I am _____________.

What am I?
That’s the real question.

I know that I am a human being, and that is one of the only labels that I ever wish was used to describe me.
Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Many labels are associated with my existence, including negative and positive labels, depending largely on the individual labeling me.

Labels are unfortunately inevitable, and human beings, as well as our society, enjoy utilizing labels to describe, define, and pass judgement on others.
Even more unfortunately, negative labels are inevitable as a human being, as our society seemingly enjoys using labels in a negative connotation, in order to categorize, group, and associate, or even differentiate, individuals.


I am imperfect.

While this is an unsettling label to have to live with, I am human, which ultimately means that imperfection is part of my genetic makeup and DNA.
These imperfections, or flaws, are things that you should not punish yourself for, as they are the parts of yourself that set you apart from others.
However, a handful of new labels can come from your imperfections, as individuals will continue to judge and label you for your unique, or “flawed,” qualities.
Labels can be applied to both physical and intangible qualities.

I am clumsy.
I am ditzy.
I am forgetful.
I am a complainer.
I am distracted.
I am temperamental.
I am sensitive.
I am emotional.
I am loud.
I am fast-paced.
I am over thinking.
I am eccentric.
I am unique.
I am irritating.
I am energetic.
I am lazy.
I am anxious.
I am intense.
I am passionate.
I am annoying.
I am happy.
I am impulsive.
I am confused.
I am EXTRA.
I am crazy.
I am weird.
I am a try-hard.
I am competitve.
I am hypocritical.
I am curious.
I am naÌve.
I am opionated.
I am critical.
I am gullible.
I am stubborn.
I am sassy.

The list could truly go on for days, but I figured I would stop here.
These qualities are some of the many facets that makeup my personality, and myself.
Descriptors of all sorts can be used to describe others, but many of these descriptors, or labels, have a negative connotation. The way to overcome these imperfections, or unique facets of your personality and inner workings, is to learn to look at them with a new positive perspective.
I dare you to put a positive twist on your imperfections.
Your imperfections are given to you, in order for you to learn to utilize them in the real world. Find outlets or opportunities that allow you to showcase your “imperfections,” or qualities that make you who you are. It is especially pertinent to be able to use these qualities for your benefit, so instead of sulking over that stupid label, utilize it and manipulate it for your advantage.

Of course, this is all much easier said than done.
I can say for certain that these imperfections of mine have gotten me into a lot of trouble, but at the same time, they have been the reasons for some of my biggest blessings.
It truly just depends on whether you would like to look at things as a glass half full, or a glass half empty.

Labels can really take the form of an ugly creature, especially when negative, malicious labels are used against you.
Words, such as “ugly,” “fat,” “skinny,” “emaciated,” “loser,” “bitch,” “faggot,” “gay,” etc. can really hit home for most individuals, as these labels can really be internalized and cause serious damage to someone.
Personally, as a girl with a very fast metabolism and a very petite frame, I have been around the block when it comes to vicious labels about my weight and small frame.
“You are anorexic,” “you are emaciated,” “you are disgusting,” “you are so bony,” “you have an eating disorder,” “you are SO skinny,” and finally, “you are TOO skinny.”
Our society worships the idea of being skinny, as our society, by popular belief, has decided that being skinny makes one attractive.
While many individuals would idealize having such a small frame, or being unable to gain weight, my small frame actually is one of the many things that I am not proud of, as it draws unnecessary attention towards me.
I let these labels and opinions affect me so much so that I would never wear form-fitting clothing and felt uncomfortable wearing clothes that may have shown, not even show off, my body shape.
The baggier the clothes, the less people were able to identify my size, or so I thought myself. So, I chose to hide my body by wearing clothes that were comfortable nonetheless, but did not always make me feel good.
I felt as though my body and my small frame almost offended individuals, or bothered them, as it seemed to be one of everyone’s favorite topics to address with me.
My secret to keeping a small frame is something that I have yet to find out, because I can tell you for sure that my diet is far from healthy. I can also eat more than a boy going through puberty, however, for some reason, I am still unable to gain any form of substantial weight.
I do not know what to say other than, “I have tried time-and-time again.”
This is something about myself that I cannot change, so I naturally had to accept my body and learn to love this small, bony body that allows me to do all the things that I love to do.

Unfortunately, labels are mandatory in some aspects of our society, especially when it comes to mental health, as one must receive a diagnosis, in order to receive help.
In this sense, professionals utilize labels in order to categorize and to diagnose your symptoms.
Having a professional psychiatric diagnosis can come with its’ own negative labels and connotations, as many will attempt to utilize your diagnosis to label you in a negative light.

