It’s Reflection O’Clock – April 2018

Wow, April…you sure flew by like a breeze. I began April on a somewhat shaky note, after enduring some tension with my older brother, who is also one of my best friends. My brother had been living with me for the last four months, as we began spending every waking moment together, in order to make up for lost time while we had been apart in college. While we had our disagreements and tussles, the beginning of April began feeling a little empty and lonely without his presence.

Without him by my side the last few months, I will willingly admit that many of the responsibilities, among many things would never have been completed. In addition, having him around forced me to do more challenging things than I ever thought I was willing to do. I gained so much while we were together, and sometimes, I forget how much fun it is to have a sibling to tussle with. While things did not work out with our living situation, good things did come out of the attempt at living with my brother. The list goes on, and it goes on. I am forever indebted to him and will forever love him.

You see, while I may write eloquently or appear to be easy-going, carefree, and completely confident, I am far from that. I am a very difficult person to live with, which is something I have learned after many failed attempts. In addition to this, being a close friend, or even an acquaintance, of mine is also a very difficult task – you can ask my parents about this one. Trust me, I am far from perfect. Dealing with me and my confusing, and often, overwhelming and misunderstood, energy requires a lot of time and patience that I sometimes do not even have. I have realized that I have inanimate emotional walls that are taller than the tallest skyscraper that I keep up in order to avoid revealing myself. I love relationships to be surface level, because then, no one sees the ugly, the weak, and the ridiculous. This is something that I often forget, as I begin forming new friendships with new people, often forgetting how incredibly difficult it is to get to know me on a deeper level, let along get me to hang out with you without flaking.

Most days in April were good…yes, they were good. I did my best not to complain and to push myself to get out of my routine. I have begun spending more time with my companions and attempting to be more adventurous and spontaneous, rather than attempting to be too synchronized and scheduled. I opened my heart to some opportunities that I was unsure of – actually, more than usual. Not every adventure was comfortable, or even successful, but I would not even have those memories, or even those feelings about those memories, if I had not attempted to expand my horizons.

The smooth ride of April has had a few speed bumps, as we approach May. The month of May has already begun frightening me, as I have to brace myself for more change than I even intended for. I have very good friends who are finishing their undergraduate degrees and moving on, I have to face my own obstacles regarding my own undergraduate degrees, I have to face my best friend and my most consistent friend throughout my collegiate years, Leslie Fox, leaving Boulder, Colorado, and I need to face the unknown.

Deep down, I know things will be okay. I will be okay. I even know my friendships will be okay. But, my heart, mind and soul will hurt to adjust to all these changes.

These changes are motivating me to not get too comfortable, as I have been finding myself procrastinating future obstacles and not addressing them. Ignoring your problems will work until life forces you to face them without your consent. You see, there is often a deadline for everything in life. I have learned that the earlier you complete your mission prior to the deadline, the happier, the healthier, and the more enjoyable your life will be. With that said, this is easier said than done, as some days, we are prone to forgetting, we are defeated by outside forces, we have other obligations, or it is just not meant to be.

With so much change happening, mostly the departure of some very good companions, I have found that there has been much more time to clearly and carefully begin addressing everything that I have been setting aside for later. Less friends nearby means more time to focus solely on myself and be much less distracted. Or, that is what I keep telling myself. I know that there will be many days where my heart will be missing something that is just not in my reach.

Saying “good-bye” is extremely difficult for me, as I have a huge fear of abandonment problem and hate any form of change. I love consistency, especially within my friends, and I thoroughly enjoy when they are close in proximity. College has made it easy for me to access friends, companions, or in my case, my best friend within walking distance. I am able to access her so easily, and this has been the case the last five years. Leslie Fox may be the sole human being who can actually stand me in huge doses, as well as always being confused as roommates. Our friendship was not condoned by just about everyone we encountered, but I guess that is the reaction you receive when you have found a partner in crime so early in the game. I never really thought about our undergraduate journey coming to an end…or, I thought that our journey would come to an end together. Either way, I was not, and am not, ready for her to leave in three short weeks.

