A Doggin’ Good Time

Woof, woof!

Another batch of photographs of my furry friends, showcasing their animated nature and huge smiles. Their joy and their smiles are contagious. It is easy to pick up on their personalities that they naturally exude, just by glancing at their photographs.

These dogs give me life and are the real reason that I wake up with a smile on my face every day. They truly give me a purpose and make me happy, regardless of my mood that day. How can you have a bad day when a dog is constantly smiling at you, to the point that it almost seems creepy?

I am very envious of how animated these creatures are, in addition to all of their many exceptional qualities. Their faces could light up an entire room.

Enjoy a gallery of my beautiful friends having a doggin’ good time Paw Prints on Google Android 9.0 Preview

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A dog’s face and body language says everything about how they are feeling, all while showcasing their unique personalities. It is wonderful to be able to see their personalities come to life with the assistance of a camera. I must say that these furry friends are not camera shy, as they sure know their angles.

Their genuine emotions always shine through, as they truly have nothing but room for love in their hearts ♥

Paw Prints on Microsoft  A happy dog equals a happy life  Paw Prints on Microsoft

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

 

May Your Mental Health Be With

In order to commemorate Mental Health Awareness Month, I decided to address mental health and all the controversies surrounding it.

“You are so crazy” is a phrase that has been repeated about me, especially after my discovering my psychiatric diagnoses.

“Are you sure this girl is NOT bipolar or schizophrenic?”

“You are completely irrational.”

May is a very important month for me, as it marks mental health awareness month. As a person who struggles with mental health issues, as it may be one of my biggest problems, I find that bringing awareness to the universal health issue and speaking freely about mental health combats the stigma behind mental health issues.

While mental health issues are prevalent worldwide, our society seems to have managed to continue to make it difficult for individuals to seek help, get diagnosed, and share their diagnoses openly. In my experience, talking about mental health issues, specifically my diagnosis, automatically makes others feel uncomfortable, as they slowly begin treating me differently. My mental health diagnosis literally has resulted in numerous friendships ending, which did not surprise me, as I have been informed by a variety of people, including professional doctors, old friends, strangers, etc., that I am “too much to handle.”

To break the ice, my diagnosis is complex PTSD, which I have been dealing with since childhood, six types of ADD and ADHD, both of which I have dealth with my whole life, OCD, social anxiety, panic disorder, generalized anxiety, and phobias. I am a fairly well-rounded individual.

The two specific diagnoses that tend to steer people away from me are my complex PTSD and my panic disorder.

While every “disorder” that I have been inflicted with is “very extreme,” I have managed to be fairly successful and functional when performing the task that I call life. I cannot imagine being the person I am without these diagnoses and the symptoms that accompany it. I may not be pleased with certain qualities about myself, as a result of one of my handful of disorders, but I can say without a doubt that if I had never been labeled with these disorders professionally, I would feel a lot better about the way that I react and act.

Once an individual gets diagnosed, it is super common for an individual to be confined and defined by the disorder. You are more than a label, and the symptoms you experience are just as a result of your unique brain chemistry. It may seem that your mental disorder(s) are holding you back, but this is not the case, unless you allow it to. Working around your symptoms is important, as it is vital to learn to find coping mechanisms and ways to continue living the functional life that you are capable of living.

People may attempt to belittle you by using your mental health as the theme of their belittling. This has occurred to me more often than not, and I would define this as the most commonly used blow, in order to attempt to bring me down, or fill me with self-doubt.

The stigmas surrounding mental illness are prominent, as we have not transitioned into a accepting society. The stigmas instill embarrassment, and the most common instillation is shame. These stigmas that we have enforced into our society have left people feeling afraid of seeking proper help and of disclosing honest information about the state of your mental health.

While our country advertises the importance of seeking help and the praises the courage of the individual for seeking help, there are many factors involved in seeking professional help that contradict this statement.

Seeking professional help and care is extremely expensive, even with the assistance of health insurance. Committing to a treatment plan is painful these days, as I begin to wonder if my mental health is worth the large investment that I know I will have to make.

Participation in treatment is a long process, and often requires a lifelong commitment.

With my particular situation, with more disorders than you can count on one hand and that I can remember, receiving a proper diagnosis and a correct diagnosis cost around $3,000. With a proper diagnosis, which can take many sessions, you can continue to move forward with depleting your bank account, as purchasing a monthly medication prescription adds up very quickly, even with insurance. My medication, without any health insurance, came out to the grand total of $2,000 a month. Depending on the severity of your symptoms and whether the medication is covered by insurance, the cost of your medication can fluctuate.

While professionals are very qualified, they are capable of making mistakes, as the wrong medication, or a medication that does not help you, could be prescribed to you. With my situation in particular, the variety of disorders and the severity of my symptoms led to large amounts of cash being wasted on medications that do not assist me. Medication is very expensive, regardless, once again reaffirming how difficult it is for individuals to seek help.

All these factors play a huge role in discouraging acting on seeking help.

The financial and lifelong burdens of being inflicted with these mental disorders are enormous.

Stigmas behind getting diagnosed and seeking help are completely negative. Stigmas are powerful and have the ability to control and define individuals, as a result of how much society capitalizes it. Similarly, our society loves to shame those inflicted with a “disability,” which is what those inflicted with mental disorders are defined as. In addition, the attaching the words “disorder” and “illness” to describe , or otherwise label, one’s mental health only implies negative emotions towards the situation.

While we have made headway in the acceptance of those who may suffer from mental health complications, “more major illnesses,” such as bipolar, schizophrenia, and PTSD, are the most stigmatized mental disorders out there. The complexity of these disorders make individuals discouraged about learning about them, let along attempting to understand them. I will admit that even I have a very big struggle attempting to conceptualize and understand what I am feeling and how these symptoms effect me, all while attempting to control these symptoms, in order to live a comfortable life. Stigmas often to lead a world of problems that bloom, as a result of the negative connotation associated with mental health disorders. You are not sick if you have possessed a proper diagnosis! These negative terms are half the problem. The other half of the problem is that individuals often feel too ashamed, or afraid of judgement by others, to disclose to others what they have been diagnosed with. It is incredible how quickly people are willing to figuratively “swipe left,” and not even give those struggling with mental illness a chance. Not openly speaking out about mental health and your own situation only strengthens the falsified idea that mental illness is something to be ashamed of.