According to a handful of professional doctors, my existence comes with a handful of labels, as a result of my unique biochemical makeup.
So, here it goes…

I am complex PTSD.
I am OCD.
I am social anxiety.
I am panic disorder.
I am agoraphobia.
I am phobias.
I am ADHD.
I am six types of ADD (classic ADD, inattentive ADD, overfocused ADD, temporal lobe ADD, limbic ADD, ring of fire ADD, and anxious ADD).

With these labels automatically associated with my existence, it is quick for strangers to continue what professionals have addressed and continue associating me with unprofessional labels.
unfortunately, these strangers, or peers, do not have professional qualifications to diagnose me with labels that fall outside of these psychiatric disorders in which I have been diagnosed with.
And, I am not going to lie, mostly because I am horrible at it anyways, these unnecessary labels formulated by various individuals experiences with me, or through word-of-mouth, were and still are hurtful and greatly offensive.
It is incredibly difficult not to internalize these outside opinions, as I have spent years obsessing, internalizing, and believing these horrible labels that others have attempted to shove my way.
For someone who is so critical of myself in order to avoid getting labeled, I really ended up with a handful of labels, especially when it comes to my mental health. It is truly ironic, as I actively have always worked to be as close to perfect as possible, in the hopes of facing any negative criticism from myself, as well as others. Unfortunately, getting labeled with these diagnoses was not something that I asked for and these labels are the last possible thing that I could have ever just had handed to me.
But, I cannot run away from these labels, as they are a significant part of my life, and allow me to understand myself and somewhat understand my actions, behaviors, and reactions.
Why I have so many labels is a mystery to me…The world works in such interesting ways, am I right?
I can tell you for certain that the more that you listen to these comments, which are simply just opinions and not based on facts, you may start to believe them, and in turn, react in a way that coincides with that label.
For example, for many years, and still to this day, people have told me that I am crazy. In fact, I have been called various synonyms of crazy, as well.
And, for a while, I took this offensively, ran with it, and internalized it.
I would literally try (VERY HARD) to be “crazy,” because that is what I thought people wanted, and that is what I thought people thought of me. So, naturally, I began believing that I was much more crazy than I already am and began acting out. With anxiety like mine, I began obsessing over how crazy people thought I was, even though I was not even THAT crazy, but if a large majority of people are saying I am, then that must be so.
Instead of being “crazy busy,” “crazy lazy,” or “crazy fun,” I internalized this label in a negative light, which only fueled my fire to attempt to showcase a very extreme version of “crazy.”
To be honest, trying THAT hard to be something that I simply am not was extremely tiresome, extremely difficult, and required an extreme amount of motivation, which was fueled by the labels.
I would think to myself, “They think I am crazy? Well, I can give you crazy. Let me show you what crazy actually is!”
The point of this story is that I let these labels get to me, and instead of turning a cheek, or simply embracing my eccentric existence, I decided to go out of my way to put on a show for myself (because who really actually cares and who really actually wants to watch), in an attempt to try to embrace this label.
This was simply not constructive behavior, and in fact, I did not do a very good job at acting the role of “crazy.” If I had to grade myself on the effort, I would give myself an A+, but my execution was C-, at that.
I was trying to prove a point to the world, but instead, I forgot that everyone else is so entirely wrapped up in their own worlds that no one truly was watching my “crazy show.”
The funnier part about this time of my life was that all my close friends, who know me very well, treated me no differently and did not buy into my act. In fact, they kept telling me and reassuring me that I was completely sane, which completely defeated the purpose of trying to act “crazy.”
This was the complete opposite reaction that I wanted!
I clearly did not do a very convincing job, and have to do better next time.
My efforts were truly for nothing, as I realized that the only opinions that truly matter are your own, which also include your tight-knit support group, who always love, support, and cheer you on.

In my day, I have been labeled a lot of negative things. A lot of these labels emerged as a result of my diagnoses, as many people find it difficult to understand me, accept me, and be patient with me.
I am a very confusing and controversial person to understand, as many people have come to understand that I have more layers than an onion.
Many of my behaviors, actions, and words are confusing and make people wonder where my head is at, but I sware it is right where it needs to be, which is right above my shoulders.

I am misunderstood.
I am an acquired taste.

It is no one’s fault truly.
I am like a grapefruit, because when you first try grapefruit, not that many people like them right off the bat, as they are very tangy and very startling to one’s tastebuds. But, grapefruit tends to grow on people, and with time, you begin slowly acclimating to it.

Maybe, I am tequila. 
Tequila is a contradiction, as it is truly an acquired taste and not many people truly enjoy it. In fact, people love to hate tequila! However, people are still willing to drink it, because tequila gaurantees a good time (most times), poor decisions, and a break from reality. Though most people hate drinking tequila, everyone still tolerates it and can always count on tequila for a not-so-memorable time.

With that said, I also know what and who I am, or at least I think I do.
I can for certain say that I know what and who I am more now than I did a year ago.

