Hello, dear inquisitive reader!
Thanks for stopping by. There are tons of fun and worthy and overall wonderful blogs out there and I’m truly thankful to you for looking at my pages! At this point, or, perhaps, from the very beginning, you had a question: why does my blog have such a name? Well, read on, my friend, and you will find out why, and for how long, and what’s the whole purpose.
I wanted to share some of the creative things of mine since middle school. Back then, there were no such outlets as social media, Facebook, Instagram, and all the other tools and sites kids use nowadays. People born after 2000: in this context, the word “Kids” is a compliment and I admire your guys’ ability to be connected to anyone in the world and get the info at any moment, anywhere there’s a WiFi. Imagine this: when I was your age, there was no such thing! Meaning, no WiFi, no social media, no Skype, and, or boy, no Snapchat either! So mine may be the last generation when people actually talked to each other at a dinner table, ate their meals without photographing them first, and went to sleep without spending hours browsing the web prior to falling asleep. Not that we don’t do it now, but that’s a different story.
So, there I was: a nerdy, quiet kid (with a dark side, more on that later), bored to death at school and looking for creative outlets. Here’s a flash back to the time long before middle grades – my first official day of school back in 1994 (apologies for the image quality – we used Polaroids or point-and-shoot disposable cameras then):
As you can see, despite the pink bows in my hair (which I hated – both color and concept, according to my mom), there’s this “Don’t mess with me” look from the very beginning. For the first couple of years, there was nothing exciting for me at school: thanks to my awesome Grandma Nina, who taught me how to read, write and do the math, I was a kid who didn’t learn anything new and instead, was often asked to help other kids with their home work. Teachers were happy to pass some of the classroom duties, such as a roll call, test paper giveaway, etc, to me, since I could read the instructions and they could use that extra time to get ready for the class. Some of the kids were jealous because of that, some were in awe, but no one really messed with me.
It was when I noticed other kids are bullied, my dark side came out. One of my class mates was constantly pressured by his peers for the worn-out clothes, inexpensive shoes and accessories. I was there once when this happened, so I pushed a bigger guy, who was making fun of him, aside. With a few more interactions of that kind and me getting more confident while standing up for the bullied friend, the offense stopped! It worked out for everyone: the mean kids found less intrusive ways to entertain themselves, my class mate was no longer bullied, and I felt like I could make a difference.
In the first grade, I started writing poetry and that has been a great outlet ever since! Being able to express your thoughts as they are, without any standard “frames” or rules of grammar?! Yes, please. I wrote poems about people I knew, cats, and concepts that made sense at the time. My mom still has those notebooks, filled with scribbles.
Once the elementary school was over, I enjoyed the middle school a little more: though the curriculum was still boring, there were some new fun classes, such as history, geography, and biology, plus the school library was located in the same building and that was a major plus! I stayed there after hours and took a lot of books home to read on weekends. I made a few friends and participated in some school events; that was exciting, but still not quite it. I was a Snow Flake for a New Year’s party and dyed my hair green, was a host for the Graduation day and wore 10-inch heels (which completely destroyed my feet), and, aside from all that, I ran an indoor tropical plant garden in the school lobby, and played soccer with boys when we went hiking with the class.
Then, in 2003, one of the teachers proposed I transferred to an advanced-curriculum lyceum, which was close enough to home and far enough to (finally!) live outside of it. That sounded like a challenge, and of course, I was instantly interested! Upon passing the entry exams, I started a 2-year journey, which brought me the greatest memories, dear friends, many of whom are close to this day, and also a ticket to one of the best state universities.
Studying there, I was always looking for ways to express myself. Multiple hair color changes, counter culture dress code, excessive (meaning, dark + gothic) makeup – those were standard teenage whims. On the side, I continued writing poetry and got 3 total publications in the annual university anthology, participating in (and often, winning) academic competitions, hosting many of the official school events, organizing birthdays and parties, and composing lyrics for my friends’ bands. We were restless and reckless and completely wild, and, if I ever finish my book, you will know exactly what I mean.
Those later school years, while being so “action-packed” and productive, made me think: what if one day, I can make a site with all my stories, images, and poems published there? Back then, there was no such thing as blogging, either. Or, the concept existed, but no one really knew much about it. My love for all things tech started with a first official research paper I was tasked to complete: still visiting the libraries and book stores in need of information (because no device can ever replace the smell and feel of a printed media), I quickly learned that emerging then internet was a true power. Staying in the computer lab for hours, I studied, and browsed, and watched videos, while learning lyrics to songs in English and trying to make sense of the whole process.
That must’ve been another reason for you to ask me, “Lady, where are you from?” Since you were already curious about my name, plus my grammar (which, I’m sure, gave me away at some point), and now this – English is not my first language! I only started learning it in middle school, but things got real only years later. So yes, regarding the “olga” part in HelloOlga: the name, like myself, is Russian. I decided to stay away from using any last names and include only my first name in the url, because that will stay with me no matter what. And, regarding the “hello” part – well, I like talking to people and hear them say,
Nowadays, I like to experiment with multiple creative outlets, while trying to balance a full-time job with other (more exciting) bits of life. My husband America (Yes: it’s a he, and America is his real name) is an artist and illustrator. Aside from the social media links posted on the home page, feel free to check out America’s Instagram or my nail art works on Pinterest.