. Monday, January 22, 2018 .


Do you have a 'friend' who constantly tears you down, breaks your trust, and hurts your feelings?

Does this 'friend' repeatedly make you feel bad about yourself, and feel more like a burden than a good friend?

Toxic people enter our lives in all forms, some come in the form of relationships, others as college friends or family members. Regardless of the relationship, if a person has proven themselves to be an unhealthy companion time and time again, perhaps it's time to consider parting ways.

Chances are, if you're reading this, you already know that specific person is toxic, but you don't how to approach cutting them out of your life. Perhaps this person is a longtime family friend or a boyfriend you've been with for quite some time.

By clicking this article, you've already taken the first step: recognizing the problem and wanting to form a solution. 


If someone is stifling your personal growth or causing you severe stress, they may be a toxic relationship. Someone who is toxic will hurt you and lie to you time and time again. They will break your trust repeatedly, with little to no remorse. They are usually people who have little self-confidence and self-love, which causes them to prey on you so that they can tear down your positive energy.

It's important to understand how they treat you is not a reflection of your self-worth, and that you deserve to be treated respectfully. A true friend is kind, supportive and wants you to succeed.


So how can you let go of toxicity in your life? Here are a few simple approaches to this complex problem.

Understand It's Not Your Fault



When someone is unkind to us, it's easy for us to look introspectively and search for a problem with our attitude. We think that we might have brought this type of treatment upon us because of something we said or did. In a healthy relationship, if you did something to hurt another person, you can communicate about the problem and overcome what may have occurred. An unhealthy and toxic relationship will constantly use one mistake you committed to shame you over and over.

You don't deserve bad treatment in any capacity, and when you are in a toxic relationship, blaming yourself is exactly what the toxic party wants. They take little to no responsibility for their actions, and will often try to use excuses or blame someone else to deflect their wrongdoings. Keep in mind that you are not the problem, they are, and there is nothing wrong with wanting to cut negative people out of your life.

Lean On Your Real Friends




Don't be afraid to reach out to friends who have supported you in the past. When removing someone from your life, it's important to have positive influences around you. It can be emotionally exhausting to lose a friend, regardless of how bad they treated you, and having a support system can take some of the burden off your back. Talk to someone you trust, such as a loved one or a therapist, if you're feeling like this friendship 'break up' will affect your mental health.

Cut Them Off Completely



If you're going to remove a toxic person from your life, don't give them any way to contact you. Block them on social media, delete their number and ignore them. If you're in a situation where you see this person on a daily basis, try to modify your schedule a bit so that you don't have to see them, and gradually reduce contact. Sit with new people at lunch, or surround yourself with another group of friends. Don't seek this person out, and focus on your own mental health and stress management.

If you've had a long history with this person, you might be tempted to send them just one more text, or stalk their social media to see if they've mentioned you. It's natural to want to see that person miss you; it validates your relationship in a way. However, understand that this behavior is unhealthy and doesn't help you move on. Watching them afar and hoping they will realize their mistake will not change their past actions, and it fails to give you closure.

Know It's Okay To Mourn 



Naturally, this isn't an easy choice to make, so don't punish yourself for being upset. Even people that treated us horribly were once kind, and we once trusted and cared for them. It can be painful to recall memories with that person or go places where you once went together. Seeing mutual friends can also be a stressful experience. It's okay to cry and mourn what once was.

Some believe that if you cry or feel hurt, it means that the toxic person has 'won'. I disagree entirely, it shows that you truly felt for this person, and you were betrayed. If anything, you have 'won' in this situation because you are now free. There is nothing wrong with really feeling your emotions and properly expressing your sadness. Bottling up these feelings will only make you feel tight and resentful. In order to really let go, feel your feelings and release them.

Keep Your Mind Off It



This is easier said than done. I can say for me personally when I have a bad memory with a person it leaves a much deeper impression than a good one. You find yourself thinking about that person, feeling bitter or upset all over again. You may wonder 'Do they regret how they treated me?' or 'If I could talk to them one more time, I'd tell them this!'. These hypotheticals stifle your healing process, and the more time you dedicate to wondering about this person who has hurt you, the less time you dedicate to healing yourself.

Be proud that you have chosen yourself, and your happiness. If a stray thought about that person pops into your mind, acknowledge it, but finish the thought with a self-loving mantra such as  'I'm so much better off now' or 'I choose my happiness!'. You did the right thing, and validation can only come from within.



In summary, life is too short to waste on people who do not respect and care for you. You deserve happiness, you have a right to walk away. The decision is not an easy one to make, but it's the most self-loving and kind thing you can do for yourself. Time will pass and you WILL heal. I believe in you!

