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Teens Meet is a stand-a-lone branch of LAN Health Initiative (https://lanhealthinitiative.org) an NGO that focuses on wellness; physical and mental health. Here we connect with people all over the world, regardless of age, gender, sexuality, religious and political views.
There would be no quarrels and insults. We’ll all peacefully merge into a big and peaceful family, with squabbles here and there because we’re no robots.
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Consistency is more than showing up everyday, it’s about showing up even when you don’t have it in you to do so. Because there will be days the motivation will be there for you to go to work or show up for your child’s game at school. But then, there’ll be other days that even getting up from bed will seem like the hardest thing to do. Do you wake up and get going or you give up and decide nothing is worth that stress?
Don’t get me wrong; it’s perfectly okay to not show up everyday. It is very okay to get tired and decide to stay in bed all day, but it’s not okay to do so everytime you feel that way. There are days you decide not to indulge yourself and get going, and that’s very okay. Still, do not forget to give yourself a break when you need to take one.
In consistency, you’ll find growth.Anonymous.
Note to self: You don’t have to show up everyday and do the most work to feel like you’re being consistent. Consistency is cutting yourself some slack on some days, and not indulging yourself on the other days. It is knowing how to balance understanding and indulgence.
Building consistency takes time, and all you have to remember is to take it easy. Always.
Most people believe in keeping your insecurities to yourself so they won’t be used against you, but I believe that if you ever get to the point where you can boldly tell people what your insecurities are, then their mocking can never get to you.
My teeth is one part of my body that I’m most insecure about. You know, growing up by siblings used to accuse me of having a shovel teeth as they called it, and asides my diastema, having to fall down and actually chip my teeth added to my hatred of how they looked.
Up until early this year, I always covered my mouth whenever I laugh around people. I was always conscious of the fact that I have very weird dentition, and I secretly relished the thought of killing people who ask me “What happened to your teeth?” So I fell down while running one day and chipped the lower part of it, and what? Can’t people mind their business for once in their lives?
You pointing out the parts of people you find weird to them is very insensitive and downright mean. What would you even gain from telling someone they have strong backlegs or an extraordinarily big nose to their faces? Are you even perfect?
I get the part about mentioning it to your friends and y’all having the time of your lives laughing at those people–because don’t we all do it? But you mentioning it to their faces and asking them about it is stupid. I just need to know what you’ll get from asking them about parts of themselves they didn’t create and making them feel bad about it. If that isn’t withcraft, I don’t know what is.
Refrain from going all out to know the cause of a person deficiences, after all, everyone has that part of their body they have to learn to live with.
And for the record, listen to The Cavemen. They’ll help take your mind off people’s lives and help you live in the moment and savour it. And what’s better than moving those part of your body that you’re insecured about to some afro beats?
There’s this lady I always see sleeping outside with her three kids and their pile of clothes every morning I go to work. Some days I want to stop and ask what their stories are, but this is Nigeria. If you don’t have the funds to help someone with their life, it’s better you mind your business and go your way.
Yesterday on my way back home, I decided to stop and talk to her. Here is how our conversation went:
Good evening, ma.
Good evening, aunty. How was work today?
It was okay o. I bless God. How are you and your kids? And how come they’re not with you today?
Oh, they went to sell market. (Shy smile) You know we have to eat na. But we’re all fine.
I was wondering. (Chuckle) You people have to eat o; odikwa very important. That’s why I always to advise to people to eat first, regardless of what they’re going through.
You get it, my sister. God will help us to keep eating.
Amen. I just said I should stop by and greet since I always see you here when I pass. Have a great evening, ma, and my regards to your kids.
God bless you, my sister. Help me great your husband o.
I smiled and walked away. As they say, “Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.” I’m not ready to be killed and brought back, but I also need her to know she’s a human being, and that every time I pass her, I see her.
Speculations aside, eating is very important. Very. No matter what you’re going through, try to eat as much, and as often, as you can. It’ll give you the stamina to run around, peradventure push comes to shove.
I’m curious as to to her story, but then, it’s always good to be cautious and not go all out, pitying people. What do you suggest I do?
When I was younger, I used to feel so ugly and horrible. I was disgusted with myself, the world, and the people around me that I so badly wanted to be like. Some days I’d spit on leaves and rub them on my face, willing whatever chi that’s following me to bless me and make me pretty–that was how badly I wanted it.