I am strong.
I am charismatic.
I am fun.
I am intelligent.
I am friendly.
I am motivated.
I am energetic.
I am beautiful.
I am trying.
I am hardworking.
I am patient.
I am kind.
I am forgiving.
I am exciting.
I am open-minded.
I am witty.

I am perseverance.
I am creative.
I am hilarious.
I am awkward.
I am outgoing.
I am adventurous.
I am a lover.

♥ I am me ♥

You see even with all these labels attached to me, I still would like to think that I have some redeemable qualities, whether people recognize it and appreciate it should not matter.
All that matters is that you appreciate yourself and learn to practice that notion we call self-love.
This is very difficult for me, as I have always been an individual who was quick to criticize themselves, and take every loss and mistake too personally and too seriously.
I am always thinking about ways I could have been “better,” and often fall into the pattern of simply just punishing myself for small mistakes, or faults, that I may have made throughout the day. Even if I have not made a mistake, there is always something MORE I could have done.
Instead of simply letting things go, I begin picking myself apart and letting this mistake define myself, my self-worth, etc.
It is a toxic cycle!
With mistakes and losses, there comes labels, which I am always trying to avoid. However, labels always seemingly make their way into my life.

Labels are being dropped more frequently than human beings drop their phones on their faces while they are texting laying down.
That is saying a lot!

Labels are all fun and games, until you let these labels get the best of you. While most labels are thrown around with a negative connotation behind it, do your best to utilize this information, or this label, to your advantage.
While you cannot control other people, you can control what you do with these labels, or descriptors, of yourself. Labels, as bad as this sounds, can actually be beneficial to a certain extent, as labels are often based upon observations and experiences that others have had with you. You can find out a lot about the way that you may come off from an outsider’s perspective from people labeling you. Maybe, there are things that you can work on and improve on, which means that the control the label was supposed to have over you is no longer existent.

Labels will be around until the Earth decides to rest in peace, or human beings become extinct. And, while labels are great to use to identify people, things, places, etc., realize the power that a label can have on a person and their ability to live.
Stop telling people what they are and let people figure it out for themselves – that is, unless they wish to seek your help.

Next time someone tries to label you, just simply respond, “I know you are, but what am I?”

All I know is that…

[I am human]
[I am hungry]

[I am parched]
[I am tired]

What are you?
I challenge you to fill in the blanks and share your labels, and your experience, with them with me.
I am ________.

Do not let others tell you what and who you are, you be the judge of that.

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

 

 

Life Hack #34 – Take Notes

I love taking notes, and then color-coding them, and then perfecting them to the closest thing to perfect.

I tend to only be this meticulous with taking notes and absorbing information when I am in class.

Taking notes, and I mean literally writing, or typing, down notes, reminders, or information that you should retain is especially important.

Outside of class, there are a million reasons why you should be taking notes, mentally, but most importantly, physically taking notes. Beyond the fact that human beings are incredibly forgetful, human beings are incredibly talented at making mistakes, and even ignoring important details. Taking notes can save you from a lot of stress, inconveniences, and trouble, all which are things that we do not enjoy.

My favorite way to keep track of my life, and every aspect of my life, is to jot down a to-do list. I also love to use planners and calendars, and the more, the merrier. I own at least three calendars and a handful of planners that I love to use, mostly for fun.

I did not used to be like this.

In fact, a few years ago you could not catch me taking notes or using a planner, especially for fun. There was a time when I thought all these tasks were simply unnecessary and a waste of time. Boy, I was wrong!

Beyond to-do lists, planners, and calendars, when I am absorbing directions or instructions of any sort, or am receiving important information that I would like to access and be reminded of easily, I am quick to grab a pen and a pad of paper. If the information is successfully transferred onto a piece of paper that I keep somewhere safe, the information is able to be accessed with ease. Most importantly, the information that you are accessing is correct, accurate, and untainted.

All human beings, including myself, are guilty of lying to ourselves that “we will remember that thing that we thought kind of hard about writing down.” This results in more stress and more problems, as you are forced to construct a semi-accurate version of the information. Your version of the information is simply based on how much you absorbed the information, your ability to listen intently, and your memory. The chances of your almost-accurate information being correct is more often low rather than high. While your version of the information is not a lie and may convey “the same idea,” it is not and will not be correct. Most commonly, while the big picture of the information may have been received, individuals tend to miss the details, which are the important parts.

Taking notes is especially pertinent for those trying to pay attention to details.

Details are hypothetically smaller than the bigger picture. Human beings are all guilty of forgetting the details, or ignoring the details. But, the details are just about the only time that we should be paying attention. Instead of absorbing the details, we tend to focus on the bigger picture and are unable to appreciate, or even acknowledge, the importance of the details. Not knowing the details of any situation you encounter most often  results in mistakes, more trouble, etc.

