The Giving Issue

Every introduction to the month usually starts with either a story or anecdote introducing the theme, to which, I proclaim proudly, the need and desire, to keep said theme—what proceeds is usually a combination of both striving and lazily meandering through the subject matter. Part of the time, the reason for this dissonance is because of a lack of focus, but, more often than not, the reasoning is due to blatant disorganization.

I have made attempts, in the past, to rectify this character flaw by keeping a bullet journal, dedicating a whole month to getting organized, and sought out the help of friends to do so, however, each attempt has failed. The bullet journal is now lost, organization month back in June was potentially the most unorganized I could have been, and as for the friend who was supposed to assist me in keeping things together, well, that didn’t really work out—not the friendship—obviously.

Note: Make more organized friends.

Regardless, you might be thinking that this post is announcing that November is going to be Organization Month Part Deu, well you would be incorrect. It’s not. As of November 1, 2018, I will be focusing the entire month on giving back, in an effort to take thanks(give)ing literally. All month long Tova & Wild will be focused on volunteering, being active in your community, protesting when necessary, and hopefully, meeting and working with people that are trying to make the world a better place.

In lieu of the shooting that just happened this past weekend at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the Trump administrations slander and racial targetting of minorities, the assault taking place on immigrants and refugees, the pipe bombs being delivered to 13 Democrats and critics of the president, the shooting of two black people by a white man in Kentucky which was racially motivated, the vitriol of the administration and hostility on the trans and intersex community and general lack of concern over the larger LGBT community, the war on feminist issues like abortion and freedom of control over one’s body, police brutality and racial disparities, and a slew of Islamophobia has left me with a desire to do more.

Initially, when the Trump administration took office, I had moments of debating within myself to try and understand, listen and hear the other side of the political spectrum, but what I’ve found, through countless conversations with conservatives, Christians, and Republicans alike, is that the rhetoric of the Trump administration is not the rhetoric of the majority. It is a small, ruthless, fear-mongering tactic to create further dissension and division within the country. What we need, now, more than ever is to build bridges and open lines of communication, person-to-person, to collectively understand and thoroughly know, that we are stronger together—and this rhetoric and violence will not be tolerated any longer—hence, The Giving Issue.

I know there are countless issues that are serious and worth taking the time towards understanding and highlighting, but the aforementioned issues were what initially came to mind. I know that I am just one person, and cannot fully learn all there is to learn about each issue within the span of a month, but instead of taking this on as a research project, I want to highlight and discuss ways that individuals are making a difference today. Please, please, please, (please) be patient with me, give me time to learn and grow, because at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all are trying to do?

In the past, I might have continued this introduction to the month by reiterating that the theme won’t be so literal and instead will be a smorgasbord of things ranging on and off topic, that way you won’t be deprived of the regular programming, BUT, because I haven’t been consistent in a while, fuck regular content. The month will be as literal as I can possibly make it. Take it or leave it.

In the meantime, if you feel so inclined to come up with insightful content ideas centered around the aforementioned topic, i.e., giving, please do so in the comment section. Also, if you are considering doing the most with me, hit me up! Slide in my DM’s! Let’s meet up and see if we can make November the most giving centered month possible. ALSO, IF YOU AREN’T REGISTERED TO VOTE, PLEASE UNSUBSCRIBE FROM TOVA & WILD IMMEDIATELY, WE WILL NOT TOLERATE PASSIVE READERS, WE ONLY LIKE KEWL KIDS WHO VOTE, SO PLEASE CHECK YOUR TIMES AND GET OUT AND VOTE, AND IF YOU CAN DO IT EARLY, THEN DO IT, IT’S LITERALLY SO EASY, AND POLLS OPEN NEXT WEEK!

Here Are the Top 6 Stories on Tova & Wild This October

A poem for the month of October, because I couldn’t come up with a better way to describe The Friendship Issue other than through the means of poetry.

Hot and cold, rainy and crisp, the cool leaves prance on the ground kissing each stone as they pass along. October is for you and me, for lovers and bees. Drew met new friends and old ones, some who taught lessons and voted on no-guns. He started with stars but landed in cheese, and then he made a savory Bahn Mi.

Ta-da!

That’s it! For the real poets out there, please excuse this measly attempt, but feel free to meet me in the comments for more poetry and maybe don’t make me feel verklempt.


Leopard Print

1. Leopard Print: Flashy? Or Trashy? – Good Style

“For most of my life, my opinion on the print has been associated with a longing to be viewed as subtle, collegiate, and even J. Crew inspired, yet, since the start of 2016 my opinion on the print has changed and culminated into absolute worship.”

Slow Roasted Beets Shit
2. Slow Roasted Beets w/ Herb Ricotta & Pistachio Lemon Vinagerette – Good Food

“Typically, I am very picky with beets, because they are super tricky to peel and stain everything, but in this case, I decided to give it a try and incorporate my own version on it. Below is the recipe with all of the ingredients and process I used, but of course, you can always watch the one Violette and Sophia made, cos’ I’m sure it’s to die for.”

Wine and Cheese

3. A Case Against Cheese – Good Food

“I realized as I was getting my coffee today that every single time I do I ask for a little room at the top, a feature I never would have used early in my days of drinking coffee, but one that I have adopted as of recent, in lieu of the acidity of coffee and the way creamer perfectly neutralizes it, yet, I never actually get cream. I usually opt for almond or oat milk and have been known to leave the aforementioned coffee shop if they do not meet the dairy-free requirements of my life.”

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4. I Don’t Want to Subscribe to Instant Gratification Anymore – Goodness

“The other process that I think gets extremely overlooked is the moment we press publish. As soon as we do it, we know that we are relinquishing control and stepping into a bit of the unknown. Will someone read our words? Does anyone care? What if they hate it, or worse, what if they like it? What happens if I didn’t edit it properly?”

Woman's Best Friend

5. How Does One Make Friends As An Adult? – Good Vibes

“One scenario more familiar than the other where months go by and our friendship that started off like fireworks fizzles into zero to little contact because of work, due dates, and pending engagements. So what’s one to do? Do we simply settle in the cliche tropes that plague us and every other relationship we have, or do we constantly bombard the newfound friend until you’ve exhausted them mercilessly?”

Solange on Black

6. Solange Is My Best Friend, Even If We Aren’t IRL – Good Style

“I’m sure there are other reasons for constituting her as my unofficial official BFF, but right now I am literally shaking in my boots because just the other day on IG she subtly released a statement via T Magazine on the release of her new album and partially because it is 43 degrees here in Austin, Texas.”


 

If you’d like to contribute to Tova & Wild and would like to share your story, submit something! I’d love to get a chance to read your work and share Tova & Wild with you to share your stories, anecdotes, poetry, or recipes, just click the flashing gif below to learn more.

