HBD 2 ME!

“Happy birthday to me, I blew up a zoo, I look like a monkey and I am 102!”
My birthday fell on a Sunday this year, and lands on the tenth day of June.

I am not quite the biggest fan of my birthday, or drawing any unnecessary attention to myself.
Also, what do you do when people are singing “Happy Birthday” to you? Who do you look at? What do you look at?

My birthday has always been kind to me, but my birthdays in my 20s have not been my best, or even that kind to me.
This year, I was turning 23-years old, and for the first time in my 20s, I was fairly excited for this birthday, but probably for reasons beyond having an excuse to put my party pants on and get myself in trouble.

For the first time in my 20s, I am finally beginning to learn to love myself, to learn to exhibit qualities of conscious and aware person, to learn to understand myself, to learn to hold myself accountable, to learn to make better decisions, to learn to take care of myself, to learn to become independent, and to recognize and to embrace consistency within my life. I also have finally for the first time feel like I have stability and consistency within my life, which is a refreshing blessing and realization to come. It has brought me so much more happiness and love into my life, but I will admit that from time-to-time I find myself frustrated with consistency, stability, and routines within my life.

With all this said, my expectations for my birthday and my celebratory events are fairly minimal and not overwhelming, as I have come to realize that most people’s 23rd birthday expectations and celebrations are much more extravagant and involve more drinking and partying than my own.
I wanted to treat my birthday like a normal day, and engage in activities that I had been attempting to do for a while. None of these activities I had planned involved drinking, as the thought of drinking excessively disgusted me. This year, I wanted to have a meaningful birthday, where I truly recognized the importance and the beauty behind a birthday, which is essentially the blessing of making it to another year of life.

My birthday began with an early morning trip to the Butterfly Pavilion, a place that I had been trying to go to for a while now. The Butterfly Pavilion is a pavilion full of butterflies, just as the name of the institution explains.
As a child, I had visited the Butterfly Pavilion various times, but it had been at least 12-years since I had been there last. It was almost like I was going for the first time!

The beginning of the exhibits at the Butterfly Pavilion consisted of a wide variety of unique insects, who had most certainly been specially selected to be put on display. The first room of animals consisted of displays full of insects and bugs, including a array of beetles, bees, and crickets to name a few. The insect section totally frightened me, but I still found myself looking into the glass displays that were occupied with diverse “insectual” creatures. In addition to these various insects and bugs displayed, this first section of exhibit also contained the second noteable, if not the most noteable, feature of the Butterfly Pavilion, which is the giant tarantula, Rosie. Rosie is quite iconic and the Butterfly Pavilion’s most famous exhibit, as they allow individuals to hold and pet her. Rosie is just about the only thing that I remember about the Butterfly Pavilion from my frequent childhood visits here.
As a child, I was too afraid to interact to personally with an arachnid, as I have arachnaphobia. Not to mention, she is huge! And, as a young adult, I have the same feelings about interacting to intimately with Rosie, and I made the same decision I have continued to make since my childhood, which was to simply not let Rosie into my personal bubble space. Basically, I still am just as afraid of Rosie as I was when I was a child, and not even $1 million could make me hold, pet, or coddle Rosie. I do not think this will change any time soon.
My favorite part about the insect section was how aesthetically pleasing all these glass displays were decorated, in order for these insects to grow, thrive, and live. Many of the displays contained succulents, cacti, etc.

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The second half of the exhibit also included a wide variety of unique animals, but instead of bugs and insects, this exhibit displayed a variety of marine creatures, including an octupus, slipper lobster, and crabs to name a few. This section was very cool, and also involved an interactive station that allowed one to pet an ancient horseshoe crab. I was much less hesistant to pet a horseshoe crab than I was to hold Rosie the Tarantula. Petting a horseshoe crab felt exactly like what it sounded like, as I was essentially petting a crab shell. I must say that it felt very smooth!
I have never seen a horseshoe crab in person, so this was a first for me! In a very strange way, the horseshoe crab was kind of cute and mildly facisnating!Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset

