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Posts Tagged ‘20s’

“Growing Pains”

In Career, Contributors, Family, Finances, Health, Lifestyle, Quotes, Relationships, Spirituality on August 30, 2013 at 08:37

By Deneia Yanique

Turning 30 for me has meant change.

Arrogance to humility

From living in black and white to gray areas of living

From hiding from myself to facing myself

A focus from material growth to spiritual growth

From living unconsciously to higher levels of awareness

Turning 30 has meant changing perspective.

Let me explain more.

In my mid 20s I thought I had it all figured out. I had a family, my career as a teacher, well traveled, my ambition and will to succeed. I felt like I had triumphed over a lot and that I deserved all good that would come to me.  I exercised frequently and my health and my son’s health were great. I had a house, a car and all the material things that are supposed to make an individual feel secure and successful. I felt self-important because I was accepted into a Ph.D. program to be trained in my dream vocation as an applied anthropologist. At times I was extremely self righteous and arrogant. My attitude was nasty and I recognize this now.

In my late 20s I decided I didn’t want to be with my son’s father and moved out with my son. I felt I was missing something in my life and also felt bored being in a relationship. Because I was able to survive on my own I had little patience for others who would come up with excuses for why they couldn’t. To this day I am appalled at my treatment of my son’s father. He did everything he was supposed to do as a father and a man and I was not satisfied. Though I do not wish to be with him I feel my words and behaviors could have been more compassionate towards him.

In retrospect, during this time I believed I deserved better and would quickly leave anyone behind who I thought was beneath me. In the end, I wasn’t honest about my weakness but would grab hold of any chance to flaunt my achievements.

All of a sudden at the age of 29, life happened. I was in a car accident, became involved in some legal trouble, and my home was burglarized by a close friend all in a three-year time frame. My income also declined dramatically as my expenses began to increase. I began to feel sorry for myself and wallow in the pain. Even worse, I began to drink alcohol daily.

Every day I would question where did all of this come from? Why me? What did I do to deserve this? I thought I had done everything right. Even worse, I couldn’t even focus on my research. I grew anxious and would spend the majority of my day worrying. My thoughts controlled everything. My thoughts were holding me still. It was a vicious cycle. I would feel sorry for myself, feel bad because I thought I wasn’t focusing on my son like I was supposed to and because I broke up the family, doubted my research and my capabilities, and then would feel even worse once I realized that I had these pitiful psychological problems while others in the world have real, tangible and concrete problems they are trying to overcome. My main question to myself is how can I help others with my anthropology if I cant even help myself? Every day I thought like this, from the time I woke up to when I went to sleep. It was exhausting and extremely unproductive.

Now at the age of 32, I am slowly getting over myself by learning how to tame my mind. I have come to recognize some things about my being. In my 20s I was deeply insecure, fearful and angry about many things, which is why I responded to the world with arrogance. The arrogance hid what I was not willing to face. I knew the first step I needed to take was to be honest about my weaknesses. I did not know it all. In fact I knew nothing at all. My tone and body language needed improvement. My time management and financial management needed to be budgeting wisely. All of the advice I was so quick to offer to my former students I knew I had to apply to myself. In other words I needed to practice what I taught.

Next, I needed to stop feeling guilty about breaking up the “family”. Western society does a great job of promoting the nuclear family as the foundation for a child’s success. As a black male in the United States I was constantly worried about my son becoming a statistic because he didn’t have the “nuclear family”. I had to forgive myself and realize that individuals do create their own reality and this is okay.

Me and Yohannes in one of our moments.

Me and Yohannes in one of our moments.

Most importantly I realize that I need to develop genuine compassion. The only way I could do this is by having self-compassion. In my 20s I always felt like I had compassion while working with students and members in the community. I offered time and money to causes but in retrospect I realize this was not done in vain. I did these things to make myself feel better and important while at the same time showing others that I was the best. This is what I learned: in order to have compassion for others an individual must first have compassion for self. This is genuine compassion. I cannot offer the world what I am not able to offer myself.

As I write this I am having a revelation. If I want to contribute to this world through anthropology before I die then I need to do the work on myself first. I need to keep my promises to myself and most importantly I need to forgive myself and keep moving. I thank the Universe for presenting these challenges to me because I needed to grow.

Whenever I heard this quote in the past I would often roll my eyes because it sounded too idealistic. At this present moment I understand what it means. “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I am a work in progress.

About Deneia:

New York born, New England educated.  Based in Tampa, FL where she teaches Gifted and Learning Disabled students at the secondary level.  Tampa is also where Deneia Yanique has received training to become a social scientist.  She is current a Ph.D. candidate in Applied Anthropology at the University of South Florida.  Her research focuses on the educational experiences of Black males in the United States and the Caribbean.  In her personal life, Deneia Yanique is a life long learner, a mother, and a part time yogi who enjoys stimulating conversations, good drinks, and a great meal.


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Personal thoughts I learned in my 20’s, and hope to live by in my 30’s

In Contributors on February 28, 2013 at 11:24

By María Delgado

Thought I’d share some personal thoughts I learned in my 20’s, and hope to live by in my 30’s:

-Love and compassion towards myself and others breeds peace, healthier relationships and a better connection with the world.

-Awareness is true consciousness, get to know yourself and you’ll get to know the world.

-You are not your mind or your emotions …you are the observer in everything!

-Never judge or criticize yourself, others or life…observe yourself when you do, it usually comes back to mean something about you.

-You are the painter of your reality, observe your mind to see how it has accustomed you to see the world, and patiently and lovingly teach it something new.

-Accept everything first, acceptance and non- resistance is the only thing that breeds change!

-Heal your wounds! …don’t be embarrassed to go to therapy, spiritual retreats, etc…you’re taking responsibility for yourself and growing!

-Exercise and try to be as healthy as possible…it just really makes you feel good ! lol

-Whatever you love to do, just do it! even if it’s scary, if it gives you no security… do it with passion and hard work, life gives back when you are doing what you were born to do!

-Whatever you choose to do, make sure it is not only for your own good or gaining, but for that of others too!

-Fear is blinding!! Every time you feel fear do something silly like skipping lol, or just tell it you have shit to do!

-Detach from your “story”, open up to new perspectives…

-Being in the flow of life, as it comes, is true happiness…

-You are human- which means you will feel fear, sadness, joy, frustration, rejection, guilt, happiness and excitement…and it’s all ok…

-Forgive your past, or it will be you in the present…

-You are perfect just as you are right now! Love yourself unconditionally no matter what!

-Don’t ever compare yourself with others, you never know what a person is feeling or thinking inside…every one has a journey! live your own!

-Always be yourself! you were made uniquely to be just as you are.. nobody can create what you can, write what you can, say what you say…just as you do…be true to your heart it is the best guide to good decisions…LISTEN to yourself!

-Learn to live in the unknown…sometimes it’s time to Just Be!

-God, Light, your center ,the Universe…whatever language you speak is ever LET GO and let yourself be guided…

-You are important…because you are HERE! everything else is an extra you give back to the world…

-Be kind, Be love…Be You!

Today I am 30 =)

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