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Let me tell you about MY life:

They took from me something near to my heart. I crossed the Atlantic, my short became long, but I was still essentially myself.

I gave up heroin. I introduced my companions to my friend Syrah.

Once accustomed to a life of comfort, I left all ease behind. I had no place to rest, but I was always of two minds—to meander in and around the trees, or to blow through and past them?

I chased a husbandman's wife until she attacked me in her usual manner. I left, diminished, but I felt no loss.

I made a teacher mad, and she tore my head off. This made me one of the popular kids.

And now I am here before you, nearly unrecognizable—but a fraction of what I once was—but focus your sight just on my head. You'll see I was here all along.

What was I at the start of my saga?
What significant changes did I endure?

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  • $\begingroup$ Does the order of the clues matter (i.e. are they chronological)?? $\endgroup$ – wildBillMunson Jan 5 '17 at 2:55
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, it matters; yes, they are chronological. $\endgroup$ – Rubio Jan 5 '17 at 2:56
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know why I want to answer potato so bad. Even if I'm not sure it makes sense with everything. Probably doesn't even make any sense. $\endgroup$ – Isuka Jan 5 '17 at 3:04
  • $\begingroup$ When you have the correct solution, you'll absolutely know you have the correct solution. $\endgroup$ – Rubio Jan 5 '17 at 3:06
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    $\begingroup$ The pronouns are strong in this one. $\endgroup$ – Daedric Jan 5 '17 at 3:15
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Full answer with lots of help:

They took from me something near to my heart. I crossed the Atlantic, my short became long, but I was still essentially myself.

Start with "whinged", remove 'g' near the middle of the word to give "whined". Crossing the Atlantic here refers to the two words being British vs American use. The short sound of 'i' in the word is now a long sound but they mean the same thing. (this entire part is @M Oehm's credit, not mine.)

I gave up heroin. I introduced my companions to my friend Syrah.

Removing 'h' (slang for heroin, thanks to @Deuvosi) from "whined" gives "wined" which means entertaining people with wine (thanks @stackreader for Syrah = wine).

Once accustomed to a life of comfort, I left all ease behind. I had no place to rest, but I was always of two minds—to meander in and around the trees, or to blow through and past them?

Leaving all ease behind = remove 'e' from "wined", giving "wind" which could mean both meandering and blowing.

I chased a husbandman's wife until she attacked me in her usual manner. I left, diminished, but I felt no loss.

Husbandman's wives cut off tails ala 3 blind mice, so taking away 'd' gives "win" (no loss there).

I made a teacher mad, and she tore my head off. This made me one of the popular kids.

Taking off the 'w' gives "in" - being one of the "in crowd" means you're cool (or so they say).

And now I am here before you, nearly unrecognizable—but a fraction of what I once was—but focus your sight just on my head. You'll see I was here all along.

Looking at just the start of "in" gives you - surprise, surprise, "I" which was indeed here all along!

Final note:

The starting point, "whinged", means to complain, which is certainly reflective of the tone used by narrator! Well played, OP.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm still convinced this is all about mr. potato head but here is some help for you :P. two mind = twin, blow through them = wind, Syrah = wine $\endgroup$ – stack reader Jan 5 '17 at 6:04
  • $\begingroup$ @stackreader: thanks for the tips, and given the overall tone of the narrator throughout the puzzle I'm tempted to work in "whine" somewhere in there too. $\endgroup$ – Xenocacia Jan 5 '17 at 6:11
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    $\begingroup$ "H" is slang for heroin. (I know this from cryptics, so don't make any assumptions. :P ) $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Jan 5 '17 at 6:13
  • $\begingroup$ The first clue is probably referring to removing a letter around the middle... and crossing the Atlantic might be the name of a famous ship... not sure. $\endgroup$ – stack reader Jan 5 '17 at 6:22
  • $\begingroup$ It seems there was a ship called the Wahine about a 100 years ago during ww1 that crossed the Atlantic... not sure it is of any use though. $\endgroup$ – stack reader Jan 5 '17 at 6:31

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