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Simple Advice From Anne Perryman

A few days ago, I was attempting to get ready for my day, when I inevitably fell back into a solid white J.Crew t-shirt, Levis, and black Tod’s mules. I have dawned this outfit on a number of occasions, primarily out of a lack of options in my closet, but also out of sheer comfort. I have been in this exact predicament a number of times and every single time it seems to play out the way it did before. In the past, this scenario would rarely happen, limiting myself to such few layers would prove to make me feel uncomfortable, ill-prepared, and fidgety, but now, something within myself has changed enough to garner an appreciation for the simplicity of my wardrobe, and yet, hate it entirely.

This whole idea of wanting less became more evident to me when I read an article on ManRepeller about Simple Advice from Three Older Women. The article was insightful, and inspiring, but left me feeling a lot more than I initially expected. Very rarely do pieces move me, but Anne Perryman, a journalist from NYC wrote about her experience growing into the person that she is today, which had little if anything to do with wardrobe, but more to do with the fact that she felt so inclined by the need to be a journalist, that she left her home, ended a marriage, and worked her ass of in several jobs writing, reporting, and being the person that she wanted to be—unknowingly, but also practically, self-identifying as a “low-maintenance dresser,” and describing shock and awe at anyone who travels with more than a carry-on, ever.

What resonated with me was this practicality and unfiltered love for something more than how her outward appearance looked. Not to say that she doesn’t care at all, because she admitted that she thoroughly knows what she likes and what she feels comfortable in, thus limiting her wardrobe to few items, but I can honestly say that I have never had this moment—yet, I want it so bad.

I tried going a month wearing a work uniform which consisted of black t-shirts, one pair of jeans, pants, shorts, and workout attire. What happened throughout that month was a reluctance to get dressed entirely, and a need to layer jackets, hats, jewelry, and anything that would add fun to my wardrobe, BUT then here I am, almost two years later, choosing t-shirts, solid sweaters, and jeans as my regular attire.

No layers.

No fuss.

No inspiration.

Simply comfort and practicality—a small part of me loves this narrative and the other part hates it.

I wrote about personal style a while ago and how I decided to surround myself with icons that inspired me to be more adventurous with my wardrobe, but then I read this article by Anne Perryman, and I was so moved that I completely forgot about my past decisions. Isn’t comfort always the goal, or is comfort irrelevant when it comes to style? Typing that out, I can feel the presence of Carrie Bradshaw whispering in my ear, only this time shes myself, in drag, named Carrie Bradstein.

Why do we need to choose between one or the other, and can you love clothes, and still at the same time maintain an effortlessly minimalist wardrobe without self-identifying as a minimalist. I hate minimalism. And yet, in my disdain, long for practicality when it comes to my clothing that I would never feel uncomfortable, a need to change five times before leaving my apartment, or layering garments so much, that I look somewhat like a mix between Iris Apfel and the Olsen twins.

I have been thinking about this for a while, and while I’ve come to no solid conclusion, I have become far more aware of my participation in consumerism. I have already adopted a vegetarian lifestyle to quell my guilt for not doing more for the environment, and while I have seemingly done this for my wardrobe as well, I am not immune to the rush that comes from obtaining something new and shiny.

I am like a cat, or goldfish, or some sort of animal that sees something beautiful and new and must make an impulse purchase. I am a genuine lover of fashion and the transformative power of clothing and accessories, but the longing to be an Anne Perryman journalist extraordinaire that travels the globe carrying a typewriter in her carryon and nothing more, changes this impulse. It goes beyond the impulse purchase because as someone who is a genuine fashion fan, merely looking at pieces doesn’t settle the desire to see myself dressed in swaths of fabric. I imagine myself walking down the street wearing colorful clothes, adorned with style and oozing confidence, and at the same time, crave to sit in the background in a comfortable sweater observing things as they happen.

It’s this sort of personal style struggle that is so prevalent today, mainly, I think, because of the way social media has sort of created a way for everyone to have a personal brand. You have to know what you like, why you like, where you got it, how to wear it, and exactly how to make the aesthetic work for your LEWK, that has never been the case before.

The thing is, I’m probably really overthinking this because regardless of what I might be grabbing from my closet right now, I still do want to assert my individuality through my clothes, as it’s meant to be—regardless of comfort and style. If I want to look like Iris Apfel, I can g-dammit. If I want to be Jenna Lyons, then I’ll slick my hair in a bun and do just that. I also don’t want to think about it so much. If Anne Perryman can travel the world carrying only a carry-on and nothing more, maybe I too can do the same, but I might have a few extra bags stored underneath my seat.

Chipotle Shiitake Tofu Bahn Mi

It’s been a while since I posted an explicit recipe post, but as I was going over things this weekend, for Tova & Wild, I realized the one thing that I miss most about eating animals was a good old-fashioned Bahn Mi.

When I decided to go vegetarian, it wasn’t a decision that just came about one day, but was in fact, a culmination of years of flirting with the idea. I committed for about 8 years and then dropped it as soon as I went to college because it wasn’t convenient. When school ended, the following years consisted of me attempting and failing to convert back, until I read a book called Eating Animals by Jonathon Safran Foer, to which, I subsequentially read Sapiens, Built To Last, and various Netflix documentaries about animal agriculture and sustainability—in those moments I literally became Elizabeth Gilbert crying and eating my way through pasta and watching cows eat happily through fields in California. It almost convinced me to go full on vegan, but after several attempts of quitting cheese, I finally just accepted that it would take some time, further education, and a level of dedication that I wasn’t quite capable of channeling on my own, at this time.

Initially, I found that my recipe posts were beginning with funny little quips and anecdotes to food troubles that I’ve had, but when I started dissecting it, I realized that the food that I eat and the way I eat was a culmination of so many factors. Not only was it based out of a desire to be more sustainable, but consisted of religious purposes, and even emotional responses from the torture that is induced upon animals. You see, for a while, I would take mini-vacations through Northern California and along the way we would happen upon fields of cows that were open and wandering around, seemingly happy until we came across one in the Central Valley that wasn’t as beautiful and picturesque as the ones I had seen previously. During these trips I found myself literally, in every sense of the word, loving the cows I was seeing. I would get insanely happy every single time I saw a field of them, and even at one point, compared them to dogs, just larger and more unaware of their size than their aforementioned counterparts. This comparison kept gnawing at me until I finally adopted the idea to stop eating animals altogether over a burger to which I decided would be my last.

Which brings me to the Bahn Mi.

More than often a Bahn Mi is made with pork tenderloin that is thinly sliced and seasoned with a marinade consisting of soy sauce, miso paste, and fish sauce. However, because I don’t really care for pork (see religious reasons), I would often substitute It for beef, however, now that I am a vegetarian, I found myself craving the sandwich of all sandwiches and decided to make a vegetarian option inspired by French, Latin, and Vietnamese influences. Give it a try, leave a comment below if you like it, and throw in a sprinkling of tips for some recipes you would like to see created. I’ve been considering putting these into a video format so I’m curious to see if anyone would like to see that. Okay, okay, without further adieu, Chipotle Shiitake Tofu Bahn Mi.