Even at 2018, I have found it quite surprising how little individuals speak out about their mental health. Fortunately, with my ADHD and my six types of ADD, I love talking non-stop and forget to consider how uncomfortable these topics make people. However, I have found that living in secrecy is dumb, plus, I love to complain, or talk about my life. My mental health and the obstacles I face with controlling my symptoms is such a big part of my life, and there is never a moment that I do not think about it.

Okay, I am exaggerating. On a good day, I can not think about my professional diagnosis for only about five minutes maximum. Even when I am asleep, my PTSD manages to creep its way into my dreams.

I guess from first glance strangers would not correlate myself with the diagnosis that I have. Most often, when disclosing the PTSD part of my diagnosis, people tend to shut down, give me a look of pity, and engage in attempting to understand how someone with PTSD appears to live a fairly normal life, without avoiding responsibilities.

Speaking up about mental illness, in particular PTSD, openly has helped me more than I expected, though I was not pleased with the outcome.

Recently, I was in an Uber and hit a standstill with my treatment process and being able to control my symptoms. For some reason, I could not resist making a “trauma/trigger joke,” and the Uber driver ironically goes, “PTSD, much?” My reaction was so happy, as I disclosed that I actually did have PTSD. After sharing this information, I immediately realized how uncomfortable this could make a stranger feel. Regardless, the Uber driver also had been diagnosed with complex PTSD, too, so the comment slowly began to lose its awkwardness. This young man gave me amazing advice about how he combatted his symptoms and spoke with me about what PTSD felt like, which we both concluded felt like “a an on-going, loud war within your brain.”

We jinxed each other, when we both attempted to decide how to describe living with PTSD. He did not get me a soda, but he did give me some hope and some coping mechanism skills to try when my thoughts begin racing with trauma that I have experienced.

I love complaining about my symptoms sometimes….Nope, just kidding, I love making jokes about my mental conditions in order to attempt to take the stigma out of the disorder. I have the PTSD jokes down. While I am enduring one of my major panic attacks that can last for up to 24 hours, with a side of flashbacks, nightmares, racing thoughts, and reliving trauma, I tend to have time to think about great jokes as I am living the experience. This applies to all of my mental disorders, including ADD, ADHD, OCD, and social anxiety.


Here are some of my best jokes to throw around:

1. “There is no amount of adderall or vyvanse that could possibly make me do anything.”

2. “I am not procrastinating, I just have to clean because I have OCD.”

3. “Having PTSD is exciting, because you never know when you are going to be triggered.”

4. “Everyone hates you when you have ADHD.”

5. “Be prepared to be PTSD-ed.”

6. “If I tell you that I have PTSD, will I give me a break?”

8. “When you are inflicted with PTSD as a child, you are allowed to have low-energy levels, because you have been fighting a war since ‘nam.”

9. “PTSD taught me how to deal with myself, as I am forced to hang out with myself because I am too afraid and triggered by other people.”

10. “Don’t call me traumatic, I have PTSD.”

11. “Hi, my name is Aichan and ADHD is my game.”

12. “If you are looking away to get a quick, dramatic response from me, try messing up my daily routine, triggering me, or assigning any kind of homework that contains a headline.”

13. “I can’t tell if I hate having ADHD more, or if I hate going to class more.”

14. “I do not have social anxiety, I just hate new people.”

15. “Do not trust anyone, because everyone is your enemy. I got trust issues #PTSD”

16. “Harry Potter and I have a lot in common, mostly his PTSD.”

17. “Just call me the ADHD bunny, not the energizer bunny.”

18. “What is OCD if you do not color-code your notes and re-write them perfectly?”

19. “Yes, you are allowed to drink my water, but I would rather have you drink your own water.”

20. “I blame my PTSD for not ever letting a grudge go, because I can never forget it thanks to my nightmares and flashbacks.”

21. “My favorite hobbies, include “anxiety-ing,” organizing and re-organizing my studio apartment, spending 12 hours deep cleaning my apartment, doing the same stuff everyday, procrastinating, looking like I may poop myself when I am simply just panicking, TALKING, TALKING, TALKING, and trying to utilize positive coping mechanism skills.”



I still struggle with acceptance and loving my diagnoses, despite the challenges that come with it. The greatest part about my unique, extensive and almost unbelievable diagnosis is that no one will ever meet anyone like me. I am an acquired taste, with a brain that never rests and always working. While things can get hard and I can get salty, I know that there are many benefits that came out of having to live with the symptoms.

I do not know what the big secret is. Is it your mental diagnosis?

If it is, stop keeping the secret and spill the beans already.

If you do not even know what the big secret is, then you are missing out completely and you need to get familiar and educated. Finding out your biggest secret, otherwise known as your mental health diagnosis, is the best Christmas gift that you could ever receive.

The longer you wait to get yourself this present, the harder you are making things for yourself.

A lot more people have received their best Christmas present, and you would be surprised how many people receive treatment, attend therapy, and engage in medication intake.

Secrets do not make friends, so open your mouth and spread the word. The more you are willing to address and acknowledge the “so called illness,” the less power that it will have over you.

Mental health is a very important part about living a full and happy life. While mental illness is very prominent, access to these outlets for treatment, help, etc. is limited and does not allow for many individuals to truly follow through and work on their mental health.

If you are struggling to control your symptoms, try to remind yourself that your brain is a muscle, and therefore, it can be trained, or rewired, to react differently towards situations, control your stream of thoughts from unfolding, etc.

Speaking out about mental health openly should be allowed ALWAYS. What are your personal experiences with mental health? Have you ever sought professional help?

If you are struggling, lost, or just bored, give my friend therapy a try. I haven’t hung out with my therapist and my psychiatrist since ‘nam, but I would recommend therapy to everyone, as it is nice to have someone you can trust to talk to about ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING. You can even use your session to complain mindlessly, and they must listen to you. For someone that loves talking and cannot seem to shut my trap, therapy is my best friend.

