Tag Archives: generation

Breaking Negative Generational Cycles

Breaking negative generational cycles…It will get better… right?
The other day during a normal, “how was your weekend?” conversation, my coworker asked me how my children were doing. Lucky for her, I had cried a lot over the weekend and honestly shit had been ROUGH. Perfect timing. With the stress of the weekend still weighing on me, I responded that my teenage daughter was having a really hard time, and in turn making things very difficult for the people close to her. “It’s probably a phase,” my coworker offered encouragingly. “It will get better… right?” Her genuine concern was evident. What else could she say?
“I hope so,” I replied. And I do hope so. More than that, I have faith that it will get better. But amidst that faith is a long list of what ifs that race through my mind every day. As much as I can hope for the best, I really don’t know how things will play out, and most days it feels like the odds are stacked against me.
You see, depression runs in the family. Anxiety runs in the family. Trauma, addiction, mental illness, and poverty all run in the family. On both sides. I haven’t seen up close and personal what it takes to create a stable, happy life and maintain it. Neither have my children. That is a truth that I can’t run from. A truth far too many people can relate to. And it’s scary.
I have poured my soul into fighting against these odds. I want nothing more than to help break the cycles that have kept my family from flourishing for generations, and I have spent countless hours obsessing about what I can do to create the life that my daughters and I deserve. I want things to get better, and truthfully I have made a lot of progress. Still, I have always fallen short.
I say that not out of self-pity, self-judgement, or pessimism. I say that because it’s the truth, and the truth can’t always be wrapped in a pretty bow. When it comes to my children, I have fallen short. They deserve more. I know that. They love me anyway, and so do I.
There was a point in time when I couldn’t forgive myself for falling short. I became angry at myself for having children “at the wrong time”, and I couldn’t come to terms with the idea that I didn’t fix every problem that came our way. I hated myself for it, but here’s what I have learned: no one person should ever be expected to rise to that challenge. No person should feel that they are single-handedly responsible for cleaning up the mess of entire generations, or picking up the pieces left by people who chose not to show up for the children they created.
Please don’t hold yourself to those impossible standards. If you are truly trying your best, that is all you can do. Be graceful with yourself.
Breaking generational curses is not for the faint of heart. It’s ugly and exhausting. It’s important to remember that the process is not supposed to be easy or pretty or comfortable. It’s even more important to remember that this is not a one person job. It takes effort. It takes teamwork. It takes faith. You will pour blood, sweat and tears into breaking from the ties that bind you. You will need endless amounts of courage to choose to love some friends and family members from a distance while they decide if they are going to heal and move forward or choose to stay stuck in the same patterns. It’s a long, complicated, exhausting and sometimes heartbreaking journey. But it will get better… right?
If we keep fighting, it will. It may not ever be perfect. Our children might have to bear the burdens of our mistakes, and their grandparents’ mistakes, and so on. But if we can lessen the burden and clear the path for them, even slightly, then the work we put in will be worth it.
There are moments when I can see it working. Sometimes I look at my teenage daughter and see my own broken teenage self staring back at me– but I can move forward with confidence knowing that her journey is different from mine. She wasn’t dealt a fair hand, but she has knowledge and support that I didn’t have. She has resources that I didn’t have, and a palpable courage that I couldn’t even fathom at her age. She has a grandmother who is the epitome of unbreakable, an aunt and uncle who left everything they knew to pave a path worth following, and many other family members who are determined to heal, move forward and set an example for the next generation. She also has a mother who will walk through fire to make sure she has a fighting chance.
If you are fighting for yourself and your family, keep fighting. Remember that you are not in this alone. Be patient with yourself. Ask for help. Take breaks when you need them. Forgive yourself. Have faith and remember; it will get better.
Alazia
Instagram @alazia.monique

A Lazy Generation

One of the things we often hear being used as an adjective to describe Millenials and Generation Z members, such as myself, is the term lazy. We hear it all too often from just about every generation before us.

Although this claim might have some truth to it, it is not entirely correct.

We are often depicted as kids who rarely leave their homes, or kids that simply don’t have the drive to pursue their dreams. Today it’s not uncommon to have kids linger at home well into their twenties while they try to “find themselves.”  In fact, many of us are actually trying really hard to accomplish our goals and make those dreams come true. The reality is there are many distractions in our lives that previous generations never had to deal with.

Sadly, sometimes these distractions prevent us from being the best version of ourselves. This time spent doing things with less relevance, has created the misperception that we are a “lazy” generation.

As I have previously mentioned, I believe that social media and technology at our disposal on a constant basis can be very beneficial but it can also be one of the major distractions to our productivity. It can cause us to lose sight of our important responsibilities and our goals for the future. I know that I often lose track of time when I scroll through Instagram. This problem occurs for many other kids my age. My parents often point out the hours I’m potentially wasting on these social media platforms rather than focusing on schoolwork or other projects. I don’t think it has anything to do with how lazy we are, or anything to do with our work ethic.

I am certain that generations before had plenty of other distractions in their day. Maybe it was playing stickball on the street or hanging out to listen to music. Regardless, I do think that we can do better, and, that if social media wasn’t so darned entertaining, it would be easier for us to stay focused. As a result, we wouldn’t be considered such “slackers”.

As a challenge for the teens out there reading this right now, I suggest you turn off your phones, log out of your social media accounts, and go focus on your goals. Although it might seem like a difficult task, we need to prove to those around us—and to ourselves— that we are so much more than a “lazy generation”.

-Dani

Having Faith In the Younger Generation

Having Faith in the younger generation…This past Saturday, I witnessed the high school graduation of my eldest daughter. I was so excited to see her get her diploma. Then, it was the feeling of: oh no, not another long and boring speechy occasion. You know the type. Superintendents, principals, student body, valedictorian, etc. I wanted to cry. Since my kids’ name is toward the back of the class, we had a long wait to go.

The salutatorian speech was everything that her parents could hope. Strong, fierce, determined. Justified with the fact that she is riding a scholarship from Stanford. Congratulations!

However, it was the valedictorian’s speech that really surprised me. This young lady had picked the very taboo subject of mental illness.

She talked about her struggles of dealing with depression during her high school career. The overwhelming sadness, not being able to sleep. Feeling like you just can’t get it. The drowning of everyday life and how sometimes you just can’t get where you need to be. Emotional pain and literally going thru the motions of life. This young lady stood at the podium and shared her story. I was literally blown away because she had the guts to take this challenge. A true mic drop moment.

We all have lessons to learn in this life. Whatever path we take, it’s ours. My lesson on this sacred day is to have faith in the younger generation. It called to mind that i am really not empathetic to the stars of tomorrow. How many times I curse behind them in the line at the coffee shop while they are adamant about watching the cell phones. Now, I will give a generous pause before I pass judgement again. Maybe the current generation knows more than what we give them credit for. This young lady certainly did. Just maybe, they could be a little bit better as well.

Striving for exceptional—-Tristen Ahlsey