INGREDIENTS & METHOD

Yield: 4 Sandwiches


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Pickled Veggies

1 large carrot, julienne
1 large daikon radish, julienne (if your grocer doesn’t have daikon, standard radish will do)
1 cucumber, julienne
1 serrano pepper, julienne
2 garlic cloves, julienne
1 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 Tbsp kosher salt

METHOD

Once everything is sliced thinly, combine ingredients in a large pickling jar and fill half of the jar with white wine vinegar, and the other half with water. Depending on how spicy you want your pickled veggies to be, seed the pepper accordingly. Set in fridge and allow pickling process to begin.


Chipotle Aioli

1 cup Just Mayo, veganaise
2 Tbsp chives, julienne
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp chipotle powder
1 lime, zested, and juiced
Salt and Pepper to taste

METHOD

Combine the vegan mayo, chives, garlic, chipotle powder, and half of the juice of a lime together. Salt and pepper to taste. If the consistency is still too thick, add the other half of the juice of lime depending on preferred aioli consistency.


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Shiitake Tofu Bahn Mi

1 package of extra firm tofu, drained, dried, and sliced into small 1/2 inch cubes
3 large shiitake mushrooms, julienne (if mushrooms are hella expensive, you can also use more portobello mushrooms or cremini mushrooms as well)
2 large portobello mushrooms, julienne
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp fish sauce (game changer, but also not necessary if you don’t have it at your local grocer)
1/4 cup soy sauce or mushroom soy sauce
2 Tbsp Miso paste
1 Tbsp spicy chili paste
1 small shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 soft French Baguette
Cilantro leaves for topping

METHOD

Prepare the tofu by draining it from the package, and pressing the tofu evenly for at least 30 min to an hour before cooking. For extra firm consistency, consider freezing the tofu once sliced into even 1 cm sized slivers for 2-4 minutes. This will allow the tofu to stay firm, free of water, and easily fry in order to receive a non-chewy consistency. GAME CHANGER.

In a bowl, combine the fish sauce, soy sauce, miso paste, chili paste, shallots, and garlic together and whisk evenly.

In a large skillet on medium high heat, cook the mushrooms in olive oil allowing room for the mushrooms to lay evenly. Do not stir or fiddle with the mushrooms for at least 2-3 minutes as this will increase moisture in the pan causing mushrooms to become spongy. Once one side is cooked properly and browned, flip the mushrooms over and cook the other side in the same manner. Set aside.

Add tofu to the pan with remaining olive oil, add extra if needed. Cook the tofu on one side until golden brown and then flip the tofu over and cook the same side accordingly. Then, add the mushrooms back to the pan with the tofu and pour in the soy miso sauce you made prior. Allow cooking for another 2-3 minutes, until the sauce has been well absorbed into the tofu and mushrooms. Set aside.

To build the sandwich, cut the French Baguette in half lengthwise and add some of the chipotle mayo on both sides of the loaf. Add the tofu and mushrooms to the bottom half of the sandwich and top with pickled vegetables and cilantro leaves. Enjoy!

A Case Against Cheese

This story begins as most stories begin, sitting at a coffee shop, fiddling between the occasional notification on my iPhone, scrolling through Instagram feeds, and attempting to drink my coffee while it’s hot. Most of my stories begin with this same introduction, and yet, this one feels different. Why does it feel different you ask? Well, let me tell you—I realized as I was getting my coffee today that every single time I do I ask for a little room at the top, a feature I never would have used early in my days of drinking coffee, but one that I have adopted as of recent, in lieu of the acidity of coffee and the way creamer perfectly neutralizes it, yet, I never actually get cream. I usually opt for almond or oat milk and have been known to leave the aforementioned coffee shop if they do not meet the dairy-free requirements of my life.

Yet, inside my fridge at this very moment is a half-used carton of heavy whipping cream that I have used a countless number of times in various dishes, of which, I used just last night to make stuffed mushrooms. Along with said whipping cream, I also have at my disposal butter. Yes, butter which is also made from milk, French butter to be exact, made with French cows that sparkle like the French sun that shines upon them.

So what’s the problem right?

The problem is that I have self-professed, mostly to myself, that I am a vegan. I don’t eat meat, always opt for dairy-free creamer at coffee shops, never eat processed cheese or milk foods at restaurants, and yet, in my own home, I have two ingredients that are very un-vegan, actually I have three, I bought some camembert cheese the other day. So why not just use milk in my coffee and call myself a vegetarian? Because I want to be a vegan. I so badly want to be able to give up the whole animal product life altogether but I cannot seem to forgo the dairy that provides the perfectly creamy risotto or the way butter adds such an excellent level of fat to the food I eat. I can’t seem to part with a delicate and buttery parmesan and pesto sandwich. I don’t want to give up cheese wheels that have been aged for several months.

This inconsistency plagues me, but I know that a lot of vegetarians once were in this place. I’ve reached out to a few known veg-heads online in search of answers to this constant craving for cheese and dairy, and sadly, have come back with answers that all consist of, consider the cows, you’ll get over it—but none with a solid answer as to how. Does anyone else feel this way? Has anyone else tried to go vegan but found themselves straddled somewhere between the lines of a social vegan, whilst secretly devouring cheese in their bedsheets at night? Still just me?

I think one of the main issues with the whole thing is that I became a veg-head in part due to the inhumane treatment of animals, but primarily out of a social issue in which the meat and agriculture industry contribute so much to climate change and environmental issues, that I felt it was the easiest way to play a part. Not only that but after countless hours of documentaries and books read, I felt the health reasons for cutting out meat, vastly outnumbered the benefits of eating it—and, for the most part, all of the reasons are still the same reasons I continue to eat this way today.

I feel better.

I feel healthier.

I lost 5 lbs and started seeing my skin clear up a lot more. I also realized that there are so many amazing vegetables out there and so many interesting ways to cook them that I actually think I enjoy eating more now as a vegetarian than I did before—BUT cheese, heavy whipping cream, and butter seem to be the three things that I cannot avoid.

I read an article a few days ago that said something along the lines of cheese being an addictive substance, equal to that of crack without the more extreme side effects. So why? Why can’t I give it up? Am I addicted? Who is responsible for adding this drug into my life and when and where is the rehab to get me off of it. I want to stop craving it so badly, but when you have a hankering for pasta and you need that perfectly snow white companion like pecorino romano to sprinkle over everything, who will be there? Some vegans have suggested nutritional yeast, but it’s not the same. I’ve read the stories about nut cheeses but at the end of the day, it just doesn’t seem worth it. It doesn’t melt properly, the consistency is different, and they have yet to create a substitute for Camembert or Brie or Roquefort or even Parmesan.