Finding a proper therapist, or team of specialists, that are willing to work with you and are a good fit is a process, which may take a long time, or it may take a very short period of time. The key is finding people who you can be comfortable with, and if things do not work out, try again and look for other specialists.
Becoming comfortable with your team of specialists is also a process, as not everyone is meant to work together.
I have faced rejection from many doctors, who have said that my diagnoses are “too extensive” and that “it would require more energy and time to work with me than they would like.” My first psychiatrist and therapist admitted to me that when he found out my diagnoses, he was “VERY HESISTANT TO TAKE ME ON AS A PATIENT.” In fact, he disclosed that after meeting me he “DID NOT WANT TO TAKE ME ON AS A PATIENT, BECAUSE I WAS TOO COMPLICATED.” I have heard these kind of statements from a wide-variety of individuals, which has made the hunt for a specialists incredibly difficult. At times, it has been completely discouraging and these statements have stuck with me since I heard them.
While there has been negative aspects, or hardships, seeking and finding my “perfect team,” I know how healing having this kind of support can do for someone’s mental health, for their overall well-being, and for their overall sense of confidence.
Finding outlets where you can express yourself freely and talk honestly about things that you may not otherwise address is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. By speaking and being open about your life, not only can you receive advice, but you can also begin to work on getting to know yourself, getting to know the things you need to work on, etc. This is all much more helpful with the assistance of an outside observer that genuinely has your best interests and knows you honestly, as they can identify behaviors, reactions, thoughts, etc. that you engage in when stressed, when triggered, when anxious, when emotional, when focused, etc.
The greatest thing about therapists, or specialists in this area, is that they are not there to punish, scold, etc. you, they are there to provide a sense of safety, a sense of stability, a source that you can trust, a source that does not judge you, and a source that only wishes to help and to support you.

In reality, with my extensive diagnosis, which can be considered a “double whammy,” I am supposed to be participating in therapies, such as CBT, CPT, and exposure therapy. Similarly, my diagnoses make me more than qualified to have A TEAM OF TRAUMA SPECIALISTS to help guide me through life. In addition, a life-coach also is highly-recommended and beneficial for a young thug like me, even though I do not like listening to other people.

Let me be the LAST PERSON to admit that I NEED HELP!
THERE IS NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF.


•SEEK HELP, UTILIZE HELP, & GIVE HELP•

 ♥♥♥♥It is #TIMETOTALK ♥♥♥♥

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

Tea Time Reflections

My tea habits have still been in tact and I have been drinking lots of Yogi teas and Celestial Seasonings tea. I recently gave a new flavor of Yogi tea a try and I am a big fan of it! The new flavor is Yogi Kava-Stress Relief, which they advertise eases tension and promotes relaxation. Sarsaparilla and cinnamon are other ingredients in their kava tea that they blend together. The cinnamon and the sarsaparilla give the kava blend a warm feeling, so the tea has a fairly rich and unique flavor.

Kava is originally a root used forgot its calming nature on the mind and body, which assists in promoting sleep.

I still am obsessed with Yogi’s ginger tea. Their ginger tea blend is my favorite and a staple in my tea collection.

In regards to Celestial Seasonings tea, I am still drinking Country Peach Passion, Sleepytime, Chamomile, and their Peppermint tea.

Today, I tried a new Celestial Seasonings tea flavor that I had never tried before. The flavor was their Half & Half tea blend, which includes lemonade and iced black tea. It is a cold brew and was very delicious! I would definitely recommend for this to anyone, especially with the Summer days approaching. It was very refreshing!

This rounds of tea bag quotes were all encompassing, covering topics such as love, energy, kindness, communication and people.

I don’t find these cliché at all, in fact, they make making my cup of tea extremely exciting. Tearing my Yogi tea bag open and finding my tea bag quote is just as exciting as breaking up a fortune cookie to find your fortune. Honestly, reading the quote on the end of my tea bag is much more exciting than finding my fortune from a fortune cookie. I always look forward to the uncovering the quote from my Yogi tea bag.

There’s something even more calming to drink some warm Yogi tea, while simultaneously reflecting on the piece of wisdom at the end of the tea bag.

What are your favorite teas? What is your favorite part about drinking tea?

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

Brunchin’ & Munchin’

I have been making it a point to instill a fun, adventurous outlook on my Sunday’s, in order to effectively combat the Sunday blues.

Last Sunday kickstarted this new outlook on the dreary day, which precludes the hardest day of the week, Monday.

My last Sunday began very early in the morning, as I had work at 6:45 a.m. that day. Any shift came to a brief stop, as my coworker and I were sent home early from our shift.

We took this gift as a sign that we should go to brunch, and furthermore, enjoy our beautiful Sunday.

Le Peep never fails to set my stomach to ease, as I impulsively indulge in as much breakfast food as possible. While there is speculation which meal is the most important meal of the day, I can say with strong assertion that breakfast food is the most delicious compilation of food. I most certainly believe that breakfast food is the most important food group to indulge in if one attempting to maintain their happiest state of mind. English muffins, hash browns, scrambled eggs, and bacon are some of the most delicious foods to ever exist in this universe. ….And, the story does not just end there and neither does my meal. It has been a vrry long time since Ihave truly appreciated a cinnamon roll. Here is the cinnamon bun I indulged in all of its gooey goodness. My Sunday was full of cats, and was otherwise fairly pet-friendly Sunday. I even got to see this caramel goddess hanging out in a a plastic grey carrier. This was too cute to not take a photograph! The cat did not seem to be a stranger to the camera. Finally, to end the Sunday on a super fun and adventurous note, we decided to wander off into nature, a few minutes outside of Boulder.

The views were majestic and something that I am so happy I got to witness.

Wow, the views were definitely something that I was so happy I was able to witness last Sunday. The sun was shining and its’ UV rays quickly began warming up our soul and our bodies.

Cooking under the sun does not seem as painful, especially with views like that!

Last Sunday, I truly lived a full day, full of lots of activities and time spent with animals and in nature. Once I lived this Sunday until the last waking minutes of the day, I realized how silly it was that I never prioritized making my Sunday’s full activities, rather than wallowing in my sorrows, in preparation for Monday, the worst day of the week.

What are some of your favorite activities to do on your Sundays? Let me in the comments!

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

No(Body) Shame You

According to Oxford Dictionary, body shaming is “the action or practice of humiliating someone by making mocking or critical comments about their body shape or size.” The issue of body shaming has become very prevalent in our society, as at least every person has experienced some sort of body shaming within their life.

Recently, as the prevalence and the extremity of the nature of the body shaming has become worse, more individuals have begun addressing the issue and attempting to take a stand against this social issue that has begun affecting many individuals lives. Technological advances have only assisted body shamers get their horrible messages across, whether it be over social media or text.

