#247 Drinking anything besides wine out of a wine glass

Suddenly your milk gets classy, your orange juice gets refined, and your chocolate milk feels more sophisticated. When you’re a kid you suddenly go from ten years old to thirty and can legally show up at the dinner table with heavily slicked and parted hair, a handkerchief puffing out of your pocket, and cuff links.


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— Email message —

“My name is Arvind and I am in 9th Grade. In the past few months, I’ve gone through hard times in school and out. I am an avid follower of TED and won’t hesitate to say that your talk, which got me into reading your blog, has changed my life. In High School, I’m surrounded by negativity every day, from the omnipresent rumors to the crying and screaming that come with hormones. These feelings of negativity that (no matter what) made it into my mind were only amplified when my parents and I discovered a few months ago that I had a malignant infection spreading through my spine. After four surgeries and no positive outcomes, I began to lose hope. Watching your TED talk gave me a flicker of faith, both in my making it through my health conditions, as well as staying true to myself in High School surrounded by all the mixed feelings around me. After that I began to read your blog; day-after-day I went through it from #1000 down, finding ones that I loved (#526, 629), ones that I would never forget (#566, 546), ones that gave me hope (#340). One day during an appointment with my doctor, he told me that there was a way to get rid of my infection; it involved a more complex surgery as well as a 3-week-long interferon treatment. There was only one problem: its 55% success rate. Sure, the odds were in my favor, but just barely. After days of contemplating (and reading 1000 Awesome Things), I told my parents that I wanted the procedure. The physical and mental pain the infection (and associated ‘medicines’) were causing me was not worth my entire life and all my goals, and though I knew I had a 45% chance of failure staring me down, I proceeded with the surgery without ever looking back. I am glad to say that the surgery was successful; I finished my interferon course last week and the infection has entirely disappeared. I came back to school last week as well, and found the atmosphere completely changed. I no longer felt the negativity pressuring me. None of the rumors or comments being spread around really mattered to me, nor did the social ‘niches’ that inevitably form in High School. I feel like I finally have a grasp on my life- that I can get through whatever hardships it throws my way. Through the storm of my health complications and friend troubles, I found myself. Without 1000 Awesome Things, I would never have had that final push that allowed me to conquer my troubles and continue to live my life with head held high and a smile on my face. Thank you. p.s. The first day I came back into school after my treatment, I received a standing ovation from everyone in my grade. I think that, is truly and entirely, AWESOME!” – Arvind

Photo from: here

53 thoughts on “#247 Drinking anything besides wine out of a wine glass

  1. Stay strong, Arvind, for you are AWESOME!

    Neil, orange juice is even classier out of a champagne flute ;)

  2. Wow Arvind, you’re on your way to TEDx, I think aweso!!!
    I say wisdom is not defined by age but by what we choose to do with our experience.
    Ting-ting, Cheers… to Arvind living Awesome-ly!

    1. That is a great way of putting it! To have that kind of grasp of life so early on is a blessing for Arvind and their life is going to be so incredible now with this positive outlook on life!

  3. Aww I love this! Every single time I went to my grandma’s house when I was little she would let me drink cranberry juice out of a wine glass. It was our special little thing! It definitely made me feel like I was super sophisticated to be sipping “wine” out of such a fancy dancy glass. I still drink things out of wine glasses every now and then just to spice things up. ;)

  4. Also: drinking wine out of anything except a wine glass (e.g. china mug, plastic cup, regular glass). Always good because it means that the party is bigger than the number of wine glasses available!

  5. That was a truly amazing story, Arvind! I’m glad you made it through, and I have to say, you are one heck of a storyteller. I agree, life is much better when you get a chance to start looking at the positives again – keep going strong!

  6. Arvind, that is so way and beyond awesome. You’ve come a long way. Congratulations and best of luck for the future.

    I love to drink anything from wineglasses.

  7. Wow, you really need to give me a days warning when you put up a story that’s gonna make me cry. I now have my makeup all over my face.
    Arvind~ I am sorry for all the things you’ve had to endure at such a young age, but I am grateful that you have found yourself. A lot of people never do that. It is hard to look past all the negativity in high school and all the gossip, but you have done it. I hope you continue being positive and being awesome for the rest of your life.

    When I was little mom always let us stay up late for New Year’s and drink Sprite out of wine glasses. I do believe I’ve also had a milkshake in a wine glass before, too. I felt so grown up holding that glass, even though all it had in it was soda. My brothers and I giggled all night long over our ‘champagne’

  8. Just saw you on Canada AM, Neil, and you really are AWESOME! Seamus was downright giddy during the interview and you were so happy I just wanted to pinch your cheeks! Congratulations on your fantastic blog and your books and all the success coming your way.

  9. Neil, thank you for posting this story, and Arvind, thank you so much for sharing it. I’ve been feeling sorry for myself a lot lately and your experience really helped me put it in perspective and realize that I shouldn’t spend so much time wallowing over such trivial things – you are blessed to have come out the other side of such a harrowing experience with such wisdom and perspective on life. I wish you continued happiness in your years to come!! =)

  10. Cheers to Carissa for the sundae idea.
    Cheers to Taylor’s Gramma’s~ I could feel the smile:)
    Cheers to Bekah’s mom’s to make New Year’s special with her children.
    Cheers to mom’s who hoard the orange slices for their child in pain and thus raise up adult’s with compassion to share 1000awesome things!
    Cheers to all parent’s who have faith in their “child’s” inner knowing; a trusting of what is best for them on their journey, as they come to us but do not belong to us.
    Cheers to those who find “ME in AWESO”. Cheers to being the best “ME” we can all be and to keep this movement going for all eternity!
    I best go out and buy some wine gobblers to make some cheers come true for my family and friends too!