After 700 words, I feel more confused and more frustrated about this issue than before, and mostly, I feel like a whiny child. I feel like someone who says that they care about an issue but then folds the minute the issue becomes slightly difficult. Some people seem to be easier about sticking to their convictions, and while I considered myself to be one of those people, I realized that I am much weaker than I think. It’s one thing to walk into a coffee shop and order a dairy-free substitute for creamer and completely another thing when you know inside of your home at this very moment is a small carton of milk sitting there waiting to be used. Everythings a process, this I know to be true, but when does the process become easier? Is there ever a moment when the process becomes easier? Is it naive of me to think this way at all?

I’m almost to 1000 words now, maybe I’ll…

 

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Why I’m So Over the Moon This Tuesday

…BECAUSE THIS WEEKEND I HIT OVER 150 SUBSCRIBERS

and was just so blown away by all of the love and support that I have received on this platform since I first arrived here this past spring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I never imagined one day that I would spend so much time writing and sharing my thoughts online, but this community that has seemingly popped up out of nowhere has really encouraged me to stay the course—my only hope is that Tova & Wild does the same for you.

I like to consider my blog something that is constantly evolving and longing, nay craving, writers and creators to build an online community that opens a conversation on holistic living, consciousness, activism, and sustainability with a dash of humor and a smidgen of self-deprecation.

For those of you that are new subscribers, I kind of organize everything into four expansive categories Goodness, Good Food, Good Style, and Good Vibes.

Goodness pertains to all things physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. I try to look at things unbiased as possible while constantly exploring new possibilities. Good Style looks at the methods and means to which we describe ourselves as it pertains to style, aesthetic, decor, and the like, as well as ways that it impacts both a local and global community. Good Food obviously is all about food, eating, recipes, and health choices that go along with it. AND Good Vibes is all about short stories, funny moments, and travel.

All of the illustrations are my own, along with all of the written content on the page, but I am always looking for writers, contributors and friends to partner along and use this platform in a way that is conducive to creating a more beautiful world, so if any of this sounds interesting and potentially worth your time contributing then click the flashing gif below.

Below are some fun little ways you can join my thankfulness party, as well as some gifts for you iPhone users out there.

Leave a comment linking to your blog along with some information about your blog, please avoid spammy posts.

Share this post with your followers or tag some friends so I can check out their blog as well.

Contribute to Tova & Wild content by submitting a story, essay, poem or some form of content that fits our vibe.

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Follow my illustration work on Instagram.

Visit my Portfolio and hire me to illustrate for you…wink. wink.

Check out others bloggers, like my friend SoyVirgo

Download a free illustrated wallpaper by yours truly.

Again, thank you so much, new followers! I love you like I love listening to Solange, staring at chandeliers and eating the last bit of ice cream, and that’s real love.

Solange Is My Best Friend, Even If We Aren’t IRL

Historically, I would have said that she is my icon, my idol, my goddess if you will, but why resort her as a best friend, a) because entire vibe can be quintessentially wrapped up in one single word, polymath, to which I aspire to one day describe myself, b) because her Instagram literally shakes me to my core and c) her albums have been my vibe since True back in 2012.

I’m sure there are other reasons for constituting her as my unofficial official BFF, but right now I am literally shaking in my boots because just the other day on IG she subtly released a statement via T Magazine on the release of her new album and partially because it is 43 degrees here in Austin, Texas.

Solange provides me, what some would consider soothing melodies to which I feel I can tap into creative potential unlike any other. Her songs are both soft and powerful, the beat of the drum is both steady and allows your body to move, and at the same time, her lyrics provide the kind of emotional depth, truth, and political woke-ness to a somewhat apathetic culture. She describes what it means to be a Black woman colorfully and in detail, illustrating facets to her blackness that someone of another culture can only hear, but allows you to feel the emotion of it through her music. I listen to it often. I listen to it in full, from beginning to end, interludes and all. Occasionally, when I listen to only one song or a few songs from the album, I end up needing to listen to the entire thing because it sets me in a mood immediately.

Her voice provides intimacy and an almost, ”come-listen” type of quality to it that makes you sit up and take note, then immediately feel compelled to lean back comfortably for the next melody. She is an artist, and in a way, allowed me to finally be comfortable calling myself an artist, a word I have always hated.

At one point in my fandom of Solange, I considered chopping my hair off because being Jewish and Italian, the struggle of my hair is that water makes it frizzy and the curls sometimes are completely unmanageable. I have always longed for thin, straight, unassuming hair, and yet, it was a Black woman’s representation of loving her hair and seeing the beauty of her hair, that allowed me, a Jewish/Italian boy to love my own ethnic hair, given to me by my mother.

“Don’t touch my hair / When it’s the feelings I wear / Don’t touch my soul / When there’s a rhythm I know / Don’t touch my crown / They say the vision I’ve found /  Don’t touch what’s there / When it’s the feelings I wear.”

Solange has given me permission to appreciate art and beauty and allow myself to venture creatively in whatever aspect feels natural to me. I could go on and on and wax poetic for days on the lyrical genius of her work, or the beauty of her Instagram page, or the fact that my sister and I discuss her dance moves as frequently as we discuss any other topic, but at its core, the reason I feel Solange and I would be BFF’s is because she is constantly in a state of reflection.

In an almost meditative pace, she reflects off of every word she delivers, and it’s this sort of reflection that gives depth and analysis to her work. It’s that type of reflection that I aspire and am constantly inspired to have. To be able to reflect on my life and look inward to further express outward. That is an artist, that is who I want to be, and Solange gives me the courage to do so.

Do you have an artist/musician/actor in your life, like this? Slide into the comments below to discuss the type of people that inspire you to be a more you version of yourself.

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Conflict Resolution For Your Meyers-Briggs Personality Type

During the Friendship Issue, one of the things that I really wanted to discuss was the way in which we handle conflicts as friends. Its virtually an issue no one talks about, and yet everyone goes through. However, the process of handling conflict also entirely depends on the person, for some aggression and argumentative styles work best, while others retreat and avoid conflict like the plague, SO, I decided to enlist the help of an ancient tool used to put people into categories in order to help them learn more about themselves—Meyers-Briggs.

To figure out your personality type all you have to do is take this quiz and then you’ll be on your way to figuring out how you handle conflict so you can master sticky situations like a pro. Below are the sixteen personality profiles on how they handle conflict.