Celebrities, such as Demi Lovato, have taken a stance against body shamers, who go out  of their way to poke “fun” and take low jabs at individuals just to make an insensitive comment about the shape of their body.
It is ironic, while we all understand that not one person on this universe is going to look the same, let along have the same body type, we are not very accepting of this theory, as we seemingly go out of our way to express judgement about other people’s bodies. One’s body shape is something that can be altered, or toned, but never fully changed. In fact, no one ever had the chance to choice what kind of body they would have when they were born, so this kind of bully behavior is completely unfair and heinous.

Body shaming was first associated with individuals who shamed those who people may consider “curvy,” “fuller,” “plus-size,” or “fat.” Those who seemingly had a curvier, or bigger boned, figure seemed to be the main target of body shamers. This is a misconception, as “skinny,” “frail,” “emaciated,” “anorexic,” “bulimic,” and “tiny” individuals, or lean individuals, are also ridiculed for their body shapes, as well. It seems as though no one can seemingly win.

The misconception behind body shaming revolves around the idea that this term only applies to those who may be considered “larger,” but this is not the case. Body shaming can occur to anyone, including those lanky individuals out there.

As a person who is considered petite, I have experienced my fair share of body shaming, as I have been relentlessly taunted for my small figure.
One may think that being called “tiny” or “so skinny” is a compliment, but to a certain extent, it does everything but reassure me and make me better.
I have been called “anorexic,” “bulimic,” “too skinny,” “emaciated,” “disgusting,” “frail,” “unhealthy,” etc. to name a few, as a result of my small frame.

“Ew, stop! I can’t look at you. I can almost see all your bones, that’s gross.”

“The fact that I can see your chest bones protruding out is disgusting.”

As a very bony and petite person, it may not look like there is “much to me,” as I have been told.
Just because my shoulder bones are sharp, my elbows are bony, my butt is bony, and my chest bones are visible, it does not mean that I am any of the labels listed above.
This is just my body.

It hurts a lot.

I can only imagine what others have been called, but we can agree on one thing, and that is that it does not feel good to be humiliated or to have others passing judgement on your body. You already do enough judgement over your body yourself – the position is already filled!

I can name seven handful of times where I was scrutinized for my weight and it most certainly did not make feel good.

At a party one time, my two friends and I ran into the bathroom to pee and get some quality girl time. There had happened to be a scale in the bathroom, and while I do not use or believe in weight scales, I thought it would be fun to see how much we all weighed together if we added all of our weights up. So, I stepped on the scale without worry for scrutiny, however, as soon as the number 100.2 pounds appeared on the scale, this individual did not waste a breathe on mentioning that my weight was completely unhealthy and that I was too skinny.
What I needed to realize was that, no matter how I tried, which I tried hard for many months, that I was never going to be over 108 pounds maximum, which is something I will have to live with for the rest of my life.

The scale just tells you a number and it should not dictate your life, or give you an excuse to pass judgement on someone. Just because most middle schoolers probably weigh more than me, it does not mean that putting my weight on blast is going to make things better. Putting me down, or attempting to make me feel insecure about my own weight, is not going to make me lose any weight, nor is it going to make me gain any weight.

As a 22-year-old woman, trust me, I would love to gain some weight and look like I actually went through puberty.
I hate having to buy kids’ jeans in size 16, just so they will not be too baggy, as sometimes adult sizes do not fit me. I may be saving money, but I don’t particularly want to shopping in the kids’, or teens, section.
I want to weigh more than 105, which is my highest record, due to the stigma surrounding my low weight.

After hearing a lot of body-shaming comments about my petite figure, I have found it difficult from time to time to truly express how proud I am of my body and how happy I am in it. I have found it incredibly difficult to dress the way I would like to and I refuse to wear body hugging clothing, sticking to baggy clothes.

I chose to hide my figure instead of show it off, because of the backlash I have received that has made me feel uncomfortable to dress properly for my size.
Oversized hoodies, oversized t-shirts, sweatpants, flowy pants – you name it.
I would rather have had people focusing on other aspects of me other than my own weight.

Many people have their own ideas of what is “healthy,” or what is “not healthy,” but bringing others down if they do not meet your requirements for “healthy,” or “unhealthy,” is not remotely productive. Not to mention, these people are often not professionals.

For someone who gets called “unhealthy,” or “gross,” I have been told by a handful of professional doctors that my physical health is actually impressively healthy. I was even told that my blood pressure was so healthy that it was shocking, and while this may come as a shock, I do work hard to stay as healthy as I can.

While my fast metabolism seems to not let gain weight, this does mean that I do not eat a lot. In addition, I try to follow a fairly strict exercise regiment, by hiking at least three times a week and walking as much as possible. Beyond this, I have cut soda completely out of my consumption and rarely consume alcohol. If I do consume alcohol, I only drink tequila. These not so small changes allow me to feel good, and most importantly, feel good about my body, despite what others say.
Beyond these things, my heritage, Japanese and Ethiopian, also play a part in my slim body shape. Generally, Japanese and Ethiopian citizens tend to have smaller body frames, so my genetics also play apart into my smaller body frame.

Trust me, people have attempted over feeding me for months

“Oh my god, that girl needs to eat a cheeseburger,” an elderly woman mutters under her breath about me.
“The cheeseburger is on you, right??” I think to myself. Otherwise, I am not about to purchase a cheeseburger because I am lactose intolerant, and mainly because I do not have anything to prove to anyone.

These kind of comments get me extremely aggravated, as I am a very exceptional eater and cannot help my body frame.
Beyond this, it is incredibly rude to make comments about a stranger who you do not know and honestly makes me uncomfortable.

As a society, we attempt to be aware of the toll that body shaming can take on one’s mental health, physical health, and emotional well-being, but we never do anything about it. Naturally, human beings are entitled to their own opinions and pass judgement without even realizing it, however, basing opinions and judgements about someone based on their body shape is beyond disturbing and very malicious.

Human beings, both girls and boys, are very insecure about their outward appearance, especially their faces and their bodies. Any criticism towards these features can truly leave someone feeling very hurt and insecure, as many issues can develop from persistent body-shaming.

It is confusing, because human beings universally enjoy feeling good about themselves and this is something that unites us. Ironically, though we enjoy feeling good about ourselves, we intentionally go out of our way to make someone feel bad about themselves, which is once again creating a division between us.