I was ugly, to the last letter. I hated the sight of myself, that’s why I avoided looking at the mirror for years. Taking pictures were a big issue for me, and it took constant hammering of the word “You are amazing, Rachael,” by a friend (Bless you, Anastis) for it to stick that I was more than my looks; more than the family I came from. I was, and I am, amazing, and I don’t have to look like my definition of beautiful to feel that way.
Comparison does a lot of things to our self-esteem, and most times, it takes you accepting yourself as you are to see that you are worthy of everything amazing. You are more than the way you look, and if you’re like me who channelled my fury into books and self-development, you’ll see that your looks doesn’t matter in the end.
As long as you dress neatly, smell nicely and you’re able to keep conversations going, the world is yours to dazzling.
Because I don’t believe in self-talks about how beautiful a person is until they subconsciously learn to see more in themselves than their looks, I’d just tell you that you are more. And that you are enough.
If people don’t fuck with how you look, then they can go fuck themselves. Because, you are more than the way you look.
In 2021, I had to leave my boyfriend because we stopped being healthy for each other. And as I told him, we don’t need to be in each other’s lives at the moment because it’s only going to inhibit us; I need you to love me enough to let go, because I love me enough to know that this isn’t what I need at this point in my life.
Because we’re humans, we’re inherently toxic. Not because we came into the world that way, but because we had to learn to live in a world that’s wicked and we adpated some behaviours that weren’t going to be good in the long run but helps keep us safe and sane at that moment.
It’s like developing compartmentalization as a defense mechanism against all the hurts you feel on a daily. So instead of processing the information, you shut the memory someone and go on, acting like it never happened. At the end of the day, everything accumulates and you’re a mass of buried, undealt hurt that becomes so much it causes you to explode.
“Anger is sadness that had nowhere to go.”Anonymous.
People don’t just wake up one day and decide to burn their fathers or shoot up a school; their anger is the accumulation of their sadness that had nowhere to go for a long time. Is their rage justified? Yes. Does this invalidate the feelings of those who had to bear the brunt of their outrage? No.
“Dead people don’t only come home in bodybags.”Andrea Gibson.
So it’s always better to take a walk when you stop being healthy for someone/when they stop being healthy to you, too. This doesn’t mean it would hurt any less, but it hurting so much that you want to pack up and go back doesn’t mean it’s the wrong thing.
Sometimes, leaving can be the hardest thing to do.
I hope you get the courage to walk away from everything that strips you of your best self; I hope you know when to take it easy on yourself; I hope you love you more and are kinder to yourself when you find that you’re becoming unhealthy. I hope the world is kinder to you, and lastly, I hope you learn to love you for you.
It does get better. I know you can’t see the big picture right now because life gets overwhelming and you feel yourself crumbling because you don’t know if you can make it, but it does get better. Everything. The sleepless night, the tears, the grief, the hurt that feels choking. The pain that takes your breathe away and causes you to kneel down on some nights, crying and pleading with God to please make it better. It gets better.
I’m saying this as someone who has been through hell and back and is still standing. As someone who knows what it means to break down/ like the walls of an abandoned building/ (Rachael Aiyke, Empty. Endless. Love.)
So every time my heart aches, I know it’s the grief inside waiting for an outlet; calling on everything dear, everything loved, everything useful, to please take the ache away. And I know it’ll be fine. I know I’ll be fine.Rachael Aiyke, Grief; quiet and heavy (Published in African Writers Magazine, April 2022).
No matter how long you have to hold on and hold out and keep trying, know that there’s help—if you talk to the right people. You won’t always have them around you, and that’s okay, but if I can give you a piece of advice I was given once; keep asking for help, no matter how long it takes.
There will always be the right people to talk to, but you might not know them. And that’s okay. LAN Teens Meet is here, and I’m here. We’ll be here for you, always. And we’ll help you get help; and if it takes long, then we’ll help you hold on until you get the help you deserve.
You will live the life of your dreams. You’ll see, you’ll see. It’ll be okay.
There’s no template to life and how it should be lived, and as I said in Impostor’s Syndrome, we’re all fruads making the most of our lives and looking onto others to see how they do it. Some days we feel better than them, other days, we feel they’re better at this life thing than we are.
Chances are that those we’re measuring our success with are also measuring theirs with ours. So the secret is to keep reviewing everything you do and letting yourself see that no matter how little it is that you’re doing, it’s a step in the positive direction and overtime it combines to make a huge improvement in your life.