In three short weeks, I am going to have to make the biggest adjustment of my life, which will be living my life without MY PERSON. Call me “dramatic,” but after all that we have gone through, I am not sure what I am going to do without her by my side. Having a side-kick, or simply someone who just understands you, loves you, and accepts you, even when you are THE WORST, is a wonderful feeling that I truly hope everyone can experience. We have spent probably over one billion hours on her green couch. I almost consider that green couch a part of my family. I have slept on that green couch more than I have slept on my own bed.

It has been awkward for the both of us, as we have been fidgeting to try to find time to spend every waking minute together and attempt to adventure everywhere, before our reign over Boulder is over.

It will never truly be over in our hearts, as my memories with her are everlasting. To be honest, I just feel as though Boulder will just not be the same without her by my side. Even when we were fighting, I knew that if I truly needed her, she was only 1.2 miles away walking, or a seven minute drive. All my best decisions, I make with her. All my worst decisions. I make with her. All my decisions that I do not make, or are unsure of, I make with her.

Wow….that was almost a love letter to my main wifey. I am feeling a little bit emotional, but that is alright.

Enough with the emotional chatter now, and time for some motivation and some positive outlook.

Even if you end up being miles apart from your partner in crime, it does not mean that you will not have fun, or make new friends, as well. This is something I am keeping in mind. Instead of forcing friendships, however, I am going to let them come naturally.

As I have reached this point in my life, I have noticed that ALL MY GOOD FRIENDS ARE BUSY, LOST, STRESSED, STRUGGLING, CONFUSED, HAPPY, AND ARE DOING THEIR BEST TO FIGURE IT ALL OUT AND GET IT RIGHT. Nothing in life is guaranteed, as things can change in a blink of an eye. Not one person’s journey will be the same as another person’s journey. All I know is that NO ONE REALLY TRULY HAS ANY IDEA WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON, WHAT THE FUTURE WILL HOLD, OR HOW TO GET “UNLOST.”

At the end of the day, life will never settle down, as life lives a very polyamorous lifestyle. It is very frustrating at times, but this is what allows for new opportunities to come your way and for new chapters in your life to begin. This is only if you allow yourself to do so. I have found that within your one life, you experience a multitude of various life phases that all differ from each other. Within a separate phase, you find yourself attempting new goals, surrounding yourself with different faces, and are often under different circumstances. As you transition through life, you are also transitioning into another separate phase of your existence.

It is ironic how everyone tells you that there is so much left in your life to look forward to when we all know how terrifying that sounds, because you do not know how much more change, opportunities, and experiences you can manage under your belt. Also, it is hard to imagine that you have so much to look forward to when you cannot see what you are supposed to be looking forward to right in front of you. So, what is exactly am I looking for? I do not think anyone knows, other than forward. Whoever forward is, they must be very pretty for everyone to be looking at it, or at least searching for it.

My year up until April has been pretty phenomenal as a whole, as I hate nitpicking at all the negative times. I know my life is good right now, because the positives constantly outweigh the negative events, emotions, and days that I have had. 2018 has also been one of the most unsynchronistic years that I have ever experienced, as it has been full of so many changes and adjustments.

April has allowed me to focus back on myself, while also allowing me to truly enjoy myself and spend as much time with my loved ones that I can. I have also learned to be much more patient with myself, as change does not happen overnight. The small steps that I am taking towards self-improvement may not seem monumental in the moment, but they result in benefits that will never stop revealing themselves. By learning to be much more patient and understanding with myself, I have finally got myself getting physically active again, after a long while of inactivity. While I am not hiking three times a week, I have begun taking the small steps to slowly but surely get there. In addition to this, I slowly but surely have been allowing myself to let my towering emotional walls down and have begun attempting to trust others. as well as beginning to trust myself and trust life. Trusting has been difficult, but not impossible, as inconsistency and changes often make me doubt everything. Lately, I have found myself just allowing myself to dive into the unknown, even if I do not trust it.