No matter if you are big, small, lanky, short, a midget, black, white, fat, overweight, obese, average, athletic, meaty, or muscles, no one should ever make you feel bad about your own body, in which you perform life and utilize on a daily basis. Your body is truly your temple! You should respect, but so should others around you. Not everyone is going to respect your body, or even appreciate it, however, as long as you respect, love and appreciate it then it should not matter.

This society has become preoccupied with negativity and the act of bringing others down, which has exasperated issues, such as bullying, body-shaming, etc. Hate acts are being performed everywhere and people have found that bringing others down, or humiliating them, temporarily makes them feel better. Rather than celebrating and appreciating people for who they are, outward appearance aside, people have become consumed with tearing people down and attempting to humiliate them for reasons that are unknown.

We should be proud of the skin that we are living in, not living in shame and torture.

While you cannot control others and their opinions, it is important to realize that there are millions of individuals who have to deal with body-shaming, so understand that this is not something that you should be embarrassed of. Many people can relate to being body shamed, regardless of if they have the same body type as you.

Body positivity groups have become emerging to help support individuals of all body shapes and sizes to come together, help each other, and assist in spreading the word that it does not matter what body shape and what body size you are. All that matters is that you are feeling happy and comfortable in the body that you are in.

Even though the media and popular culture glamorizes being “too thin” and defines beauty based if they are skinny or not, beauty is not based on being slim. What angers me the most is that the media and popular culture has placed so much emphasis and importance towards your outward appearance that this overwhelming pressure to meet these standards have even sent celebrities over the edge. A person’s self-worth, character, and personality is NOT based on their physical appearance, especially their body size and body shape. The media and popular culture seems to tell us differently.

The goal of body positivity is not to be “skinny,” or achieving your perfect weight, it is to be happy, comfortable, confident, and healthy in your body! This does not mean that you will always feel good in your body. There will be days where you feel fat, bloated, gross, etc., but do not fret! This happens to us all, INCLUDING ME.

For those of you who are quick to tell me that it is “impossible” for me to feel “fat,” because I am “so skinny,” or “too tiny,” I am afraid that it is possible. I am a human, and no matter what, I am a human who is allowed to have off-days where I am feeling “fat,” “blah,” “bloated,” etc. I am just like every single one of you! The idea that “skinny people” are not allowed to feel fat, bloated, etc. is ridiculous and unrealistic.

Constantly attempting to live up to this impossible standard body type set by popular culture is going to be the death of you, as trying to keep up will actually end up hurting you more than helping you. Attempt to ignore the societal norm completely, and stop comparing yourself to others, and simply work on yourself and your own body.

Working hard to finally feel good, confident, happy, and healthy in your body is not an easy task, however, it is very worth it! There is never a better feeling than feeling confident in the body you are currently occupying.

This month, as bathing suit season is upon us, work on celebrating others, creating a body positive atmosphere, and not engaging in body-shaming others!
Help others by uplifting them!

Do not worry body-shaming someone will perhaps give you a moment of relief, until two moments later you begin to realize that you are unhappy with your own body.
Beyond this, what good does it do to intentionally be malicious towards someone about something that they cannot help?
If you are truly frustrated with someone’s body shape and body size, blame it on their genetic makeup, DNA, parents, their metabolism, their exercise routine, etc. Just do not blame them for something that they did not have any say in.
Even my parents did not have a say in what my body type and my body size would end up being, so at this point, there is just no reason to be mad.

Life is not a body critique competition, and NO ONE signed up to participate to compete in this competition. If this person did not willingly sign up to participate or they did not try out for this competition, their body is not being asked to be critiqued.

I may not have asked to be born, however, my contract with life never disclosed the lifelong body critique competition that I would be participating in without my own consent or knowledge.
I must say that I am dealing with a tough crowd.

To the women that told me I need to eat a cheeseburger, I would prefer a McDouble from McDonald’s, no cheese, with large fries and a large Oreo McFlurry. And, since all-day breakfast exists, I would also like to place another order for about four hash browns, please.

Please do not be spiteful and learn to appreciate people, their bodies, their existences, their souls, their personalities, and their happiness! Plus, no one really asked for your opinion on my body, so keep your opinions to yourself.

Do not let the shamers get you down.
Because, they hate you, because they ain’t you.

#NOBODYSHAMEZONE #BODYPOSITIVITY #YOUAREBEAUTIFUL #LOOKATWHATYOURMAMAGAVEYOU

What are some of the ways that you combat negative comments about your body, or deal with body-shaming?

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

 

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 💕

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

Life Hack #27 – Ditch The Baggage & Leave Your Junk In The Trunk

Wherever it may be, whether it be at the door, at your exes, at the nearest dumpster, or in your Uber ride, leave your extra (emotional, unnecessary, negative, demeaning, argumentative, entitled, condescending, and/or victimized baggage ditch that unproductive baggage in your living room, kitchen, or wherever you desire, because it is only slowing you down and weighing you down by dragging, rolling, pulling, pushing, or carrying all the extra main brand baggage around you. For those of you that drive, own a car, or Uber (perhaps you may even utilize the trunk of your Uber vehicle by placing some of your junk in the trunk), leave all the extra clutter, or drama, or even outbursts, in the trunk of the vehicle. Clearly, the items do not fit within the front, or main part of the vehicle. so therefore, there is simply no room for all the nonsense that you tend to lug around with you in the main compartment of the car. But, there is room in the trunk. As a result, it is up to the individual to thoroughly and responsibly shift through all the baggage, which can be considered a huge task involving careful prioritizing and picking-and-choosing, and place all their belongings into their car strategically.