  11. Thanks for sharing your story, Arvind! You sound like a really awesome and mature individual!

    It’s great to hear that your health is improving and you’re staying positive and strong during what is invariably a difficult period in high school.

    You are an inspiration! Stay Awesome!

  12. Aw…Arvind! You are amazing! I am in awe of your strength, perseverance, humility and maturity. I’m so glad your health is back on track so you can focus on living your life “with your head held high and a smile on your face.” You’re sure to go far! All the best!

  13. This has been one of my favorite posts! The email was really inspirational.
    I also like drinking juice out of shot glasses :)

  14. What a wonderful, touching email. I even followed up by looking up the entries he cited. Wonderful! How wonderful it must feel to know that you have made a difference in someone’s life. I know this blog has made a big difference in mine in the few months since I discovered it. The positive energy is so much needed in this world. It lifts me higher each day, and I have started looking for things to put in my daily journal that I can say, “This was AWESOME.” Thank you!

  15. this is 100% true. my friend justin told me about this years ago and i thought he was nuts. but is there anything less awesome than drinking wine out of anything other than a wine glass? like a paper cup? hhhmmm….

  16. Arvind, I raise my wine glass (filled with Welch’s sparkling grape juice) to you! Thanks for sharing your story and Neil, thanks for posting it! :)

  17. Hey Arvind!

    Look man, high school kind of blows, I had a horrible time in high school. I’m so happy you have turned a corner.

    But trust me, if things start looking aweso, instead of awesome for a little while, just focus on your school work, focus on friends outside of school or the people you love at school, and remember: high school is just four years.

    In a few short years, you’ll be going off into the real world, university, or college and THAT is where you meet the most amazing people you’ll ever know.

    A few short years after that you’ll meet some people through work, or through a move to someplace new, and THOSE people will add to your list of awesome people.

    I hope all is well with your health now, god bless and I’ll keep your health and school life in my prayers.


    You have a long life ahead of you, high school will just be a blip on your radar. You’ll get through it, even if now it feels like forever.

  18. Arvind, what an Awesome story! What an inspiration you are to so many people out there that are into pity parties! Good for you. I agree – this is an amazing site and I love getting it each day just before supper time. I send many of the stories on to my friend and in fact, just last week, I started an email to her – Subject: “Our Little Book of Awesomes – Your Turn” and we’ve been sending it back and forth each time we come across something new and awesome! It’s fun and oftentimes fun-ny! And that is what life is all about – being happy and having fun. I’m so happy to hear your story. My husband has lung cancer and it’s been pretty hard around here the last six months, but he is the most positive person I know – there has never been a “poor me” or tears for himself. He says, “What is, is” . He is all about beating it and is giving it his all each and every day. So reading this today gave me hope that he too will beat the odds.
    Thanks for sharing your story – Enjoy your life each and every day!
    A BIG HUG to you.

    Neil, this is the best idea that has surfaced in years! Congratulations and please keep them coming. Thanks for all the Awesome moments you’ve shared with everyone.

  19. Arvind, I feel honored to know your story…thank you for sharing it. Your email tells how Neil’s blog changed your life; well, you are now someone who has changed others’ lives. Your email has touched so many, inspired us and made us smile…you are a positive force in the world! How amazing! Thanks for making me feel good today. I’m so glad you’re in the world. You have a long, very bright future. Keep on keeping on, Arvind! Love and joy to you!

  20. Arvind, kid. I have no idea who you are, but I like your message. Trust me when I say that you are going to be just fine :)

  21. Arvind – you rock!! You are an amazing example for all of us.

    We serve milk in wine glasses at the kids table for holiday dinners, and of course we call it white wine! Best part is listening to them propose toasts to each other :o)

  22. Wow Arvind! I didn’t get a chance to read the email attachment yesterday, So I’ve “gotta” reply now

    I wish I had that sort of wisdom, perspective and strength in High School, your story is very inspiring. So please keep up the Awesomeness!

    P.S. you can only drink sparkling apple cider out of wine glasses (or champagne glasses) it’s the law!

  23. OMG, that story is so amazing, Avrind, thank you for sharing your story! I love your shirt quote!!

    As for wine glasses, my step sons get a major kick out of drinking non-alco wine/soft drink out of these massive plastic wine goblets we have. They even pretend to be sophisticated when doing it to, and imitate their Dad quite well lol

  24. First class! Yo, this is rad! Drinkin orange juice out of a champagne glass. Is this what the people of Bel-Air live like? Hmmm, this might be alright!

  25. Yesterday, May 11, was my 13th birthday. My mom let me use the fanciest glasses I wanted, and they were wine galsses!! I also got “The Book of (Even More) Awesome” as a present!! :D

  26. Love this! I’ve always loved drinking anything BUT wine from a wine glass. A pretty teacup and saucer is awesome too. :-)

  27. I just read your post Avrind and it is truly inspiring and impressive. I am older than you and am truly envious you have found yourself and what kind of person you are.

    I have had a few confusing years in my life recently and have been struggling with finding myself. This is the only post I have ever responded to and is very inspiring.

  28. When I was your age…a long time ago…I liked my chocolate milk out of a coffee mug. In fact, my parents gave me real coffee—well it was mostly warm milk with a teaspoon of java.
    To this day, even though I do not drink wine, at least in the privacy of your own home, you can drink even Kool Aid out of anything you want. Just be careful of the glass so it doesn’t break.

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