We are all human, so we are allowed to make mistakes. But, do not let that be your excuse for not paying attention to the details of anything. It is important that you learn how vital it is to recognize the magnitude of importance that details, or skipping details, play in our lives.

Accuracy and meticulous tendencies, such as taking notes in important, information-filled situations, is extremely beneficial things that one should practice.

Even with meticulous tendencies and over-alert awareness for paying attention to the details, one can forget the details.

Can you blame them, though?

Details are just so small, and our society celebrates and promotes the concept of “the bigger picture.” Once again, the small, minute details of an otherwise bigger picture are overlooked, as if they do not play a huge role in the creation of a bigger picture.

Within a bigger picture, one can find one big picture. One can also find hundreds of small, minute details that come together to create the “bigger picture,” in which you are staring at. Without the small, minute details, there would be no bigger picture. Or, the bigger picture would just be a blank, white canvas that looks just like the others.

From experience when I am beginning a new job and am learning all my job duties, and all the details behind my duties, I always grab a pen and paper to jot down any notes, or information, that I find important, I feel is emphasized, or I feel as though I may forget.

Let’s just say that I take a lot of notes.

Just because you are taking down notes does not mean that you do not have a good memory, or that you cannot handle life. It just means that you have accepted the fact that our ability to go beyond listening, or pretending to listen, to information and actually proceed to process, acknowledge, remember, and implement every single task correctly without any reminders, or without forgetting, is not as great as we would like to believe.

We all would like to remember every little thing without having to take notes, or make reminders, details and all. But, this is simply not realistic.

Write down everything if you so please, especially if it is going to assist you in retaining information accurately. Our brains can only remember so much!

Most of us have had our entire lives, minus our infancy, to practice taking notes.

Let’s take it outside of the classroom, how about that?

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

In My Perfect World

If you could construct your ideal world, what would it be like? What is your perfect world?

With all the terror and chaos occurring within the world, this theme of creating the most perfect haven has continuously made its way into people’s conversations, as everyone chimes in an attempt to insert their unique opinion and insight on how the world can get two steps closer to being “perfect.”

If you had all the power in the world, what would you do? What would make you happy? What is your utopia?

It is a hard concept to wrap your head around since perfection is an unattainable quality. It’s one of those questions that makes you think.

I complain a lot, which is a habit I need to completely kick out the window since in ’95. My incessant complaining had me thinking what it would take for me to not nitpick my reality, or find something to complain about.

In high school, I read this Tweet that stated, “People who complain more live longer,” Let’s just say, I took it to heart and ran with it. Oops…don’t trust everything you read on the Internet.

In my utopia, or my perfect world, I would own a bunny. One that was very similar to my last bunny, Tubz. I would want more clothes and shoes, which is very superficial.

In my perfect world, there would be no violent conflict, but better conflict resolution strategies. This utopia would focus on the integration and unity of our world. Of course. along with it, no one would be hungry and there would be homes above everyone’s head.

World peace, right?

I would want more rainbows, the existence of unicorns, no animal cruelty, more smiles, much more kindness, more art, more nature, less societal standards, easier accessibility to opportunities for all, health care for everyone, higher minimum wage, free, or affordable, education, cheaper housing, etc.

This sounds very cliché and probably a bit silly. Honestly, because I am not too sure how to answer this question.

Coming from a college kid’s perspective, I have no idea what a “perfect world” would be like. To a certain extent, the world needs some chaos, in order to evolve, grow and revolutionize.

As I sit here thinking about all the small, or even enormous, issues that I would change about the world, or simply irritate me, I also sit here wondering if there is ever a way to create a perfect utopian, or if these changes that I stand by would truly solve some of the problems, issues, and inconveniences I find myself facing.

Many of the things that our society is currently fighting for, including equal rights, world peace, environmental sustainability, gun violence, bullying, animal cruelty, mental illness, etc., are all issues that I spend a lot of time thinking about. But, will one person’s idea of a solution to that problem, actually result in a solution for all these solutions?

The answer to that question is “no,” but is there really one right answer about how to solve all the problems of the world, including everyone’s personal problems that currently live on this Earth.

We always joke about how “in a perfect world” bad things would not happen, or things could just go our way without having to do anything. To a certain extent, in a perfect world, every single human being would be able to do exactly what their hearts desired and get what they wanted, without having to lift a finger. We conceptualize that if we got everything that we so desired that we would all be eternally happy, and as a result, there would be no problems.

But, these days, everyone seems to have a problem.

In a world where everything we pleased is too attainable, eternal happiness and the diminishment of problems would not occur. Instead, eternal chaos and greed would run rampant. Beyond that, laziness would become a legitimate health issue, in this utopian world.