The items. or groceries, or junk, or luggage, or baggage (whatever you would like to call it) that you carry around with you everywhere you go metaphorically symbolize the stressors. emotional, physical or mental burdens you may be facing, or any drama that may be occurring in your life. The way that one decides to compact their car (front, back, and trunk) with items, whether it be groceries, junk, baggage or luggage, is a metaphor that depicts how one goes about organizing their personal baggage, attempting to strategically organize their personal baggage from most tolerable baggage to least tolerable, most distracting baggage. Naturally, as the saying goes, leave your junk in the trunk. so the most intolerable baggage will be thrown in the trunk until further notice, to be forgotten, or at least our of sight. The more tolerable, much smaller baggage you may seem to be clinging onto has the pleasure of riding shot-gun with you, as the shot gun seat has the least amount of room for baggage and should be reserved for baggage the size of a large women’s handbag. In short, the smallest and most manageable stressors are allowed to ride up in the passenger seat, as they are easier to carry around with you, and as a result, affect your mood, your life. and your existence the least. Most of the baggage that ride upfront can be correlated with daily stressors that we experience most days. As the baggage gets to be a moderately heavier, but do not completely weigh you down, they sit in the middle or back seat of your car. as they are more unique, specialized issues you have encountered. This type of baggage has a fairly simple solution, but takes a little bit more effort and time to let go of than a small baggage. Large baggage, or enormous baggage, is the type of baggage you want to avoid. This type of baggage weighs heavily on your heart, affects your mood, affects your life, affects your cognition, to name a few things. Often, while this type of baggage has a solution, a solution, or the ability to simply get rid of this baggage, is substantially more difficult than small or medium baggage. This usually requires a long-term solutions, an extended portion of time, much more energy than small and medium baggage, and has the ability to completely derail your life (or, it seems like it).

This goes without saying, however. the less enormous-sized baggage you have hiding in your trunk, or left at your door, the better. The more that enormous-sized baggage begins infiltrating your life, the harder it is for individuals to maintain emotional stability, or any type of stability.

With that said, do not try to store your king-sized baggage upfront – not only will it not fit, but you will be prone to more accidents, frustrations, etc. Also, if you have the opportunity to hide your junk in your trunk, why spend the time you are supposed to be spending being distracted, letting your baggage co-pilot and backseat drive your life? The last thing you need is for your enormous emotional baggage replace you as driver, and having your enormous baggage calling the shots is not a good feeling. The minute you begin prioritizing and unhealthily letting your huge baggage sit up front is the minute you begin letting your baggage take the wheel. Your huge emotional baggage is so large and in charge that if you even let them occupy anywhere but the trunk, the massive baggage will take up so much room, leaving you no room to breathe and forcing you to sit in the back row, as your baggage begins attempting to become the master of your demise. Instead of Jesus taking the wheel, your deep emotional baggage is able to use his enormous mass to overthrow you as the driver. These massive emotional baggages are not to be underestimated. If they were animals, they would be a very dominant animal, as they always dominate our decision-making processes, infiltrate our emotions. destroy our sleep schedules. and never seem to let my calm demeanor and “not-so-baggage” dominate.

The bigger the baggage and the heavier the cargo, the greater the impact and affect the emotional baggage will have on you, emotionally, mentally and physically. It is very common to feel helpless, and it is much easier said than done it comes to dissociate yourself from some of this junk, and be present and mindful.

While you cannot completely ignore your baggage, leave it in your trunk forever. or just let it rot, temporarily abandoning the EXTRA BAGGAGE is never a bad thing.

Sometimes, if you are truly lucky, if you leave your baggage unattended for long enough someone else ends up picking up what-used-to-be your extra baggage. In most cases, someone else picking up your extra-large baggage means that the problem is no longer something you need to be dragging around, but more commonly. someone picking up your extra baggage does not mean you are completely out the woods. Most commonly, it just means that now BOTH OF YOU, including the person who just tried to pick up your abandoned baggage. now have to deal with the baggage together. While it may lighten the load. it only adds more confusion and more baggage.

The key to dealing with attempting to essentially leave behind all your problems and be present for your task, activity, or responsibility, is to repeatedly tell yourself to, “stop looking at the junk in your trunk.” Your mother did give you some junk in the trunk to be proud of, but the last thing you want to be caught doing is examining the junk in your trunk in public – no one wants to see that.

The junk in your trunk, or your abandoned baggage, is meant to be acknowledged at some point, however, do not become your baggage.

With that said, why would you be in any rush to retrieve baggage that you purposely set out to abandon? The action speaks for itself, as the baggage is probably full of unnecessary clutter, or memorabilia that do not bring back good memories. The baggage could even be filled with moldy vegetables, or trash from your trash cans, for all I know. Either way, whatever undesirable worries, emotions, turmoil, pain, drama, or stressors fill your trunk or your king-sized luggage. may try to lure you back in, as you begin to miss the unnecessary “clutter.”

But, instead of listening to that junk in your trunk that is filled with excessive emotional. mental, and physical baggage. and getting sucked back into panicking about your baggage, simply let yourself have a break – a break from dragging your excessive baggage, or in some cases, popping your trunk to take a peek at the junk you are holding on to.

Some baggage, or “emotional speed bumps,” no matter how hard you try to lock it up in your trunk, or try to abandon it somewhere, just does not disappear like that. As we all grow to learn that some problems and hiccups are simply unavoidable to set aside, and require immediate attention by the individual. It does not matter if you are going to work, the grocery store, or even to The Grammy’s, some baggage weighs on you so heavily and follow you persistently, and as a result, you are forced to bring your baggage, or otherwise “junk,” into work.

You may ask how that is possible, and the only answer is that kind of intense and heavy baggage is the kind of baggage that will wiggle their way into your trunk, no matter how small the space is. To make matters worse. that kind of baggage always finds its way back to you, even after you abandon the baggage. No. the baggage does not suddenly gain legs. But, this kind of baggage seems to attract good Samaritans, who taken it upon themselves to not let you leave your baggage behind no matter what. They will yell after you, even if you are purposely ignoring you. If you can still manage to keep ignoring the Samaritan, who has no idea how much of a disservice they are doing you by returning the baggage, I guarantee you that they will manage to speed up and make physical contact with you. in order to get your absolute attention. The worst part about them physically contacting you is that now you can no longer pretend like you do not hear them.

“Here they go, scolding me about how silly I am to be leaving a beautiful black Samsonite suitcase set, consisting of five Samsonite suitcases, behind. Blah, blah, blah…I could have lost a bunch of very important stuff, EVEN THOUGH LOSING THIS BAGGAGE WAS THE WHOLE POINT,” I find myself thinking.

Sometimes, I even find myself wondering if I attract my own abandoned luggage back to me? It is almost as if I am magnetized to them. As you begin to trick yourself into thinking that you can avoid your baggage or problems forever, snap out of it.

Yes, you can leave your worries in another universe, or at the head of a poker table, but they always will be hiding, sometimes discretely or sometimes indiscreetly, and they will not go away until you take care of them.