Now, onto the next section of the Butterfly Pavilion…
The next and final portion of the Butterfly Pavilion was in fact the Wings Of the Tropics conservatory, which not only houses and holds all the beautiful and extravagant butterflies, but also mimics butterflies’ natural habitat! A butterfly’s natural habitat is a tropical rainforest, so the conservatory is full of lush plants and flora, and mimics the damp, wet environment of a tropical rainforest, with a very functional roof top sprinkler system that allows for the conservatory to accurately exhibit all tropical features, as well as allow for the butterflies to naturally live their lives in an environment that allows them to thrive and fly freely.
The number of butterflies and months were outstanding, and the pavilion’s collection of butterflies were quite extensive. While I was expecting to see a lot of butterflies, the conservatory managed to baffle me by containing about triple the number of butterflies than I even anticipated. Everywhere I looked, or did not look, there were butterflies.
Some were mating, some were playing, some were flying into eachother, some were dead, some were sucking nectar, and some were trying to land on me.
The idea of interacting with butterflies very intimately seems appealing and much easier than I realized, as I did not know how much butterflies (kind of, sort of) scared me. Bugs and insects, even though I find butterflies completely facisnating and such beautiful creatures, seem to creep me out more than anything else in this world. After closely inspecting a butterfly sucking nectar out of a pink flower, I quickly noticed how “insect-like” these creatures were, which kind of freaked me out. While their wings do not scare me, it seems that the rest of their physical characteristics, which resemble insect-like bodies, ultimately set me off and made me fearful of them making contact with them.
While I had no real intention of making contact with a butterfly, NOT EVEN FOR AN INSTAGRAM, a butterfly still managed to land on me. I managed to capture the entire event on video, which features me minding my own business filming two butterflies who seem to be playing together. The video takes a turn for the worst when one butterfly begins to steer away from the other one, and begins slowly making its’ way towards my leg.
But, what are the chances that a butterfly lands on you? Not very high, that is for sure!
My immediate reaction to this butterfly landing on my leg was a high-pitched, almost defeaning yell of terror, fear, and uncomfortability. This was not the reaction I was hoping to have when the butterfly landed on me, but once again, my trip to the Butterfly Pavilion only made it clear to me that, while I do enjoy the existence of butterflies, they also mildly terrify me with their insect-like mannerisms and physical characteristics.
The assortment of butterflies and months was mindblowing to witness. There were butterflies of every color of the rainbow!
The monarch butterfly was the only speices of butterflies that I knew, and I was luckily able to see one in the flesh during my time in the conservatory!

As the day matured, I slowly made my way down to Denver, Colorado, for a few more attractions, including Voodoo Donuts, Benihana’s, and Queen City General Store.
Voodoo Donuts has some of the best donuts and most extravagant donuts, with some of the best toppings and flavors I have ever eaten. A dozen of these carefully crafted donuts was more than enough to crave my sweet tooth, or my sugar addiction.

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Queen City General Store was one of my favorite stops, during my birthday adventure/extravagantza. This eclectic store sold a variety of very hip, very vintage, and very cool items, all ranging from succulents, to jewelry, to Levi’s, to plant holders, to artwork. This store carried everything!
The ambiance and the decor of the store was intriguing and aesthetically pleasing, as I generally love stores such as these. They are truly one-of-a-kind, and as a result of their uniqueness, their inventory features one-of-a-kind merchandise.
The array of succulents, and the diversity of succulents, was incredible, making it virtually very hard to choose three succulents to call my own, as well as my birthday gift. Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset
The jewelry featured in the store was remarkable and most certainly radiated beauty. The collection of pieces that were showcased were so unique, spunky, yet tasteful, all while being simplistic. I had never seen such a collection of jewelry that I truly enjoyed like I did the pieces at Queen City General Store!
The overall vibe of the store was trendy, and the jewelry only affirmed the trendiness of the store!Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

I walked out of the store with a three new plant friends, which I could call my very own. I also managed to name these new companions of mine, naming the cactus, Pokè, naming the other smaller and pointy succulent, Piper, as the branches of the succulent reminded me of pipes, and finally the Echeveria succulent, or the flower shaped succulent, or the biggest succulent of the bunch, was named Poppy.

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But, wait…what was my favorite part of the entire store (Queen City General Store)? You may ask…
And, my answer is the DISCO BALLS!
The interior decoration of the store was beyond exceptional, and I found so much inspiration within the four walls of this store.
Beyond the eclectic merchandise sold, the interior decoration of the store was completely unique, fun, and imitation-worthy, meaning that I would most definitely imitate certain aspects of the decor and incorporate it into the design of my current apartment in a heartbeat.

DISCO BALLS ARE SO FUN, FUNKY, ECLECTIC, VISUALLY STIMULATING, COOL, TRENDY, AND UNDERRATED, so you can only imagine how excited I was to see them being used for a good cause.
The disco balls only elevated the “coolness” of the store, and may be 38% of the reason why I will be returning to this “very cool store.”Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset

My birthday was a success for those who were wondering, and I feel very blessed, stressed, happy, proud, accomplished, and foolish for another opporutnity to live another day, and hopefully another year!
While birthdays, especially birthdays when you are in your 20s, are supposed to celebrated with mass amounts of booze, excessive amounts of poor decisions, and all-night partying, mine was very simplistic and very sober, as I truly wanted to appreciate the simple, yet profound idea behind a birthday.
I try to treat every day as a birthday, which is potentially why I am unable to perform in the party department like many of my peers on my actual birthday. For some reason, it truly makes me uncomfortable!!!
I felt very loved this year on my birthday, as it was full of many texts, phone calls, and verbal messages from loved ones that wished me a wonderful day, and a wonderful year, as I rang in my 23rd year of life.
This year, instead of focusing on all the individuals who did not acknowledge my birthday, I focused most of my energy on all the individuals who went out of their way to wish me the best in life and the best birthday yet! The amount of love I received was phenomenal, and all my good friends, and the ones who truly matter, gently reminded me how much I am loved on that day.

