Are You What You Eat?

Are You What You Eat?

You may not be what you eat, but is what you eat a part of you?

I, and this may come as quite a shock, but I am not a banana. I am also going to make the wild assumption that you are also not a banana. I have known for quite some time now that I am not a banana, but it all came to a head this morning as I was eating a banana, and wondered, although I am not a banana, could a banana possibly be me?

If you find this absolutely ridiculous, let me explain. Imagine you holding a banana; you and the banana are clearly two distinct items. Now your mouth is clearly yours, full of your teeth, your tongue, and your saliva, it is a part of you. You take a bite of the banana, chewing, it gets smashed in your teeth, stuck in your gums, and mixes with your saliva. Gross? Definitely. But also it makes distinguishing between you and that banana just a bit more difficult; are you and the banana still two distinct entities? If you still think so, let's go on.

After taking a bite of the banana, you swallow it, it falls into your stomach, goes through your digestive tract, and somewhere in here all the nutrients your body can take from it are pumped into you to make you strong, and yada yada yada. So, the question is, is the banana part of you? If so when did that happen? If not, how can what sustains your body, not be a part of you? Like a car your body needs fuel, without that fuel the body can’t do what it’s intrinsically meant to do, just like a car may not be the gas, but a car unable turn that gas into an explosion to propel it forward isn’t a car, its a lawn ornament, and that explosion is only possible with a tank of gas.

So in this light, that banana becomes a part of you, because of the function it serves your body. Which begs the question, are you your body? Well, I think the answer lies in our speech. After someone passes away we talk about them in the past tense “James Dean was an actor.” We do this because they no longer are. So from here, I began to wonder about living parts of us that we don’t really appreciate.

Take your appendix, or if you want, think of a tumor. It grows inside of you, it lives, can be benign, may not hurt you at all, it’s just there. You are not an appendix, nor are you a tumor, but these seem to be parts of you. On the other hand, you can cut them out and feel just like you did before, you didn’t lose anything that is fuelling you like you would if you lost the banana after you swallowed it. Nor did you lose anything that would kill you, or anything that even did anything for you, as if you lost your heart or your big toe. So is this tumor or your appendix a part of you? Or are they just attached to you.

To end this off I’m not sure I have any answers, but I think the next step is to wonder if you were to lose a part of you, assuming it didn’t kill you, would you still be you. Maybe even other loses seem to change you more, like losing a friend or a loved one. In the end I’m not sure we can know for sure where exactly you or I end, but I know one thing, I am not a banana.

Cover Image Credit: Toni Cuenca

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.

You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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To The Girl Who Hasn't Yet Found Herself, Keep Looking

You will eventually find her in all the right places, I promise.


They say you are supposed to go through your awkward transition phase during middle school, but you still feel like you haven't quite figured it out. They say you are supposed to join a club in order to "find yourself", but then you end up sitting in the back watching everyone laugh and catch up. You feel out of place--like you're existing somewhere you just don't belong. Let me be the voice telling you that you are exactly where you are meant to be right now. Every decision you've ever made has led you to this place. This is, of course, much harder to grasp than to just say. Really though, you're doing just fine!

Finding out the things you don't like to do are just important as discovering your passions when it comes to finding your true self. Don't be afraid to join that club, talk to the girl next to you in class, and explore your interests. You might hate it. You might want to run away, but at least you're learning about yourself and where your comfort zone lies. Finding yourself is a life long process, so don't expect an Aha! moment where you have finally hit your destination. Think of it more as a sense of confidence of comfortability in who you are and what you stand for.

Stepping away from friends and family for some time may also lead you to who you are. Often, we grow up and mature only to have the same beliefs, morals, and political opinions as our parents. It's not our fault and we aren't childish, we just trust our parent's judgment and see their conscience as nothing but truth. Part of gaining independence is questioning your own biased beliefs and reevaluating them so they reflect your character better. Same goes with friends. Try to spend a Friday night in with yourself. See what you do. Do you watch a movie? Do you catch up on homework? Do you paint your nails? What is it that makes you feel happy when nobody else is around? By considering the answer to this question, you're one step closer to figuring this whole life thing out.

You may also want to try stepping away from your phone. Your social media (this shouldn't come as a surprise) is giving you the false idea that everyone around you knows exactly what they're doing and enjoys doing it all. Not true. So not true actually, everyone else is struggling to find out just who they are. You and your phone need some distance.

Finding yourself doesn't just happen. You need to explore the world around you and you'll eventually find out where your place is. Be patient with the process and know the right steps will surface when you're ready to take them. Be kind to yourself and have the bravery to discover the girl inside you (I hear she's really cool).

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