. Friday, January 19, 2018 .


While searching up new hairstyles on Youtube, I came across a couple videos of girls giving themselves a cut called a Deathhawk. It's basically a mohawk, but a lot wider. I've never shaved my head in any capacity before, but I really wanted to change up my style.

So, I decided I would do it! 


I asked my friend Iona to come with me for support, and I headed out to Shin Okubo, a Koreatown in Japan.

I picked Koreatown because I had been in the area the past few days, and discovered a tiny hair salon down one of the streets. When I asked how much it would cost to shave my sides, the hairdresser replied that it costs 1000 yen ($10). Needless to say, I booked an appointment for the next day.

In the video, I give a shout-out to my Mom, who lives in fear of my crazy hair adventures. Before I shaved it, I hinted that I was doing something wild with my hair, and she was not excited. Thankfully, she ended up liking the shaved look in the end!

Towards the end of the video, I head to an arcade with Iona. Iona introduced me to my new favorite arcade game: Taiko. I encourage everyone to visit an arcade in Japan if you have time!

I hope you enjoy this vlog! 



. Tuesday, January 16, 2018 .
I was nominated by a few fellow bloggers for the Sunshine Blogger Award! The Sunshine Blogger award is a way for bloggers to support other bloggers, especially those who produce uplifting and positive content! In this post, you'll learn a little more about me and my blog!


Thank you so much, Lena from lenadeexo.com and Natalie Maria from http://nouw.com/nataliemariia for nominating me, and for two other blogger friends from Facebook! I couldn't find their blogs to tag them, unfortunately.


The Rules of The Sunshine Blogger Award:


  1. Thank blogger(s) who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

My Questions from Lena:

1. What inspired you to create a blog?


I started blogging as part of a New Years resolution. I wanted to crack down on my language learning and have a productive year, so I made a blog! I decided that I wanted to try blogging on my own and see how far it would take me. I used to have a joint blog with a friend back in 2012-2015, but we eventually called it quits and the blog was left to collect dust. Sincerely Alice was originally supposed to be like a diary of sorts to help me keep track of my language learning, but I love producing article type content so I've made it a mesh of both.

2. Any tips for any bloggers out there who may need some inspiration?


Write content that you would want to read. Never, ever create something that you personally wouldn't enjoy. With that in mind, look around you for inspiration. You may think your life is boring, but for someone else that could be their dream life! Find whats unique about you and show the world.

3.  What gets your day off to a good start?


Breakfast. If I eat a good meal, I'm bound to have a good day. Skipping breakfast leads me to be super cranky all day, and my performance in class suffers!


4. Favorite quote/mantra you tell yourself to keep pushing?


I usually don't say mantras to myself unless I'm in a super bad place emotionally. The last time I can remember having a mantra was when I got violently sick after eating something at my university. I got up in the middle of the night shivering, knowing I had to throw up. It was the first time I ever vomited without my Mom, so I didn't have anyone to rub my back and give me the reassurance I needed. I kept saying 'You're okay. You got this. You're fine.' a bunch of times, which helped significantly. I still threw up, but that was pretty inevitable.

5. What are you passionate about besides your wonderful blog?

I love learning languages and learning about my friends' cultures! My good friend Amanda is from China so I'm really interested in learning Chinese these days. Learning about other cultures and languages is so fun, it really expands my worldview and helps me feel connected to my friends!

6. What do you do when you need to clear your mind?


I listen to ASMR. If you don't know what ASMR is, it's essentially sounds that produce a response in your brain that makes you feel relaxed. Think of rain sounds and how they can be super calming, it's exactly like that. Usually, when I have a lot on my mind, I listen to ASMR and lay down. Most of the time I end up falling asleep, which effectively gets negative thoughts out of my head.

7. Fave food/drink that puts you in a good mood?


Pumpkin and/or sweet potato flavored sweets. I love sweets in general, but these really take the cake! Japan has the best selection of sweets I've ever encountered! I wish it was fall all the time because that's when pumpkin flavored items get featured everywhere. September to November was heaven for me.

8. Top 4 places to travel?


I haven't traveled the world much yet, so this list is limited to Japan and America: 

Japan:

- Hakone
- Nikko (Check out my Nikko posts here!)
- Iwate Prefecture (come here if you want to experience the pinnacle of Japanese countryside living)
- Jozankei Resort (read about my experience here!)

America:

- New York (of course)
- Disney World
- Las Vegas
- Puerto Rico

9. What are you most excited for in 2018?

I can't pick just one! 2018 seems so promising, I'm so excited to just live my life and explore being myself in my truest form. 2018 is a year of self-care, self-love and trusting relationships. I'm excited to be here this year! I'm excited to be healthy and happy, and as blessed as I am.