I am extremely excited for my 23rd year of life! I am looking forward to making many mistakes, accomplishing many goals, pushing myself beyond my boundaries, being happy, making more memories, experiencing new things, learning how to adult more efficiently, working my a$$ off, and all the opportunities that may come my way.
I have a feeling that this year of my life will be FREAKING AWESOME, and I am very excited to embark on this journey!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ALL MY JUNE BABIES & GEMINIS!!
THIS YEAR OF YOUR LIFE WILL BE THE BEST YET (I HOPE)!

What is your favorite way to celebrate your birthday? What is your favorite memory from your last birthday?

“PARTY LIKE IT IS YOUR BIRTHDAY EVERY DAY” -Lil’ Jon, LMFAO, every rapper ever, society, etc..

Also, a huge shoutout to all my loved, friends and family included, who wished me a happy birthday and contributed to making my birthday such a great, simple, and magical day! It means a lot!

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

 

Treat Yo Self

After a long nine-hour shift at work, I spent some time doing some fun activities and treating myself to some food, good conversation, and a good rain jacket.

I spent the treating myself to some Vitamin D, as well, spending the sunny day at the local outdoor malls in Boulder, Colorado.

My day began treating myself by spending time with my cousin and my brother. It is great to divulge yourself with your family, especially your extended family, as great bonds can truly develop and truly flower from spending time with your extended family outside of family obligations. After a few years of being apart, it was great to spend time with my cousin, Endy, who I have been close with my entire life.

The good food came next, as we treated ourselves to some great gelato from a local gelato & milkshake shop on the Pearl Street Mall. Cookie butter was the flavor of gelato that I chose that day and treated myself to a fresh waffle with sprinkles that truly magnified the experience.

Our next stop was the 29th Street Mall in Boulder, where most of the treatin’ truly occurred. I finally got to do some real window shopping, which lead me to buy a rain jacket for $20 from Marshalls. My cousin was actually the one who found the jacket first, so it is safe to say that I once again found myself buying menswear again. The sale was ridiculous.

After wandering around the mall, we found ourselves running into some great art, including a lit up “treat yo self” sign and some art on the stairs of the mall. The art was unexpected and beautiful! Both art pieces served as simple reminders to give yourself love and spread it like a contagion.

Treatin’ yo self is important. Life without treats is like living a life torturing yourself. Celebrate your existence, because it feels good to celebrate yourself.

Do it often and do it well!

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

Thinspo Is Not My Inspo

Terms, such as thinspiration and thinspo are thrown around in our culture, promoting a self-image of lean figures. Most of these images are distorted or posed, however, and you can look like a Kardashian with the right angle and the right pose.

This promotion of “thinking thin,” and only thin is corrupting our minds, as we become less accepting of ourselves, as society deems lean cuisine figures as the norm today. This is absolutely no way to beat obesity and leads to problems further down your life.

Thinking thin can be done positively and productively, if you lead a life of healthy living. This means drinking water, eating your greens, and binging on your favorite foods every so often. This great diet is often accompanied by an exercise regiment that should make you feel better than those unattainable bodies that we see all over the internet, magazines, and social media platforms.

More often than not, individuals are fascinated by the unattainable bodies, completely getting distracted by the idea that in order to be accepted we must have these rock-solid abs, tight ass, and skinny legs and arms. This concept is completely beyond me, and most certainly, not true. You do not require these traits to be beautiful.

At the end of the day, being “thin” should not be your goal, rather being fit and feeling good about yourself should be the end goal. When you are trying to be thin, and not healthy, major complications come through and you will face some adversities with trying to find acceptance in the wrong places.

Thinspo is not my inspo, because I am inspired by those who work hard for their bodies, meaning they drink lots of fluids, try to exercise daily, invest in eating properly and healthily, cutting out toxic waste out of their bodies, etc. These are the people you should be applauding, because taking care of myself and being fit is what I strive to be. I do not strive to be the thinnest form of myself and believe that this concept needs to be reconfigured, as it serves as a toxic way to view ourselves and our beautiful, unique bodies.

The lack of acknowledgement of the number of individuals who have sought out alternative routes for weight loss, that are completely unhealthy and do horrible things to your body, such as crash dieting, etc., are unaccounted for. It should not be about the number, more than it should be about being happy with yourself.

Becoming the greatest, strongest, healthiest form of yourself should be a priority to you. No matter how you look, because I guarantee that once you begin taking care of yourself you’ll slowly find out that the body that you once thought was average is great. The positive outcomes of self-care are endless.

While we cannot stop the internet and social media for exploiting us to such things, we can do our best not to compare our bodies with other people. Being content with the unique body shape that you have is key, because you are beautiful at any size. That is something we forget in this society, and so many beautiful people go unaccounted for. You by no means need to be skinny or thin to be beautiful. Always remember that.

Do yourself a favor and stop comparing yourselves to these “thinspo” inspired photographs, and learn to realize that a camera and editing applications can do a lot to a person’s body, often making it look much better on camera than in actual person.

xo,

Aichan Tewahade