ISFJ

Introverted · Sensor · Feelings · Judgment

The classic avoider. That’s what you are ISFJ. You are so internal and so sensory that for the most part, you draw from your wealth of knowledge about people to assess situations and avoid conflict before they even happen. You can quickly explain away a situation and usually will try to help people understand where the other person is coming from trying to mediate conflict quickly, BUT, sometimes people need to work out their problems for themselves. AND sometimes, you need to hash out disagreements in order to come to a collective resolution. Don’t worry about pleasing others, you need to voice your own concerns instead of sweeping things under the rug.

ESFJ

Extraverted · Sensor · Feeling · Judgment

Mr./Mrs. Fix It, that’s what I’m going to call you, and in reality, you are really great at handling conflict and finding ways to make the situation better. However, the one thing that you need to be mindful of is putting band-aids on feelings so quickly. Sometimes you need to work on allowing the other person and yourself, to feel the emotions of a situation instead of folding so quickly to handle the conflict. If you don’t voice your opinions and concern, you could start to harbor hurt feelings and bitterness—and that doesn’t look good on anyone.

ISTJ

Introverted · Sensor · Thinking · Judgment

GIRRRLLLL / GUUUYYYYY / HOWEVER YOU IDENTIFY!!!!! THE REASON I AM YELLING AT YOU AND SCREAMING SO LOUDLY IS BECAUSE YOU ARE NATURALLY soft-spoken unless someone does something to you that is irrational or out of line with their articulated values. To which then, you are extremely argumentative. You have disingenuine people, and you hate when people go against their word. The lesson for you is that you need to understand that life and people are constantly evolving. Just because someone did something wrong in the past doesn’t mean that they will continue the behavior in the future. However, rather than jump to conclusions, try to hear the other person out and find the logic in the scenario, facts are always better than fiction.

ESTJ

Extraverted · Sensor · Thinking · Judgment

I hate to break it to you ESTJ, even though you probably already know this, but you are definitely the my-way-or-the-highway type of personality, especially when it comes to handling conflict. Which usually is due to your extreme need to handle things efficiently. You make rash decisions, quick judgments, and usually, need to be the one in charge handling the conflict. Try and realize that when you handle situations like this, other people can feel unheard or underappreciated, and that, in the end, is just going to cause more conflict. If you think about it logically, its better to take the time to handle the situations slowly and progressively so that way both parties heal, in order to not have to deal with it again. To me, that seems a lot more efficient. Food for thought.

ESFP

Extraverted · Sensor · Feeling · Perception

Remember that Sara Bareilles song Bottle It Up, where she sings about bottling up your emotions or handling things in that manner? Don’t do that, even though that is what you are prone to do. That’s not any way of handling things, and even though its a form of self-protection, you end up bringing up old wounds you haven’t dealt with rather than dealing with the situation at hand. Trust is the lesson here. Trust that others will love you and that your relationships are deeper than they seem.

ISTP

Introverted · Sensor · Thinking · Perceiving

You are basically the best at handling disagreements and kerfuffles, mainly due to your analytical mind and systematic nature which allows you to come up with great solutions to issues. The downside is that oftentimes you can become quite difficult to work with when things get a little too emotional, or whenever someone tells you their feelings were hurt—mainly because you don’t trust decisions based on emotions. The main goal in your relationships is to try and understand that while its okay for you to handle yourself in a way that handles conflict void of emotions, it is important to hear and listen, other peoples, emotional perspectives.

ESTP

Extraverted · Sensor · Thinking · Perceiving

My main squeeze! ESTP! Hey, girl hey! We are naturally good at deflecting emotions and fixing conflict quickly. Mainly, because we’re really good at deescalating a situation and handling it quickly so that way feelings aren’t hurt and situations are left undone. The problem is whenever we’re in a personal or romantic relationship things, kind of, get complicated—mainly due to our need to keep the peace and turn situations into jokes. Conflict isn’t a commentary on the quality of your relationships, and to that, neither is harmony. Voice your needs and allow yourself to express your frustration openly, rather than make awkward passive comments that leave your relationships with a sour taste.

ISFP

Introverted · Sensor · Feeling · Perceiving

Laid back, easy-going, go with the flow. Tis the way of the ISFP. Unless your personal relationships come into play, then it’s more like burying your own frustration and hurt deeper and deeper and withdraw into yourself until you basically are just a shell of a human person. I know—I know, that sounds really dramatic, and it is, but like, you really need to stop avoiding conflict. It isn’t healthy for you or your relationships. Just rip off the band-aid and deal with it quickly. That way you can be healed of old wounds. A good measure would be taking some time regularly to check-in with your loved ones in order to allow space for feelings to be discussed openly.

ENFP

Extraverted · Intuitive · Feeling · Perceiving

PASSION! That is you to a ‘t.’ You have no problem arguing for the rights of others, or causes that you believe in, and while you tend to be the first to stand up in defense of your values, you are the last person to stand up for yourself. You shut down, avoid, and evade conflict and lock people out when they want to talk to you. Letting people know you are vulnerable isn’t a bad thing, in fact, there is a lot of strength in vulnerability. The next time there is a conflict that comes up, try to assess and say, “this hurts, here’s why.” Expressing hurt feelings isn’t a weakness, trust that others will love and accept you regardless. You constantly give other people a chance, why not take a chance on yourself.

INFP

Introverted · Intuitive · Feeling · Perceiving

Classic avoider, mainly due to your sensitive and empathetic nature. Your heart and compassion is your greatest strength INFP, but you have to allow others the space to see the full extent of it, and that means speaking up for yourself. Don’t rush into conflict, instead take the time to assess your feelings and find the words to say, allowing things to cool off. Just make sure that this is articulated. Don’t expect people to read you as easily as you read them. Communication. Communication. Communication.

ENFJ

Extraverted · Intuitive · Feeling · Judgment

I really like the way that you handle conflict ENFJ, you are the mediator. You listen, you hear situations, and you try to really work on the relationship. You don’t fold quickly and usually, try to allow the time for the situation to resolve. However, you can become quite defensive when someone comes at you with personal criticisms and fail to stand up for yourself when someone comes at you logically. Trust your abilities and assess the situation carefully in order to perceive what may or may not be true. Don’t internalize negativity so quickly as you are one to constantly self-criticize. Try to be critical of others too.

INFJ

Introverted · Intuitive · Feeling · Judgment

You are the type of person to drop a truth bomb and then pretend like you didn’t just say what you just said. This is partially due to you not wanting to incite conflict with people, while at the same time trying to debate or argue your beliefs. A lot of time this can lead you to misinterpret situations or feeling like your treated unjustly when things don’t line up as you imagined. Listen to your intuition but at the same time, give people the chance to explain themselves without feeling like they aren’t being honest. Also, own up to your mistakes because sometimes you can point fingers without pointing a finger at yourself boo boo. Okkkurrrt!

