping on an empty stomach. I’ve also bought little snacks to munch on before I go out to eat so I don’t end up spending $8 on a fast food meal. Now the only thing I need to work on is that stupid candy at the checkout counter  (ehh)…..Just A Thought



RantDOM : Hypochondria
February 4, 2012, 11:11 pm
Filed under: RantDOM | Tags: , ,

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Google is defiantly my best friend but also my worst enemy. I am a huge hypochondriac. Every time I have a migraine, upset stomach, sore throat even little things like my finger hurts. I immediately Google the symptom. And after a few minutes of research I have diagnosed myself with some type of illness. The first time I can remember scaring myself to death with an illness that I don’t have, was in the 5th grade. When we had a presentation about sex by the school nurse. We learned how babies were made and about the girl parts and boys parts.But what really freaked me out was the portion of the presentation where the nurse discussed the symptoms of HIV.I can’t exactly remember what she said all the symptoms were. But I know the one symptom she said that stuck in my head was have acne or bumps on your back. I maybe had 4 or 5 of the smallest bumps ever on my back. But I still went crazy ! Oh my gosh ; I have HIV. I began to scratch and scratch my back more and more; until I really had bumps on my back. I had developed a rash of little tiny bumps. Now I don’t remember how I got over that little fiasco but eventually I guess I just forgot about the whole situation. All I know is that it sucks thinking you are ill. Your mood changes and you just feel depressed. My mine is constantly racing with half of it saying I do have the illness and the other half say I don’t. I think I’ve gotten better … a little. Although the other day I was watching a video on Parkinson’s disease and I immediately started remembering all the sores and tingly feelings I have ever gotten on my body. Which I briefly freaked out about. It is important to exam yourself and recognize when your body is feeling a little funny just in case you actually do have something. But I now make a conscious effort not to jump to any conclusion without seeing a actual doctor.



RantDOM: Chewing on My Finger Nails
January 24, 2012, 5:30 pm
Filed under: RantDOM | Tags: ,

Image DetailWhats chipped, chiseled, chomped and whittled? My finger nails. But not for long. I am making a conscious effort to stop biting my finger nails. Forever ! My finger nails aren’t terrible and since I’ve had braces I’ve actually cut back on my finger nail biting. But I still get behind the metal sometimes to have a little snack between snacks (ew).  But that’s really what is happening when you bite your finger nails. You get a lot more than just some keratin in your mouth. You get all the germs that live under it and more. Especially if you don’t practice good hand washing techniques. You might be biting on your moisturizer, what you had for lunch, dirt and maybe even poop…yes poop. Another reason I want to stop biting my finger nails (as if chewing poop wasn’t enough) is because just the image of someone chewing on their nails. I know what I think when I see someone biting their nails. Which is that they must be nervous , to me it shows a lack of confidence. So as a young man its important for me to stay away from implying any presumptions like that to me. By not biting my nails.  But its so addicting ! I do get nervous and I am a very anxious person but I don’t think that I bite because of that. Its just something I do , when I have nothing to do. I’m a touchy person. I can’t stop from curling my fingers in weird shapes or picking in my braces. But poop in my mouth…now that might keep me from chewing on my nails forever.