I have idealized and even resented other people’s realities, wishing I was handed the same circumstances that I witnessed them experiencing. I literally have spent many years obsessing over various people’s  reality, circumstances, and life, constantly telling myself that if I was them and had their life that my life would be perfect.

It is easy to envy a person’s life, or their lifestyles. It is even easier to resent a person for their life, circumstances, opportunities, vacations, money, etc., due to our perception of their life. This leads to a dangerous habit, as you begin playing a victim card, instead of actively attempting to solve problems.

There is no actual guarantee that if you were someone else, or lived their life, that your life would be any easier, or better.

Chaos would result from a utopia, where every single human being could have anything they wanted and do whatever they want.

Our problems, while they are not good per say, allow us to unite and come together with others who may share the same belief. Our problems are also some of the only things in our world that people actually pay attention to, because for some reason people crave problems. Problems keep people aware, conscious, growing, maturing, learning, experimenting, and open-minded.

Human beings may have just been put on this Earth to create problems, or to seek out problems. It is just in our nature!

Our society focuses so intently on the problems that are occurring currently. This can be viewed as a bad thing, but reporting on and addressing problems or mishaps within a society reminds people that there are still so many ways that our world could improve. So, people are able to come together and exert some passion towards fighting to solve, or bring change, towards some of the issues that our society faces.

Problems also allow for the birth of new ideas, new perspectives, and new beliefs. Addressing problems must be followed up with finding solutions to these problems, or attempting to discover a solution that benefits, or assists, the majority of those experiencing a problem first-hand.  Finding a solution brings individuals together, and these individuals all have different beliefs, perspectives, and ways of thinking and problem-solving. With the utilization of more than one individual, the potential to find a uniquely formulated solution from individuals of different backgrounds, beliefs, morals and experiences, is infinite.

There is so much right with the world, but there is also so much wrong in the world.

If I could be a superhero, I would wear a cape and help everyone overcome their problems. But, unfortunately, the extent in which I would like to resolve everyone’s problems is simply requires more than a cape.

My current reality is somewhat utopian.

I would rather choose to be happy and to live my life out than live in a world that would produce absolute chaos, and that would produce and exhibit extremely undisreable results.

I have everything I ever wanted and more right in front of me. I am currently living in a utopia!

The only things I would actively like to change about my life circumstances is having to pay so much money to attend college, in which I would wish for affordable education. I would ask for one more thing, which would be to own a pet bunny.

The idea of perfect is a concept that is impossible to grasp, let along imagine. I do not know what “perfect” would even be like, and I cannot even conceptualize this far-fetched idea. So, I choose to believe that the world I was born into and the life that I have to be (almost) perfect, mostly because I do not know any other life, nor have I ever lived someone else’s life.

What is your idea of a utopian world? What would your utopia be like?

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

 

June Reflections

The month of June has been extremely exciting, frustrating, stressful, kind, postive, and incredible all at the same time. It is safe to say that is has been a very emotional month for me, full of more incredible memories than bad memories.

I am still continuing to learn, grow, and mature, as the days come to me. I am still making mistakes, though…I am still a human being, and unfortunately, I make plenty of mistakes.
But, what can I say? I am still young and still have a handful of mistakes to continue making.

This month was a month full of growth, re-discovery, discovery, panic, anger, happiness, emotions, and self-awareness.
The stress and the heat of the Summer was beginning to get to me by the middle of the month, as I realized that time was continuing to fly, with or without my consent. As a result, all the things that I had continued to procrastinate still were left undone and unresolved, leaving me in a state of panic.
At the same time that the stress was hitting me, my urge to spend every waking minute outside, playing and enjoying the Sun, began emerging, with or without my consent. I found myself constantly wanting to enjoy my days, doing only things that I wanted to, not necessarily the things that I had to do, which only intensified my stress, as I often ended up choosing to enjoy my life.

I spent a lot of time this month focusing on having fun, or engaging in fun activities that I have always wanted to do, instead of constantly punishing myself for not working hard enough.

I can say with affirmation that I was much kinder to myself this month than I have been in a few years.
I am not ashamed to say that I do not regret any ounce of fun that I engaged in over the course of the last month, and I would not ever take it back.

I spent a lot more time outside, hanging out with friends, doing activities that I love, and learning to relax.
It was much more difficult than one would imagine.

Re-learning to relax, or to let myself relax and breathe, was extremely difficult.
In your head, it is quite simple, as breathing is one of those innate skills that should not take much energy, or stress, to execute. Unforunately, I completely forgot how to execute relaxing  and breathing recently, and re-learning to do something that I have not practiced in a while was difficult.