10. Any persons inspire you that you’d love to meet?


The people that inspire me most tend to be the people around me, aka my closest friends! Once I leave Japan, I'm sure I'll be saying 'I wish I could meet up with xx'. I'm dreading that feeling right now, so I'm trying to live every day to the fullest and enjoy the wonderful company I have!

11. Fave place to visit at home?

When I was in high school, my friend Charis and I used to frequent Koreatown in NYC. It was the first time my Mom let me go out by 'myself' to the city, so it really symbolizes my adulthood and freedom. To this day Koreatown fills me with so many happy memories, I love going there with friends and just hanging out. I even got my first tattoo in Koreatown!

My Questions for the Nominees!


1. What's the goal of your blog?

2. Who's your target audience?

3. What do you hope for in 2018?

4. Favorite places to travel?

5. Biggest obstacle you want to overcome this year?

6. What was your happiest memory of 2017?

7. Which blog post that you've written do you love the most?

8. What are your hobbies outside of blogging?

9. Share a fun fact about yourself!

10. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

11. How has being a blogger changed your life?


I nominate...




Hope you enjoy reading everyone's wonderful blog, and once again thank you to Lena and Natalie for their nominations!

. Wednesday, January 10, 2018 .

Content warning: This post discusses sexual assault and death.



Netflix recently released it's newest series, The End of the F***ing World. This series follows the familiar pattern of recent 'edgy' content from Netflix that portray a mentally unwell lead character who 'changes' through the power of love.


. Monday, January 8, 2018 .

What is Seijin Shiki? (成人式)




Seijin Shiki aka Coming of Age Ceremony is a Japanese national holiday that takes place on January 8th, in which all people who are turned 20 years old within the past year are invited to an official welcoming ceremony. This day marks your official transition to adulthood and signifies that you're an adult in the eyes of Japanese society. 

If you're living in Japan, you will receive an invitation in the mail that invites you to the ceremony held at your districts chosen location. I live in Shinjuku at the moment so I was directed to go to the Keio Plaza Hotel at 1pm. 

My original plan was to rent a kimono for the day, attend the ceremony, and then return it right after. However, once I did some more research as to what goes on during the ceremony, I wasn't interested in attending. 

Regardless, if you're thinking about attending but not sure, I hope this can clear up some possible questions!

What happens during a typical Seijin Shiki?



Upon checking in, you mingle around and look for old friends to catch up with, take some group photos, and then take your place inside the lecture hall. Once seated, speeches from the mayor and other public figures, possibly even other new adults, will be held. Sometimes there are musical or theatre performances. There might be videos shown or presentations given. After those have commenced, most people take more photos and either return home or go out drinking with friends. 

I'm a foreigner, should I attend Seijin Shiki?


There's no correct answer to this, but my answer is no. This ceremony is a place where you meet up with your old friends from back in grade school and all become adults together. If you're a foreigner who attended primary school or high school in Japan, I think this ceremony definitely could be fun and of value, to you, and for that situation I recommend attending. 

Personally, I did not attend because I don't have childhood experience in Japan and no one to meet up with at the ceremony so it wasn't worth it for me to attend.  I'm not interested in hearing speeches and the kimono rental is a bit pricey, so I decided to not attend and save my money. 

How much is Kimono rental for Seijin Shiki?



This depends entirely on where you go and who you are. When I spoke to a kimono rental service in Shin-Okubo, I was told kimono rental costs for Coming of Age ceremonies average at about $200 to $500. 

This entirely depends on what kimono you get and where you shop. This comes with everything you need for a day in a kimono, which includes but isn't limited to: a fuzzy shawl, slippers, socks, a matching bag, hairstyle and decoration, and the kimono accessories. Since this price tag was a bit hefty for me, I asked for some alternatives and was recommended a furisode. A furisode is a type of kimono that is worn for Seijin Shiki, and it usually comes in bright colors.

Furisode tends to be less expensive, so if I chose to rent that one for the day it would only put me out about $60. 

Is it worth it?


Like I mentioned before, it really depends on your situation. If you know a significant amount of people attending and don't mind the itinerary, I would say go for it! 
If you don't know anyone else attending and the ceremony activities sound like a bore, I would say it's safe to skip this one. I know a few people who skip the ceremony but get dressed up and go out with their friends to celebrate their adulthood, so that's also an option if you still want to celebrate in some way.

I hope this post helped you learn a bit more about Coming of Age Day!