INTJ

Introverted · Intuitive · Thinking · Judgment

You come off as a know-it-all, but it’s only because you have deep convictions and take the time to think things through. You tend to have a defensive and combative conflict style that quickly turns into ignoring others that seem emotional or illogical. Try to really listen to the other person and figure out what they’re saying, rather than taking everything extremely personally.

INTP

Introverted · Intuitive · Thinking · Perceiving

INTP’s tend to remain calm, cool, and collected in analytical arguments—it’s the emotional ones that through you off. You never want to get into discussions that are too emotional and rarely appeal to feelings. Your biggest weakness is the inability to see past logic and look at things through the lens of the heart. Try to remember that just because it’s not your style to go about things emotionally, doesn’t mean that other people have to subscribe to that as well. Try to consider the effects of the argument and appeal to the humanity in the conflict. Hopefully, in doing so, you will be able to handle the conflict quickly and make logical but beneficial judgment calls.

ENTP

Extraverted · Intuitive · Thinking · Perceiving

Oh, ENTP, you never shy away from a good debate. You love conflict, love stirring the pot, and love test ideas out before you develop your own personal beliefs. Weird right? It’s different for sure, but the reason you do this is that you might be a little unsure of your own emotions regarding things. When conflict arises, you need to stop detaching from your relationships and voice your opinion. Stop trying to stir the pot in order to detach and stop testing ideas out and instead voice your own. You actually have a good ability to balance logic and emotion and your relationships would seriously benefit from a healthy argument, at least one that doesn’t have you trying to start trouble.

ENTJ

Extraverted · Intuitive · Thinking · Perceiving

Bull in a china shop would accurately describe your conflict style. You charge forward and often have very little care for other peoples emotions or feelings, which makes you brew conflict in the wake of your plans. Arguments make you impatient. Disagreements frustrate you. This is your blind spot, so it’s best to pay attention. Not every problem has one objective best answer and your way isn’t always right. You will make fewer mistakes if you start taking more self-care, listening to others feedback and criticism, and consider every person on your team. This is true, especially in your relationships.

 

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I’m Trying to Work Through My Own Political Apathy

As a millennial, I feel like one of the most defining moments in my life was the day I watched a seventeen-year-old Emma Gonzalez speak at the March for Our Lives Protest in Washington, DC after the shooting that killed 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. I remember watching her speak and being deeply moved by her courage and passion to finally stand up.

. . . . .

With the results of the 2016 election, I found myself discouraged.

The night of, I stayed up watching the results pour in with family members who collectively voted for Hillary Clinton, and stared in shock at the results. Tears begin to well up in my eyes, and I could feel a tight pang of anger form internally as I watched my families reaction to the results. The day after, I went into work, where a few of our Latino employees asked me if I was happy with the results, I told them vehemently that I wasn’t, and I tried to encourage them that the results didn’t matter and America was on their side, as I could feel the fear of the news weigh on them, regardless of the fact that I may not have believed that was true.

The next couple of weeks were both sobering and anger-filled as I joined protests and watched women and men rally alongside each other, and for the first time, in the months proceeding the results, I felt hope. I leaned into my community, volunteered at an LGBTQ shelter, and read countless articles by writers addressing their own role in the current political climate, and even began to write my own, but after almost two years, I feel exhausted and sadly, apathetic. What the ‘f’ are we doing?

The midterm elections are in 22 days, and I am more nervous than ever. I want to be hopeful and continue to believe that we have learned from the recent past and ultimately decide that voting matters, but is that naive of me?

I have had a countless number conversation with my conservative leaning friends and a majority of them feel as if the left is angry and argumentive, and personally, feel victimized due to their spiritual beliefs—so most of them have tuned out. They don’t care to work through their opinions or beliefs and don’t even want to have a conversation because they feel the “other side” is reacting to emotionally. But aren’t we both?

The other day I read a quote from Ruth Bader Ginsburg about the Kavanaugh investigation, and she remarked that the entire process wasn’t bipartisan at all—and while I agree with her comment, how can we be bipartisan when our acting president is so extreme?

UGHHHHHH! I can feel myself just continue to question so many things within the current system around me, but how do we make sense of everything? Isn’t the point to question things? Isn’t it necessary to continue to be curious? Maybe that is how I get out of my own personal apathy., by asking questions. Maybe that’s how I can encourage other people to get out of their own apathy.

Regardless of how I feel, I will be voting in the midterm elections, but I’m tired of feeling apathetic about everything that’s going on. My generation can’t continue to be informed about the things that are going on in the world but remain apathetic about them. We have to do something.

. . . . .

Emma Gonzalez encourages me to remain engaged in our political system. People that are motivated by people are important members of the voting community and their vote counts. Sure our system may be broken and there may be a lot of weird, shady, and corrupt things going on. Sometimes you may feel like you don’t know what to do, or how to change something that our parents-parents left behind or it seems impossible to have pride in the system. Sometimes you may feel as if things are completely out of control and everyone is out to get everyone, BUT, that’s not true. We have the power to change the system because we have control over the way the system works. We are the checks and balances that allow the system to function properly, and if we don’t keep it in check, how can we keep it working for us, rather than against us?

Apathy is really not an option.

Does anyone have any thoughts about things that are happening currently? Are you registered to vote? Will you be voting in the midterms? Do you feel apathetic, and if so, how do you work through it yourself? I really am interested in keeping the conversation alive in a loving, people-forward way that encourages growth and learning. I’m currently trying to work on my own apathy, and the first step is realizing that you have been apathetic.

Illustration by Drew Albo

I Don’t Want to Subscribe to Instant Gratification Anymore.

I think the most difficult thing about being a writer is actually writing. For any writer, but mostly just myself, the task is something I thoroughly enjoy and loathe with my entire being. It’s like pulling teeth, literally—because the process is pain and torture, but in the end, it’s good because the pain goes away and your teeth are all better.

The other process that I think gets extremely overlooked is the moment we press publish. As soon as we do it, we know that we are relinquishing control and stepping into a bit of the unknown. Will someone read our words? Does anyone care? What if they hate it, or worse, what if they like it? What happens if I didn’t edit it properly? All of these things are a combination of fears that go into the writing process and leave the writer feeling entirely co-dependent on the praise and affirmation of its reader.

If the views aren’t good, we’re a failure.

If we don’t get enough likes, it isn’t good.

If the comments are pouring in, then we have no real connection with our audience.

Because of the immediacy of social media, everything has become a means of instant gratification. We rely on the likes, we need the praise, we long for the adoration, all because it is somehow programmed in us to need it.

I fucking hate that.

In fact, I no longer want to subscribe to the notion that any of those things actually matter. I have had countless nightmares wear the comment section on one of my blog posts goes into a sour direction that it has crippled me into writing things that are shallow and void of personality. As writers, we need to stop comparing ourselves to the people at the top who have already made it, and instead, measure ourselves by our own unit of success. It doesn’t matter how many likes a post gets or how much praise someone receives.