I am extremely proud of myself for allowing myself to get out of my own head, and finally allowing myself to forgive, to forget, and to just be.
My mind has been working extremely hard recently to hold me captive inside my thoughts, and it seemed like lately my head was the only place that I could reside in.
It seemed like most times I was unable to seperate myself from the capitivity of my head and my thoughts, which often made it extremely difficult for me to simply just enjoy the moments passing by and impeded my ability to have fun.

My prison sentence in the nearest federal brain prison has finally come to an end, and boy, am I glad that it is slowly coming to a stop.

This month, after finally learning to live outside of my brain, I was able to push myself outside of my comfort zone, as I stopped using my anxiety as a valid excuse for everything. Living outside of my head has truly helped me manage my anxiety and panic attacks to a certain extent.

While I still experienced some painful panic attacks, racing thoughts, etc., I have seen progress within my growth. I have been experimenting with various new coping mechanisms, in order to experience blissful states.
I never realized how much my own brain, my own thoughts, and my own irrational fears could take control of my life. Your brain is truly a powerful muscle!

I have been doing my best to take advantage of this new success that I have achieved by attempting to continue to grow and to continue becoming a better person every chance that I can.

Another thing that I have been working hard to do is to SLOW DOWN, in every way, shape, and form. My mind became overtly cluttered and chlosterphobic when I was unable to simply allow myself some time to slow down. When my mind is working faster than I am able to process my thoughts, my obligations, my anxieties, or my fears, I begin to immediately panic and begin feeling like I am drowning in my own thoughts, without a life vest.
Slowing down allows me to simply break down fears, obligations, stresses, etc., without exxassperating an already uncomfortable situation.

Entering every day with a strong and calm mindset is not something that can simply be done. It takes a lifetime of practice, as life is incredibly stressful.

My mind loves to wander, so it is especially important that I keep her on a short leash. In a matter of milliseconds, my mind can turn a seemingly achievable task into the MOST ENORMOUSLY TALL HURDLE TO EVER COME ACROSS. My mind also can turn into a torture chamber in a blink of an eye. As a result, I have made it an utmost priority to work on training myself on catching myself before I let my mind do such unspeakable things. These are all things that can be improved and helped, which is something that I continue to remind myself.

Be kind to yourself and enjoy the beautiful life you live.
Learning to love yourself and be kind to yourself can be as simple as to stop saying that “you can’t” do something, or be better.

I am the most forgetful person when it comes to being kind to myself and learning to let myself enjoy life.
No matter what you have done, or what you are going to do, you deserve to be happy, to enjoy your life, and to have fun! You deserve to laugh and you deserve to feel good about yourself. Try to enjoy, or even celebrate, your existence and your happiness. Share it with the world!
The world, including yourself, spends too much time and effort punishing you and trying to bring you down anyways. So, you may as well enjoy as much of it celebrating and DOING LIFE, in order to maximize your time on this Earth.

Be the light at the end of the tunnel for yourself and for others.
Happiness, joy, and a love for life is contagious, and it will be the only thing I will be catching this year.

#YOLO

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

Trippin’ Road

Monday, June 25, 2018, marks the first day of a very eventful and highly anticipated road trip. I will be making the journey from Boulder, Colorado to Milwaukee, Wisconsin with one of my dearest friends, Bria Schlossmann.

While our main mission is to drive her Jeep back to Milwaukee, we decided to use it as an excuse to spend time together, adventure, and finally execute a trip that we had always entertained for five years. This year it finally became a reality!

Bria is from Wisconsin, however, I am a Boulder native, who has left the Boulder bubble, but not enough. I figured if I could figure out arraignments for my obligations that I could experience the world just a little more. The world contains so many magical, all natural gifts and treasures that are begging to be recognized, admired, uncovered, and shared.

Our first day was quite eventful, as we crossed the Colorado border into Nebraska.

We also made a pit stop at Fort Morgan, Colorado. Fort Morgan is a fairly small farm town and it seemed fairly traditional! There is something about those small towns that are charming, because they contain their own local gems that give the town a personality.

Of course, as we were leaving Colorado and entering Nebraska, we could not help but grab a picture at the “Welcome to Colorful Colorado.” This ended up being a little more of an obstacle for us, as I forced Bria to get off at the nearest exit and go in the opposite direction that we were supposed to be driving in JUST TO GET THIS PICTURE.

We did not skip a beat, proceeding to grab pictures at the “Welcome to Nebraska” sign, just because we can.

Staring at endless fields of corn, wheat, grass, etc. has always been fairly soothing for me to look at. Man, these fields sure do make the Earth seem like it could possibly be flat, but only part-time. The landscape is beautiful in its own unique way, and truly depends on perspective. Colorado and Nebraska had a surplus of endless fields, and luckily these fields looked far from dry, but very green and lush! This made me very happy and grateful for the rain that our nation has been receiving.

