Welcome, August! We’re so glad you’re here to chat with readers. Your story is an interesting one, to say the least! You’ve certainly been through a lot for someone still so young. So much happens to you in just a six-year span, so let’s get started!
First of all, do you prefer August or Gus?
Thanks so much for asking! Not many people ask me that. They just assume it’s okay to call me Gus, but the truth is I like being called August now that I’m older. Gus was a childhood nickname given to me by my wonderful grandmother. My sister, Monday, calls me Gus every now and then, as do a few of my very close friends. They know who they are 🙂
Emotional Paramedics revolves around your life during the ages of ten and sixteen. During that time, many things go wrong for you. Do you blame your mother, Alis, for your tough life?
That’s a fair question, but I’d have to say no. I’ve met so many types of people over the years. Some were genuinely nice people and some were downright evil. I’d have to say that Alis was somewhere in between. I honestly don’t know why people turn out the way they do. One thing I do know is that it’s a copout to use your circumstances as an excuse to be a crappy person. Who doesn’t have rough things happen to them? The key is to learn from those not-so-great experiences and try to do better. Alis has to answer for her own bad behavior and one day I hope she will. Unfortunately, kids don’t come with instructions, so I guess Alis did the best she knew how to do.
That’s interesting that you say that. You made a point of forgiving Debbie for what she did to you. Do you think she might have taken your forgiveness as an acknowledgment that you understood why she did what she did to you? A sort of free pass even?
That’s something I don’t like to talk about, but since you’ve asked, I’ll try to answer. It’s true that Debbie did some terrible things to me. I later came to find out the reason she was probably the way she was. That doesn’t minimize what she did to me in any way. No one should get a free pass for abusing anyone…plain and simple. I had to forgive her for my own peace of mind and well-being, so I could move forward with my own life. Some people just don’t learn from their own bad experiences and even go on to do the same awful things to someone else. Debbie happened to be one of those people. I like to think I’m better than that.
Who would you say has influenced your life for the better?
Hands down, I’d have to say my grandmother. She was the most wonderful, loving and caring person I’ve ever met. I know how badly she wanted custody of me, but that just wasn’t in the cards. But, through everything, and up until the day she passed away, she was a positive and loving influence in my life. I can honestly say that I am who I am today because of my grandmother. I miss her every single day, but I know she’s still with me, helping to guide me. So I guess in her own way she’s still inspiring me to be the best person I can be. Of course, when it comes to influential people in my life, I’d have to acknowledge that a close second would have to be my sister, Monday.
You have an incredibly positive outlook on life, despite your difficult upbringing. How do you manage it? Is there some religious belief involved?
Religious belief? Hardly. Although, I do know there’s something powerful out there. Our lives aren’t just accidental occurrences filled with random happenings. I truly believe there’s definitely a reason for things. But that’s about as far as I’m willing to go when it comes to anything spiritual. I’ve tried different religions and could never find quite the right fit for me personally. So for now, living my life according to the Golden Rule is about as close to religion as I get. It’s really very simple. If you follow the “Do unto others” tenet, you can’t go wrong in life. And, by the way, trust me, I don’t always have a positive attitude. Things get me down at times. I just don’t let them keep me down.
Without giving away any spoilers, Tony’s life certainly took a dramatic turn. Did you see that coming?
Not even in my wildest dreams. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that one.
What’s next for you? Do you have any idea which direction you’d like to take in your life?
School is first and foremost for me right now. I think I’d like to eventually study to work with at-risk youth. Who better to counsel kids in crisis than a former kid in crisis?