Every morning you wake up and get out of bed to take your bath, congratulate yourself. Most of the people you’re envying are dealing with more than you know and they might be finding it hard to get out of bed. It’s something the world can’t see, but you know it, and you know how hard it can get on some days to get up and take your bath.
Every day you paint for 30 minutes as a painter, be proud of yourself; you did something. Every time you write a hundred words a day or make a little post on your blog or social media accounts you’re running, be proud of yourself. It’s a small step in the positive direction and it combines to make a good leap at the end of the day.
When you share your wins with people about writing thirty thousand words, they congratulate you and feel jealous that you were able to do that much, not knowing what it took you to get to that point.
That’s the way of the world: most people share their wins and leave their struggles, and this doesn’t in anyway invalidate the fact that they struggled to get to where they are. It’s just the way of the world.
Be your person; appreciate yourself; go easy on yourself. It’s cold outside.
In this part of Africa, and in most countries of the world, the male gender is often asked to “man up,” or “act like a man.” Whatever that means. They are not allowed to cry or show emotions because they’re supposed to be the logical gender, and this causes them to grow up and develop a masculine ego. The one that says “I’m a man” and refuses to go into the kitchen to cook or even bend down to sweep. The kind that cries inside daily and dies of depression because they refuse to seek help.
Worldwide, the rate of statistics shows that suicide death is higher in men than in women, although women are known to rank the highest in depression and other psychological disorders, and they attempt suicide the most.
Gender stereotype has done more harm that good, breeding men who grow up with the mindset of their qualities being aggression, agency, coldness, meanness, burden bearing, strength, and detachment, and leaving women to feel they have to be weak, dependent, manipulative, parasitic, and other vices that are meant to prove them as the weaker vessel.
Here at LAN Teens Meet, we’re advocating for humanity. We’re saying NO to Gender Stereotype and discrimination. We’re saying YES to speaking up, irrespective of gender, and saying no to shutting up and being asked to “man up.” We’re saying NO to our feelings being downplayed and saying YES to freedom of expression.
NO to everything limiting; everything inhumane; everything that strips us of our best selves. YES to humanity and everything that makes us happy, because we deserve to live the life of our dreams, not one bound by the shackles of what the society expects from specific genders.
Two days ago, I told my therapist that I was tired and ready to quit living. I told her it was difficult for me to keep going and I needed external help; help which I didn’t know what form it should come in. I just knew I was tired and done.
Ordinarily, speaking to yourself about how tired you are does things to your psyche because you’re giving yourself the permission to breakdown finally and actually be tired (Psychological literature). But me expressing how tired I felt and how ready I was to call it quits and give up made me feel freer. I felt myself let go of the expectations that has been heaped on me by myself and others.
So maybe part of healing is admitting the fact that you’re tired and can’t go on anymore and giving yourself the opportunity to strip off every form of expectations, consciously and unconsciously.
My therapist asks me to allow myself feel everything, so I’m asking you to allow yourself feel tired; it’s the only way you allow yourself grow.
And if it ever gets too hard to keep going, know LAN Teens Meet is here to help. All you need to do is send us a message on @lantmeet on Facebook, email@example.com, @lan_teens on Twitter, or lan_teensmeet on Instagram. Alternatively, you can send us a message on WhatsApp through the link on our Facebook page.
Life is easier when you ask for help and understand when you’re tired. Because it’s okay to feel tired. It is very okay to feel and admit you’re tired, loves.
You’re a fraud! One day everyone is going to see that you’re not what you show you are; they’ll see that you’re not even a very good writer and that you’ve just been very lucky. Everyone will see you for who you really are. Boo! Shame on you!
The smartest and most creative set of people suffer from impostor’s syndrome, and who are creatives? Everyone, lol. Everyone is creating something and contributing their little quota to the world’s development, which means we’re all at risk for feeling like a fraud sometimes.
What we mostly forget is that we can’t be at a hundred percent all the time. As Sia said in her song, Helium, even superwomen/men needs a partner sometimes. And not only a partner, but breaks most times as we can’t always be at our best.
Even the works of some of your favorite artistes and writers and creatives sucks most times, but you don’t see those ones; you only see the refined, awesome version. No one likes to shoot themselves in the leg, and this doesn’t make them less of the amazing creatives they are, it just makes them a human in every sense of the word.
It’s not a crime to feel like an impostor, but it’s one to feel like you’re the only fraud on Earth. We’re all frauds making the most of our lives in anyway we can–not always, haha. But you get it.
So what do you say about impostor’s syndrome? Or am I the only who feel this way?