The sky was what was up!! The clouds were so breathtaking to look at, as they seemed to be just as endless as the fields, as you could see them for miles. The clouds also seemed friendlier than usual, appearing to hang lower and closer to the ground than normal. The sky was captivating to be around

On our second day, we made our way through Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and finally made it to Wisconsin.

The entire time we found ourselves chasing a storm, and at some points, the rain was so heavy that we could not see the roads.

I saw lots of wind farms….

corn….

and lots of beauty!

I also found a new appreciation for the sky and the clouds.

My two day road trip excursion was extremely exciting, full of laughs, good memories, and good conversation.

My vacation is only beginning, however. I will be spending some time with Bria and her family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as well as Elk Point, Wisconsin. I am looking forward to be spending time with them, and exploring Wisconsin in all of its’ glory.

What Summer trips do you have planned?

Drive safe, but trip road often!!

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

Gallery | The Ruff Life

The ruff life is not the life for me, or these beautiful dogs. That is something that we can both agree on!

This last week at work was one that was especially rewarding and full of love, happiness and joy. For those who may not know, I work at a doggy day care and boarding facility that can sometimes be holding over 160 dogs within the facility.

This facility and career opportunity allows me to interact and come in contact with 300+ dogs in and around the area! To say that I have met a lot of dogs is an understatement – sometimes, I think I may have more dog friends than human friends.

For some reason, I am totally okay with this. I may as well be friends with as many of “man’s best friends” as possible, as they are exceptional company and great entertainment.

Their companionship is something that is like none other, because their love is unconditional. The things they do to get your attention, receive love from you, or even receive praise from you is condemnable, as they go to great lengths to show off to you how far they are willing to go to be friends with you. Their friendship and companionship is also lifelong, no matter what. At this point, marrying another human being sounds quite unappealing, as human beings just cannot be compared to dogs and human beings just cannot fulfill other human beings’ needs, especially in the love and affection department, like a dog can.

Their smiles and unique faces, along with their facial expressions, are unbeatable, and better than humans. Perhaps it is because of my job, but I find observing dogs facial expressions quite often and their faces speak louder than their barks sometimes. Since we are unable to communicate via language, one way to communicate with them is by observing their facial expressions and reactions, in order to figure out what they may be attempting to convey to you.

This week at Camp Bow Wow Boulder was extremely special for me, as I mentioned above.

For the first time in one month and three weeks, I was able to reunite with one of my favorite dogs, August West, as he came into Camp Bow Wow for a full-day of day care. Auggie, or August West, is the dog who I consider to be my lifelong boyfriend, husband, etc. He is four years old, and is a German Shepherd and Australian Shepherd mix. This combination of dog breeds resulted in the magical, beautiful, handsome, majestic, and always smiling Auggie, whose fur coat is more beautiful than some of the fur you see on fur coats on runway shows at New York Fashion Week. He is very impressive!

While his beauty cannot be ignored and is clearly undeniable, I also am a sucker for his personality, which many would describe as an acquired taste. August and I have a truly strong bond that cannot be broken, and he is truly loyal to me. His personality lights up my world, or my dog yard, because of his unique and sassy personality. While many have not seen Auggie when he’s truly in his element and feeling good, I have had the chance to do so! And, man, Auggie is funny and playful! His sassy side comes out a lot, as he is not the biggest fan of other dogs, especially other dogs who violate his personal bubble space.

Auggie and I are much more similar than most people expect, or even realize. I can relate to Auggie’s need to want to be left alone by others, as I often enjoy spending time alone being undisturbed. Disruption results in a salty reaction from me, as well. In addition, Auggie is hesitant to form friendships and relationships with just anyone, which is something that I find in myself. Auggie correlates to my introverted, more guarded side, as I protect my heart very closely. Similarly, Auggie’s insatiable need to constantly nap, in order to prevent his outbreaks, and irritation, is something that I can truly relate to. Naps are necessary in order to maintain a level head, and to stay beautiful.

August West, will you take my hand in marriage?

Nordy Knapp, the lankiest fellow that you will ever come across, is my other favorite dog. He is still a puppy and just turned one! Nordy has looks to make any dog drop their bone. While his rather slim figure may give people the wrong impression that he is delicate, Nordy is far from delicate. He does not steer very far from me, which I love, and he is excellent at showing me how much he loves me!

Nordy is my son, hypothetically. But, I see a lot of myself in Nordy, as he is rather rumbonxious, anxious, always barking (or talking), and a little bit all over the place. Nordy is always trying to have a good time and play, even when he is tired and no one wants to play.

Nordy and I act on our anxiety in similar ways, and because of our surplus of energy and our short attention spans, we both are all over the place. It may be hard to stand us from time to time, as trying to keep up with either of us may seem more like a chore than anything.