It’s easier said than done, but I mean, I don’t believe I’m alone here. Then again, maybe I am. Leave a comment down below to validate me and remind me that I’m not alone.

X’s and O’s.

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How Does One Make Friends As An Adult?

The other day, I was hanging out with a good friend and she told me, “I need to introduce you to my friend. You two are so alike, you are going to love each other!”

This exact scenario has happened to me several times, and each and every time it’s usually correct. I do love them, and we do end up loving each other. We play the usual hello tag for a while but after a moment or two as the friendship has made its way past the two week turn and all of a sudden it seems like we get into the familiarized state of love that is now, “I’ve fallen in love too quickly and now I’m no longer in love phase,” or the “I’ve fallen in love too quickly but I have such a crazy schedule I never seem to be able to pencil you in phase.”

One scenario more familiar than the other where months go by and our friendship that started off like fireworks fizzles into zero to little contact because of work, due dates, and pending engagements. So what’s one to do? Do we simply settle in the cliche tropes that plague us and every other relationship we have, or do we constantly bombard the newfound friend until you’ve exhausted them mercilessly? An easier approach would be to develop the friendships you have maintained, i.e., the childhood friendship or college friendship—but, when you are too far away from the people you grew up with, or in my case, changed schools so much that you never relied on maintaining friendships for too long, what is one to do?

Though I can’t say the best place to make a new friend, I can tell you the worst place to make new friends with someone, which is most likely a bar or coffee shop. You will appear like a creep, AND if you do manage to talk with someone and introduce yourself and you seem to have a wonderful moment built on mutual music interests and single moment of them asking, “how’s your day going?” the fantasy romantically ends the next time you show up and they’ve forgotten you completely. I will say that I have broken ground once or twice in the aforementioned coffee shop and bar, but this was a rare occasion. The thing with the food service industry is that baristas, servers, and bartenders are all occasionally harassed. Whether from the nonchalant flirter or the literal creep, so passing conversation is normal and just because they are being nice doesn’t mean that they are interested.

Either way, friendship is hard. It’s challenging. As an adult, you have had so many crazy experiences with friends that it almost seems like being without a robust social circle is an easier approach, and it is, but it’s also a lonelier approach. With friendships, there is so much importance placed on keeping the fire burning, that constantly reminding yourself that you need to try new things and cultivate a relationship is daunting. Not to mention, the number of facades we all wear because of social media and practical shallowness in character, that sometimes, and more often than not, it’s just easier to stay home.

I guess a means at curbing this struggle would be to not expect your friends to be everything for you all the time. There are some friends I can confide in better than others, some that I just want to have fun with; in the same sense that your partner won’t and can’t be everything for you, neither can your friends. Make time when you both can, and if it’s genuine you will do it, even if it’s just five or ten minutes—and if it’s really genuine, you will know because you won’t cancel on them three times—or vice versa.

How do you keep friendships as an adult? I’m talking not the friendships you’ve had since childhood, but the new ones. What’s the most important trait in looking for a friend? Have you ever lost a friendship, what happened? Let’s continue the conversation below, I’m really interested in seeing what my online pals have to say.

In Solidarity With My Celestial Sisters & Brothers, Your Tovascopes Have Arrived!

Hi Frans! That’s officially how I am greeting all of you, dear readers, this month—because, in actuality, you all are my friends. *wink* See what I did there? *wink* In all seriousness tho, I’ve been really considering my approach and end goal with Tovascopes and I realize, now, more than ever, I want our Tovascopes to use a little bit of prediction mixed with a heaping dose of intuition and affirmation for your month. They won’t be so clinical anymore. They won’t be so prescriptive. They won’t be so, “he-said-she-said.” Instead, they will sound more like your uber kewl spiritual friend who casually pulls off kimono’s year round, and wears crystals but only because they are pretty, and happens to meditate and go to church regularly.

As always, the true celestial guides are the AstroTwins, whom I go to for all of my astrological needs, but they will be interpreted by me. Your friendly, friend, who happens to just care an awful lot about how each and every one of your month goes. So, if that sounds like something you’re interested in, continue reading below and here’s to you, and Friendship month!

Libra

Libra

Happy Birthday, LIBRAAAAA!!!! You shining beacon of beauty and light and all that’s good in the world!

Libra season is all about coming into your own. The Astrotwins predict a lot of interesting things, specifically a retrograde in your sign happening one the 5th causing a need to create more clarity in your life. However, I think the goal, more than ever, for this month, is to really consider who you are. Take a moment to just shut out the haters, tune out the drama of finances, career, relationships, and just look at yourself. What makes you happy? What sets your soul on fire? What fills you up? By asking yourself those questions, not only do you begin to see the truth of yourself, but you also begin to see the truth in the situations that you are in.

You are an honest person Libra, but sometimes the image of having things appear put together and seem beautiful weighs on you, instead, consider the Japanese approach to wabi-sabi. Wabi Sabi is an artistic method and worldview in which transience and imperfection are considered beautiful. Just because something is broken and not always perfectly put together doesn’t mean that there is an absence of beauty, in fact, it’s the exact opposite.

Imperfection is beautiful, and it’s okay not to always have yourself and your life put perfectly together. By allowing yourself to be weak, vulnerable, and honest, you’ll see just how much growth and people you will be able to touch in your moments of weakness.

Scorpio

Scorpio

The note for your emotional sanity this month, Scorpio, is self-care. Literally, you’ve been all over the place last month and may be feeling a little emotionally drained.

Coincidentally, since the world is going into retrograde on the 5th, you’ll be a little less inclined to hang out and more inclined to have some alone time. Take it. In fact, consider doing those things that feed your soul spiritually. If you are up to hang out with friends, make sure it is with those people who really are true blue friends. One of the things that people often forget about Scorpio is that despite a somewhat cold or removed emotional life, lies a deep underbelly of emotion and depth, and as much as you love to really help others, sometimes you need to take some time for yourself.

Sagittarius

Sagittarius

Friendship month is all about considering the relationships were in, enjoying our friendships, and reevaluating the ones we don’t need. What this means for you this month, in lieu of the coming retrograde on the 5th, is that you need to prioritize your heart.

In matters of love and friendship, who are the people you are surrounding yourself with and are they really the ones that will stand by your side when times are tough? It seems slightly melodramatic to have to go through all of these questions, but now is the time to be honest with yourself and really take stock in your relationships. Your free-spirited-self loves to be unattached, but Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Rome definitely wasn’t built alone.

Capriconr

Capricorn

It seems like the Astro Twins are always telling you to stop working so hard, Capricorn, but, coincidentally, this month, they are telling you the exact opposite. Get to work! The Libra new moon is going to cause those ambitious and lofty goals to come to fruition and finally, allow you to gain some traction on those dreams.