By “taking care of them,” one could either refurbish their junk, in which an individual begins taking measures to completely abandon their junk at their neighbor’s door. In other cases, “taking care of them [baggage],” one may decide that they no longer want any part of this burden, including any lingering feelings. smells, thoughts, and stress, and that individual may decide to face the baggage head on and legitimately light the entire luggage of baggage on fire. Setting your baggage on fire metaphorically symbolizes putting a legitimate end to that baggage, by completing destroying it and eliminating it from your life. When you are able to completely cleanse yourself or any baggage by gracefully placing your baggage in a bonfire, the phrase “ashes to ashes, dirt to dirt, rest in peace, mother f****r” comes to mind.

While it is not always possible, learning to leave as much of your biggest baggage behind, or at least in your bottle of tequila. is an important skill to master, as you will often be faced with situations, in which circumstances do not allow for, nor do they forgive, using emotional baggage creating a roadblock as an excuse to be absent from obligations. miss deadlines, skip work, to name a few.

In order to enjoy and maximize your time away from the junk in your trunk, it requires one to switch their focus onto the task at hand, not letting the baggage affect your mood. engaging in activities that you enjoy, and being completely present. Similarly, while we all do our best to check our baggage at the door, or at the airline ticket stand, depending on the setting, sometimes it does help to discuss some of the emotional baggage that may be weighing on your shoulders, and perhaps, get some guidance.

Personally, I do my best to refrain from speaking too deeply about emotional baggage, or anything that may make me upset, and I try to invest my time fully into the task that I need to be focusing on. In addition, I do my best to try to interact with other people, because company is always great! It really makes me feel better to also invest some time in listening to other people’s problems and attempting to help them with some of their baggage, which helps keep me distracted and genuinely makes me happy to help others with things they may be struggling with. Kindness, especially unplanned acts of kindness, are a great way to uplift your spirits and assist in not letting your baggage penetrate your life. Similarly, no matter what happens. or how I am feeling, I do my best to stay positive and crack some jokes. Humor is great to lighten any mood and assists in relaxing. especially when you need to just want to escape your problems.

Therapy is great for unpacking baggage, especially the emotional baggage and childhood baggage. While it is difficult to speak about your baggage, therapy is one place where you do not need to truly prioritize hiding your junk in your trunk. In fact, therapy encourages bringing your baggage with you. This is a great feeling – while therapists cannot go out and actively solve all your problems, they are great with helping in brainstorming solutions, but they are even better at listening to you mindlessly talk in circles about “how annoying” and “ugh” this baggage is to deal with.

Every person has been bestowed with minimum 100 bags full of emotional baggage. One does not choose to have baggage, but it is not an option. As soon as you are fresh out of your mother’s womb and the nurses have swaddled you up, baggage is magically bestowed on you. As a fetus. baggage is only developing, and as the fetus begins developing, so does the complexity and the extremity of the baggage that will be your life. As a human, you do not even get the blessing of 3 milliseconds without the burden of baggage.

I do not know a life without “baggage,” and while this life chose me, I can firmly and confidently plead that I did not choose this life.

All I can do is drag my baggage wherever I go. On good days, I can trim some fat off the edges and lighten the load of my baggage, abandoning another Samsonite for someone else to pick up. On bad days, I forget how much of a full plate of food I have before me, and instead of lightening my load. I end up fostering some more adopted baggage that I am extremely eager to get rid of.

While baggage is heavy and baggage is “the worst,” it is important to recognize that even though it’s one of your most persistent stalkers that mentally checking out and leaving all your “drama,” or some of your reality, somewhere other than where you currently are right now is a healthy habit that every one needs to learn. As you begin to grow up and begin facing responsibilities, baggage is not a viable excuse to flake out, not perform, call out of work. miss a deadline, or disregard all of your responsibilities. While you may not be escaping your baggage in the most enjoyable way, such as through school, work, or exercise. it is important to be thankful for the momentary break and distraction you are able to engage in. Because, once you are done with your obligation, you most likely will unveil your baggage one more time. Cherish the time, where your reality has no baggage-less and truly focus on being mindful and ENJOYING YOURSELF. Take advantage of your time away from your dirty laundry, because you can always return to washing laundry again.

Take a deep breath. Let your body feel lighter. Lower your shoulders. Smile.

I imagine most of my baggage to be stored in a five-set Samsonite black mill-wheel suitcase set. The Samsonite suitcase sets provide suitcases of all different sizes and bulkiness, which accurately depicts the variety of sizes of baggage I seem to have hidden within my trunk. My bigger baggage is stored in a baby pink Rimowa Salsa Air Cabin Multiwheel luggage. Did you know my baggage is being stored in a limited edition Rimowa Salsa Air suitcase? I like. my suitcases like I like my baggage, or emotional problems, limited edition.

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

Life Hack #26 – Flake Less

“Flake less. Don’t flake off.”

What I mean by this is that you should attempt to flake out on plans as little of times as possible. Following through with your plans, obligations, or any responsibilities for that matter is one of the best qualities that an individual can have – Not to mention, it sends clear signals that you care. Sometimes, it is understandable that we are unable to make obligations or plans, due to outside factors, but making this kind of behavior a negative thing can make it difficult to maintain stability in any aspect of your life. Being a flake sends clear messages that you do not care and that you’re not accountable, which has many repercussions.

Flaking out on plans, or not being consistent, is hurtful, annoying, and can add on unnecessary amounts of stress onto you.

I can say with conviction that I am a flake. Honestly, it is one of my worst qualities and truly hurts others around me. I can make excuses all I want until I die, but no amount of excuses in the world can make up for how frustrating it is for people to get ahold of me, let along try to hang out with me.

In order to avoid being “that flake,” it is important to understand your schedule, your stress levels, and your energy levels, as well as your tolerance to handle hanging out with another person. Similarly, it is important to make sure you take into account your mood, so you do not end up flaking on plans, due to mood swings.

Don’t make plans unnecessarily – this tends to be my problem, as I would love to make time to spend time with all my loved ones as much as possible, all the time. Be realistic and try to make plans in advance, which are the plans that are harder to flake out on.