Nordy and I’s biggest downfall is our curiosity, as it often gets us in the most trouble. Neither of us ever intend to get in trouble or cause a disturbance, however, this tends to result from our curiosity.

Nordy and Auggie are dogs that resemble different aspects of my personality. I see myself, and my personality traits, within them. Our similarities bring us together, no matter how unique. Having common personality traits with anyone, or any animal, allow you to understand and react with compassion, empathy, and patience towards that person, or that animal, that any other person may not have. This only creates a stronger bond and a greater relationship that will guarantee rock your world.

Who is your soulmate and your best friend?

Spend time with more people who celebrate you in all your existence. Appreciate them and uplift them.

Witnessing a dog reenacting your reactions, whether it be a good one, a bad one, a regular one, or a rare one, also serves as a benefit, because it is not every day that you are able to watch a version of yourself living life and reacting to life right in front of you. It really allows you to truly reflect on yourself, and hopefully form opinions about ways you could either improve, keep, or eliminate personality or behavioral traits or reactions that you may find appealing, or unappealing.

Keep good company – always. Learn from your good company.

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

Campin’ Chronicles | Camp Dick, Colorado

On June 22, 2018, two of my coworkers, plus their dogs, and I made our way up to the mountains, in order to engage in some all natural therapy for several days.
Camping in the Summer is an activity that is supremely popular in Colorado, so we decided to jump on the bangwagon and get campin’.

I have not been camping in a little bit, so this camping trip served as an excellent way to dip my toes back in the water.

As a kid, my parents took my brother and I camping pretty regularly. But, as I grew older, the camping trips became much more of a rare occassion.
Throughout my high school and collegiate careers, I went camping at least once or twice a year, but still it did not compare to the number of camping trips that I went on as a child. Plus, these camping trips tended to get more *wild,* as they were unsupervised, only consisting of a group of high school-aged kids, or college kids, who did everything but be responsible.
Let us just say that those camping trips consisted of a surplus of low-grade vodka, usually Burnetts, UV, or McCormicks, and a bunch of 30-racks of Rolling Rock or Natty Ice.
But, what better place to celebrate being reckless, or engage in underage drinking, than in the wild, with views that extend 360 degrees? Might as well be irresponsible, in nature, where the views are endless and breathtaking. Plus, the sudden rise in elevation guaranteed that at least one person would end up either peeing themselves, “blacked out,” or passed out somewhere in the woods, or in someone’s car.

This camping trip was the first one of the Summer! My friends, their dogs, and myself made our way to Peaceful Valley, Colorado, to a campsite named “Camp Dick.” The campsite was completely full and occupied with eager campers and families.

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Our campsite was located in the middle of Camp Dick, so we had some pretty great views! The campsite was located in a valley that was completely covered in green, lush trees, almost making it seem as if we were in a forest!
While Sunday, June, 24, was a fairly cloudy and rainy day, Friday and Saturday were some of the sunniest and warmest days ever! Even in the middle of the mountains, where the temperatures are supposedly cooler than in Boulder, Colorado, I found myself sweating and complaining about being “too hot,” or “way too warm.”
Camp Dick had a lot more to offer than we even expected, including a beautiful creek, or river, that ran through the entire campsite! Beyond the creek, one could find infinite amounts of trees and forestry until the eye could extend.
It was incredibly calming to be completely surrounded by nature, or to be isolated from “the real world.” The sounds of nature and the simplicity of nature serve as some of my most favorite anti-anxiety agents! Processed with VSCO with c1 presetIMG_2958
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The main source of entertainment, minus spending time in nature, attempting to start a camp fire, and making friends with 5-years-olds, was definitely the dogs that decided to accompany us on our trip!
My coworkers have own of the cutest dogs, or best friends, ever!!
Seeing them in the wild, or in their element outside of doggy day care, was extremely comical and AWESOME.
This weekend solidified my place as reigning godmother to both of these beautiful, eccentric dogs who continue to fill my life with love, happiness, and barking.
Harlee Jo, a red heeler australian cattle dog puppy, is currently five months old, and is one of my favorite playmates ever! She is the definition of a puppy and still does have a lot to learn, however, she is the most fun puppy ever known to man! Not to mention, she is one of the most unique and breathtaking puppies I have ever set eyes on. Harlee is seriously one of the prettiest cattle dogs that I have ever layed eyes on and I am completely obsessed with her. There is never a dull moment with Harlee Jo!
Minnie, a chiwuini, is a little over one-years-old, but do not let her extremely small body fool you! She has the biggest personality ever known to man and a very expressive soul, existence, and face! Minnie resembles a character from a Disney/Pixar movie, and I think that she is so incredibly animated. She is one of the most loving and sassy girls I know!

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How have you been spending your Summer nights? Have you gone camping this summer?

xo,

Aichan Tewahade