My brother once told me, “Don’t worry, not everyone in Boulder is out to get you.” While this seems silly, this is a great reminder for me, as I often always find myself on the defense. Sometimes, it does seem like the world is completely against you and it can be extremely difficult. It is times like these when you need to test yourself and push beyond your boundaries, by replacing your insecurities, doubts and voids with positive, strong and reinforcing habits that keep you in check. I am currently in the works of searching for new mechanisms and habits to engage in, in order to keep filling my heart, soul and existence with goodness.

Now, I could go on forever about this month of April, which was full of magic, happiness, drama, boredom, bad news, and everything in between. It is coming to an end, and I must say that I am proud of myself this month. I have come to realize that I cannot be perfect and I will slip up, even when I am trying to be my best, but that is okay. I have also realized that having fun, or engaging in some sinful behavior every once in a while, only makes me human. I am allowed to have fun, within limits, however, constantly beating myself up for following through with a premeditated party plan, does not make me a child, irresponsible, a drug addict, a partier, etc. These are all labels that I have let affect me, which even has led me to believe these horrible labels. These labels have haunted me and choosing to let them control me, or defining myself based off of an outside label that is not from a professional, is quite debilitating and completely toxic. As human beings, we cannot help but make a bad decision, or seven, because WE ARE HUMANS. Also, there truly is no RIGHT answer in life, as life is an experience full of every hue, shade and tone that has ever existed. What may be considered right to one person may be something that another person considers wrong. So, it is our duty to decide, or rather, set boundaries, in regards to being reckless.

Every month that has gone by this year has continued to only get exponentially better and better, as I have found some real computability in enough facets of my life that I have found ways to relax. I am continuing to experiment with life, if that makes sense. By experimenting, I do not mean that I am a scientist, but I do mean that I am attempting to work IN ACCORDANCE WITH LIFE, similar to a partnership, in order to LIVE MY BEST LIFE. I am finding hobbies, coping mechanism skills, behaviors, etc. that are working and that are beneficial, and I am also finding hobbies, coping mechanism skills, and behaviors, etc. that are not working for me and are only negatively affecting me. With that said, after one negative experience, or a few negative experiences, instead of coldly turning a blind eye to the idea completely, I have found myself giving that experience another go. I believe the saying goes, “practice makes perfect.” With enough persistence, practice, and patience, any experience can truly become a phenomenal one.

‘Nuff said – I am interested to see how my reflections for the month of May will read, but I am willing to attempt to make it great, even if it hurts a little, scares me a little, or sucks all around.

I am ready, or not, so here I come!

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

P.S. Thank you for reading! Please feel free to share your thoughts on the month of April in the comments below, including “the highs” and “the lows.” Keep a smile on your face and never lose hope! Fight for your life, but do not end up fighting life šŸ’•

Hope you all had a wonderful month of April! You deserve it.

Life Hack #23 – Be A Chameleonaire

Over the last week, I have taken a complete, thorough leave off of social media, my phone, social life, and blogging. This was as a result of having to make some fairly substantial changes within my life that I have been struggling to transition and to adapt to the way I would like to. In addition, this transition seems to be taking longer than I had expected.

My life has been a little stressful and overwhelming, as I am experiencing a time of transition and change – one that is positive and beneficial for me, but been quite difficult. While I have been enjoying every minute of it, and sometimes struggling to adapt calmly, I needed to realize my priorities and separate myself from social media, the Internet, blogging, my friends, my phone, among other aspects in my life.

During times of change and transition, which are completely inevitable during life, learning to accommodate the alterations of your life may consume your life, stress, and thought processes, in which you completely forget and disregard other relevant, or irrelevant, stressors in your life. Your life completely becomes consumed by the change happening around you and your focus barely leaves the attention of the “newness” of your life.

The “newness” of your life can be completely exciting, but it requires one to make changes and adjustments to one’s daily routine, priorities, and time-management.