Be a responsible planner and allocate your time wisely. Also, be sure to take into account the people whose time you may be wasting when you flake out on plans. In addition, you may be hurting someone’s feelings when you do this, as cheesy as that does not sound. People who go out of their way to make plans with you, do this because they genuinely would like to spend time with you. Obviously, if this is not the case, perhaps flaking out on plans may be in your best interest. If someone is investing their time and their excitement to spend time with you, do not let it go to waste. If plans fall through, try to make it up to them.

If you are planning to flake, and you will know when you are not going to end up leaving your bed, be honest and try to notify as in advance as possible. Try to at least be a respectful flake!

For those who cannot help but be flakey, try to convey this message to others and let them know that you are working on getting better with following through with plans and that they should not wait up unless you confirm the plans. I try to let people around me know this, so at least it is on the table. Likewise, if you are just not truly feeling up to it, let them know honestly. There is no need to come up with some big, elaborate lie.

Striving not to be a flake applies to all aspects of your life, including your professional and academic lives.

Being a flake is selling yourself short. Do not be a short flake – it is not cool.

xo.

Aichan Tewahade

Reasons To Love Yourself

1. Don’t beat yourself up – you already have society and strangers who will do that for you.

2. No matter who you are or what you are – someone is going to be envious of something that you have, who you are, your skills (basically something about your existence) that they just may not be born with, are capable of achieving, or lack the skill set to perform.

3. No matter what you or others tell you – you always have something unique to offer the world.

4. Someone out there appreciates you other than yourself, even if it is just your mom, your pet, or that incessant mosquito that won’t stop sucking your blood.

5. Instead of spending your time inefficiently and unenjoyably hating on yourself, try to make the best of life and enjoy your time by just appreciating yourself. Life is short, spending it efficiently is vital.

6. Everyone hates their face to a certain degree and question their own beauty, including Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian. Once again, instead of spending your time and life inefficiently hating your face, accept that this is what you look like. Literally, look at the mirror. Look at yourself. Keep looking. Then, realize your reflection is a fairly accurate reflection of your face. Accept that, even with plastic surgery, you look the way that you do. Once you have looked at yourself in the mirror enough and have processed what you physically look like, you can begin accepting your appearance rather than hating it. Just tell yourself, “Well, this is me. This is what I look like. Yup, that’s it. This is what I look like. I may as well accept that this is what my face looks like now because this is reality and this is what my face legitimately looks like.” After a few trials of processing what your face generally looks like, you won’t run into as many surprises when you look at yourself in the mirror. The less surprises, the better.

7. When you love yourself, you tend to love others more. Often, showering them with love, happiness, kindness and compliments.

8. Genetically speaking, there is NO ONE ELSE in the world that looks exactly like you.

9. When you love yourself, you radiate and glow without having to have to become pregnant.

10. It feels nice to like yourself and show off your skills, assets and existence to other people confidentially.

11. When you spend less time criticizing yourself and loving yourself, you spend less time critiquing others around you.

12. When you love yourself, there is nothing holding you back from opportunities, risks, etc. other than yourself.

13. Loving yourself allows you to grow, expand and flourish as a person.

14. It is seriously painful and gruesome to spend time feeling insecure and obsessing about small facets of yourself that you hate or believe are flawed, especially when you are out with others, at work, or even when you are spending time with your friends.

15. What you see in the mirror is not the way that others see you. While you may see chewbaca, others see Princess Leia.

16. When you love yourself, you know how to take a compliment without making subtly attempting to fish more compliments out of each other.

17. Loving yourself allows you to be more accepting of yourself. You learn how to be channel a genuine self, without the feeling of upkeeping an image.

18. Loving yourself means that you are comfortable spending time by yourself. Call me a narcissist, but I am great company for myself.

19. When you love yourself enough, you magically gain the ability to have some sensible humor and can actually not only make good jokes about your flaws or mistakes, but you are able to take a joke about yourself.

20. You have a lifelong, 5ever friend that you can always count on (a.k.a. yourself). You will never be without a friend when you are your own best friend.

21. YOU DO NOT NEED TO CONSTANTLY BASE YOUR SELF WORTH OFF OF YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA. YOU WILL NOT EVEN HAVE TO BASE YOUR LIKES, INTERESTS, AND “OUTWARD IMAGE” ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

Yes ma’am and/or sir, you can finally trying so hard to maintain your image, whether it be on social media or off-line. While social media is great and you can present your life as cool as you would like to, this will no longer be necessary, as you will find out that your life is already cool enough and does not need to be broadcasted over social media with the intention of trying to impress others.

22. With that said, you will find yourself comparing yourself less to others and their lives, the ones they broadcast on social media and their real ones. You can stop comparing body types, clothes, hair type, etc. You will find yourself celebrating others, and most importantly, focusing on yourself.

The best part about self-love is the act of celebration – the celebration of yourself, as well as the celebration of others. However, instead of constantly focusing on what others are thinking, or the way you may be judged or seen, you begin focusing and worrying about YOU, YOURSELF, AND NO ONE ELSE. Placing more of an effort to focus on yourself and your own happiness is very important, and a vital step in achieving self-love. You will never truly end up loving yourself if you find yourself constantly living for others, or living in fear of others.

Sometimes, it is hard to escape the negative critique, as our society DOES NOT teach the act of self-love, rather they capitalize on things, such as envy, judgement, hatred, negativity, and criticism. It is a rare occasion when our society engages in a genuine celebration of someone else’s success, and much more popular for our society to focus on tearing others down.

Shallow aspects, such as what you wear, one’s beauty, one’s body type, one’s ability to fit in, one’s wealth and status, one’s ethnicity, one’s friend group, one’s success, one’s social media presence and their social media image, one’s interests, hobbies and morals, among other things, of one’s existence are heavily judged, as society places an enormous emphasis on shallow aspects, such as those listed above, as they serve as a sort of criteria as to how an individual can live an “idealistic,” “cool,” and “successful” life. It just another way that society creates a barrier from allowing the world to come together and just love. Instead of just accepting and embracing difference, society highlights the differences within people, in order to create a division, a societal hierarchy, and set up superficial standards and images that an individual must meet in order to be accepted into society. In other words, instead of promoting individuality, our society is promoting conformity and capitalizing on the idea that if one does not meet certain shallow, irrelevant criteria that they will not immediately be accepted into society, let along be treated kindly.

Leave the self-hate on Satan’s plate.

What is something about yourself that you absolutely love? Let me know!

xo.

Aichan Tewahade