Unfortunately, we can’t have it all, and it looks like everyone is getting a heaping dose of tested relationships this month. I think the one thing that I can say about Capricorns is that sometimes you are a little harsh, and that is definitely coming through this month. You won’t take ‘no’ for an answer, won’t mind your ‘p’s’ and ‘q’s,’ and will definitely not give two ‘f’s’ about telling someone off. Take a deep breath, try to remember who you are, and know that everything you say is a direct reflection of where your heart is.

Aquarius

Aquarius

What I love about you, Aquarius is that you never stop questioning things. For a while, I thought I had a moon in Aquarius or something because I ask a lot of questions, so much so that my dad would get annoyed with me, but don’t think of it as a bad thing, it’s a good thing.

You should never stop wondering and asking the things that other people feel too afraid to ask. It’s important to find answers, but more importantly, it matters what those answers provide. Do they bring solace? Do they cause you to become uncomfortable? Finding the fine line between the two feelings is difficult but it’s a walk you must master, especially in this season. You might find yourself reassessing a lot of your current situation, but remember, this is your forte. Write about it, journal, blog, podcast, find some sort of creative outlet, and allow your the questions to burst out of you, the answers will come when you’re ready to receive them.

Pisces

Pisces

Your kind of known for being a master of switching modalities and swimming through the canals of emotions effortlessly. Like how I included another fish-like quality to your October-scope? I try. I try. But in all seriousness, this month is going to challenge your partnerships specifically in your work relationships. Are you sublimating your creative energy to appease someone else? Stop. But, maybe come up with a plan first.

You’ve been feeling extra sensitive lately. Pisces, remember that your dreams are worth it, your opinions matter, and regardless of how you feel you deserve happiness. Bending over backward to appease assholes that don’t give a shit about you isn’t worth it.

That’s your October advice. ILY!

Aries

Aries

So Libra is your opposite, Aries, and when its Libra season, things can feel a little disorienting. If you’ve been feeling a lot of interpersonal conflicts arising, or have been having conversations that lead to total full-blown arguments, then try to keep your opinions to yourself. I know—I know, that might seem impossible, but one of the things that we all have to consider is that words matter and words cannot be taken back. Aries.

You are such a fearless leader and capable of so many great things, just take time to consider what kind of person you want to be and what kind of mark you want to leave on the world.

Taurus

Taurus

Have things been coming against you in your personal life lately, Taurus? With a retrograde happening on October 5th, it might be the perfect time to take a second and pause. What are those areas in your life that need working on? What isn’t working for you? What isn’t nourishing your soul? You have such a tendency to be a hard worker, and push past the subtle nuances of situations, but remember, the devil is in the detail.

I want you to take a minute this month and just breathe. Consider the way you are going about your relationships, work, friendships, and try to assess what is important to you about each of them. This might be an excellent time to break ties and form some new positive habits that carry you on through winter.

Gemini

Gemini

Evade and avoid is your middle name. Unfortunately, this month isn’t going to be so easy to do either.

Libra season is going to put all of those things that you want on a platter in front of you and you are going to have to decide. No one can have it all and no one get’s to take the easy route. If you have stumbled through your emotions in the past, now is the time to let them in. Welcome them. Greet them like the old friend that they are—by doing this, you are going to open up yourself to a lot of stabilizing energy—not to mention, joy. Decisiveness is something that is learned, it’s not always inherent, and you a quick study, so get to deciding on the things you want.

Cancer

Cancer

If you’ve been feeling a lot of chaotic energy lately, it’s because there has been.

Honestly, with the whole Brett Kavanaugh situation and now tsunami’s in Japan, it seems like the world is just flailing around and all you want to do is hide at home. That’s okay, Cancer, I don’t blame you. TBH, I’d be happy to join you. BUT, the universe is asking for you to be a participant this season. Don’t allow the pressures of the world to weigh on you, instead, find your space in them and question them. Work through the tension, lean into the pain, and don’t shirk your feelings, you can always just return home if it gets overwhelming, but right now, the universe needs your comforting energy.

Leo

Leo

Picture this, you’re sitting in your car, driving back from work, a song you like comes on the radio, and bam! You are in full on tears crying on the 405. Not you? Just me? It’s okay to admit it, Leo, I have the same issue, sometimes it really difficult to distinguish our emotions. It’s not that you’re a bad communicator, because your not, its that you sometimes can be disconnected from your emotions as a way to protect yourself.

I want you to try and sit down with yourself for a moment each day and really just feel. Emote in any way you can. If you want to write, then write, if you need to scream, then scream. Libra season is going to put these communication issues at the forefront for you and really allow you to delve deeper, making you a formidable leader in the season to come.

Virgo

Virgo

Have you been feeling a little pressure on your financial situation these past few months, Virgo? If so, Libra season is here to help you figure out what’s sustainable and reasonable on the money front. Time to look at the books, crunch the numbers, assess, and plan.

This also means that you might need to pull back from some random spending habits, i.e., concerts every Saturday and loafers from Celine. If there is any advice I can give you this month, it would be not to forget your friends and family. Remember them? The people who were celebrating your birthday season just a few weeks ago? Yeah, give them a ring, they wanna hear from you.

If you’d like to contribute or offer your own astrological insights to Tova & Wild, check out our contribute page linked below. 

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The Friendship Issue

Hi ppl! How’s it going? Will you be my friend? No. That’s okay, I understand. Either way, I’m going to make October  Friendship Month because all my fake friends can ‘f’ off, it’s time to make way for the real ones in your life. The ride or dies, the go big or go home type of ppl that make you smile, laugh, and bring out the best version of yourself. I don’t know about you, but October seems like the perfect time to celebrate your friendships in a glorified, over-hyped, month-long kind of way—you know, because it’s Libra season, and they’re the sign all about partnerships and what not.

If you’ve been working on self-maintaining for so-damn-long and you feel like you have somehow been caught up in your own universe that you forgot to care for the ones around you, then this month is for you, and this month is a really, really, really, (really), good time to call your BFF. It’s time to celebrate the crispness of fall with friendship, togetherness, and getting off of your so-called island, and joining hands with your sisters and brothers in solidarity. Ya-ya! Sorry, that all felt a little Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, which btw, is the perfect movie for Friendship Month—although another good one would be a rewatching of the whole Harry Potter Series, it’s very, friendship forward. BUT, don’t worry, I won’t make this month so literal, we’ll still talk about the things that matter like why the eff is the White House is limiting the scope of the investigation into that dumb-ass Brett Kavanaugh, and of course the environment, and sustainability, and other healthy things that matter that fall in line with the general ethos of Tova & Wild. (AND if you have any ideas, or would like to write for TW this month, please share them in the comments below or click on our Contribute page!!!!! I love working together, and I also really love my friends!!!!)

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