In order to make a successful, and somewhat smooth, transition to the changes that you are incurĀ during your life, it is best not to overwhelm yourself with the frustrations of having to make these changes in your daily routine. Having synchronicity and a sense of familiarity and comfort truly provides a sense of a security blanket, allowing one to build a daily routine, know one’s limits, know how to manage your time, and reduces one’s stress levels.

The process of adapting to change truly depends on the person, the timing of the change, the predictability of the change, the level of extremity of the change, and one’s willingness to want to make the change. Do not expect the journey of adaptationĀ to take 24-hours, as it takes much longer to adapt to changes within your life.

You may find yourself frustrated, as you may find that you have to make extreme accommodations to your life and daily routines, which I find the most frustrating. In addition, it takes much more time to truly be adapted and feel comfortable with the changes you make within your life.

As adapting to changes is a process, you will begin to realize that while the journey may become more comfortable with time, there are many layers to adjusting and transitioning to changes. While you may have found some easeĀ in some aspects of the change, making a full transition in all aspects of the change within your life may take years.

If only it was much easier…

The fascinating thing about change and learning to transition and adapt to any new aspects of your life is that adapting to new situations, circumstances, etc. occurs daily and more than we know.

No day ever goes PERFECTLY. In fact, every day, every individual must overcome some sort of hurdle within their day, whether it may be seen as big or small. These speed bumps are within our daily, regular routines, require one to make transitions and adapt to the roadblock ahead of them, in order to conquer this “change.”

Changes make anyone and everyone feel extremely uncomfortable, whether they show it, or express it, or not. Some individuals are great at masking their unconformability, frustrations, etc. when being faced with change. Others express their struggle to embrace change differently, or perhaps more visibly.

Adapting to changes, or being forced to make changes in your life, no matter who you are, is difficult. Changes bring out our greatest insecurities that may unveil some behaviors that are risky or unhealthy, changes in our mood, raise feelings of self-doubt, and have us feeling extremely vulnerable, insecure, and unsure. It is important, especially during the first few days, weeks, months, or even years, to be kind to yourself, and understand that we all internalize and process the idea of change at our own pace.

While it is easy to preach that having the best attitude possible towards the situation of change is the best way to handle it, it is not easy and you will, even I find myself, having a bad attitude, displacing my negative feelings onto others, acting impulsively, and engaging in self-doubt. I definitely fake it, even fight it, until I make it, at whatever cost.

But, while I secretly deep down possess a love/hate relationship with change, I believe it is one of the most beneficial experiences that one must go through.

During this journey of adaptation, you are able to learn a substantial amount about yourself. All the insecurities that you try to hide, all the walls you try to keep up, all the ways that you negatively cope with these changes, and all the ways you try to appear from being vulnerable or weak all reveal themselves. You must learn to test yourself and find productive ways to overcome these struggles, anxieties, and emotions. As, the longer you fight making adjustments to your lifeĀ as a result of the inevitable, or inevitable change, the more difficult things may become for you.

And, yes, you will, whether you would like to or not, find yourself asking for help. No one wants to seem weak, clueless, out of the loop, etc., however, the only way to get through these times is to understand that it is okay to ask others around you for help. If you do not feel like you need help, simply asking a friend, trusted source, or opening up to just anyone can help alleviate your stress. Dealing with change is something that everyone can relate to, as nothing ever stays the same.

Personally, when change involves having to get accustomed to meeting new people, working together with those who are strangers, etc., I find myself struggling to adapt to overcome my own insecurities and clam up. I tend to isolate myself, which at times, makes me seem and come off as a nasty, shy, or catty girl. For me, adjustment serves the hardest when I have to encounter a new group of people, as I have found that I am an acquired taste and somewhat hard to understand, or perhaps relate to, especially when one first encounters me.

I, for one, hate seeming vulnerable, hate not coming off as perfect or professional, and sometimes, find myself suppressing my more humorous, outgoing side. So, often, when I first meet a new group of people, or a new person, I am often quiet and find myself observing those strangers around me, rather than focusing on getting acquainted with these new individuals. I would normally find this exciting, however, recently adjusting to meeting new people has become difficult for me.

For the first week of work, awkward, silent, and moderately funny was the approach I was going to take, as I wanted these new co-workers to realize that I am a hard-working, all while being taken seriously. I also, due to my own insecurities, took on a negative attitude of “why having to take on the burden of having to get to know 30 people who I will probably never talk to or hear from in five years,” so I decided to be negative, have an attitude, isolate myself, and change my whole persona. I felt those around me either confused, annoyed, and even not wanting to exert energy in even having to deal with this attitude and behavior. This was not successful, as I highlighted in my resume that I am outgoing and I am a team-player. Honestly, being cold-shouldered and not caring, is truly not who I am.

So, as the second week of work approached, I tried yet again. This time, I was going to try to take a chance, despite what my inner, negative thoughts were yelling at me. “This is work, it sucks anyways. Why waste energy to get to know these people? Just get into work and then get out.” But, I love to make the best out of everything, even long hours at work. Yes, work is work, but why make it more painful than not?

In this moment, I realized, “WOW! I am over thinking things. Just take a deep breath, accept the change, be awkward, and do not force anything out of myself or anyone that I do not want to. JUST CHILL OUT.” Instead of hiding my personality, or trying to pretend to be hardcore, I tried simply being vulnerable, asking for help, and most importantly, putting myself out there. Also, I needed to spend time worrying less about other people, worrying more about learning the job, and worrying about myself doing my job correctly. With that said, the rest would fall into place. I cannot change who I am, constantly going back and forth with how I want to present myself at work, so I just succumb to being the derp that I am.

Now, over the weekend of the second week of work, my true colors (the ditzy side of me, the more outgoing side of me, the less serious side of me, the weird side of me, etc.) began to show. The “little Ms. Perfect” act only worked for about two weeks, maximum. Now, I must say, even I was a little shocked by how quickly letting go of these negative feelings, over thinking, and all the toxic thoughts in my head, lead to me finally beginning to realize how quickly these adaptations could have been made, if only I had stuck to worrying about the important, more relevant things about transitioning to a new job.

Yup, to be real, my “little Ms. Perfect” persona was quickly murdered when I literally took a spill in front of one of my co-workers that I did not know very well and presumably gave a cold-shoulder to. Everything was going great, as I pretended to be perfect, to maintain composure and suppress my personality.

Here we go…this is what I call true embarrassment and revealing your most vulnerable side.

I literally slipped on a slippery and wet floor, as it felt like the concrete I was standing on was ripped from underneath me. I slipped on my butt, bruised every inch of my body, and knocked over quite a few many things. This was the moment when I decided to reveal my biggest secret of all: I am NOT perfect, I am very ditzy, I from time-to-time suck at life, and this is me most days. I am a human.

To say that my co-worker had tried hard not to laugh at me, as it happened so randomly, is an understatement. I am sure my cold-hearted exterior and negative demeanor made her hesitant to even crack a smile, as she had seen me crack, WHICH I NEVER LIKE PEOPLE SEEING ME DO. She just could not help it – “Finally, we see her in her true flesh,” she probably thought to herself.

She laughed VERY HARD, but apologized after laughing histarically and even in between every breathe. I am assuming, because she finally was able to capture a glimpse of the somewhat ridiculous and far-from-perfect person that I am. Whether she felt bad or not about actually laughing, does not matter. It was funny – she truly did not even need to ask if it was socially acceptable to laugh. In fact, I encouraged it. All this time I spent acting like I did not want to meet new people, make new friends, bond with others, and not seem perfect, all dissipated within seconds. I finally showed my true colors – I am not really the serious person, or whatever person, that I was trying to present myself as.

This slippery fall was the most painful reminder I have received in a while, as I have bruises everywhere to show for it, to remain true to yourself, not be so bitter, to not pretend like I do not make mistakes, to not make your life so much harder for yourself, etc. Most importantly, it taught me that being vulnerable and having fun at work is possible – also, there’s no need to hurt yourself in trying to present yourself as the perfect worker ever and isolate yourself from others.

No matter how hard you fight trying to be relatable, or trying to fight enjoying life, the gig will be up quickly.

Yes, you will take spills when you are experiencing changes, but yes, people will be understanding and are not trying to make things harder for you. Ask for help, especially when things are new to you. Take time to get to know your new environment. Open yourself up to new experiences. Learn that it will not be easy, but that is what others are there for.

While my new job occupies a significant amount of time, I have found that letting go of the animosity of having to make changes to my life and adjust to them has made it much easier on myself to process and transition much more quickly. Being open about communicating your thoughts and insecurities that you may be experiencing, while you are enduring these transitional phases of changes, is in your best interest. Not having a cold attitude, standoff-ish attitude about these changes, and realizing that it is uncomfortable for everyone, including your co-workers to also endure these changes, as there is once again a new employee, is also important. Getting acquitted with your new environment to the best of your extent and with a positive, outgoing mind is what is best.

An opportunity for change often leads to new experiences that you would have never come across if you had not taken a chance to take a leap of faith for change. Do not be afraid of the challenges, or fears, that may come of making a change to your life.

Change is difficult, can suck sometimes, but KNOW IT IS HEALTHY ANDĀ BUILDS CHARACTER. Allow yourself to be vulnerable during these times and get to know yourself a little better. Change is inevitable, however, there are ways to alleviate the stressors and anxiety that come of it. Remember, learning to adapt and transition to new situations, new environments, or even to new co-workers or to peers, is a process. Do not be hard on yourself.

The more experience you have to adapt to changes, the more accepting you will become of change.

Open your heart to some new experiences. It is much encouraged. Sometimes, it just takes a little bit of courage.

Let life shake you up a little bit, and as Taylor Swift belts, “shake it [the insecurities, emotional stressors, negative thought processes, and animosity, as a result of the change] off.”

As my mother constantly reminds my father, “You are a chameleon.” My father has the ability to adapt to changes in environment, social situations, professional changes, circumstantial situations, or many challenges very easily and quickly accordingly, taking into consideration the thorough circumstances of the “change,” without hesitation or without a negative attitude. This is something I admire. In fact, it almost seems unnatural how accepting and willing he is to embrace change and how quickly he is able to adapt to and make solutions to any changes he may encounter. It is a skill that I truly admire, as he does it with ease.

[Take some notes]


Here are some noteworthy features of chamelone’s that may serve useful in embracing a chamelonesque ability to adapt to change:

  1. Be vigilant of your surroundings & use your eyes, in order to successfully adapt and assess your next move
    “Each eye of the chameleon can move independently…Ā They have a 360-degree wide view arc of vision and are capable of seeing two directions at the same instance…When they lock down their vision on any object (letā€™s say a prey), both eyes are brought to focus offering a sharp stereoscopic vision. This gives them the ability to precisely gauge the distance and plan on the next move.” (http://www.chameleonsaspets.com/chameleon-facts/)
  2. Learn to adapt to situational circumstances quickly (however, changing the color of your exterior is optional)
    “Typically, the top layers of the chromatophores have either a yellow or red pigment while the lower ones have white or blue pigments. These four colors combine to give the chameleon the color it desires. While it was believed for long that this camouflage feature helps the animal to avoid detection in a hostile environment or while stalking its prey. However, recent studies have proved that the color change is due to variation in mood, temperature, and light.” (http://www.chameleonsaspets.com/chameleon-facts/)

Learn to be a chamelone.

xo,

Aichan Tewahade


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Sources

  1. ā€œ10 Interesting Chameleon Facts.ā€Ā Chameleons as Pets, www.chameleonsaspets.com/chameleon-facts/.