All Articles Tagged "young woman"
“You know you’re about to be grown, right? You are grown at 25, but when you turn 26 this month, that’s really it. Next is 30!”
My dear, dear, blunt friend told me that this morning. And while she smiled and went on her way, I was left with the nerve she hit. Not the last one, thankfully, but if I’m not careful I may only have a few left! Between wrestling through childhood struggles, figuring out what I want to do with my life, and being reminded of my singleness by all the weddings and baby showers, this past year I’ve been having a quarter-life crisis! And from the texts I get from my friends, I see I’m not alone.
I remember going to college full of hopes and dreams for my future, and graduating with a head full of doubt. Four years later, while I’ve had the opportunity to work with some talented people and had a great deal of fun along the way and still am, I often wonder whether I’ll ever get anywhere near where I dreamed I’d be in life. I’m getting to do what I love (writing) by way of different platforms, but doing what you love doesn’t always pay the bills. Every now and then I find myself on Indeed.com considering applying for a full-time job somewhere I don’t want to work, so that I can stop living the life of a starving artist with supportive parents. I want to be able to pay my bills, give gracefully to my church and other organizations, save, shop, eat good and travel like other grown folks. Well, I do some of that now, but I want to be able to without praying for a freelance or babysitting gig afterwards to make up for the money I just spent treating myself. I want to live comfortably. But I also want to do what I love. Is that asking too much? I mean who buys cake not to eat it too?
Maybe it’s my parents’ fault. Yeah, that’s it. They spoiled us, especially me. Now, I can’t imagine having to work somewhere I don’t want to. Then again, I blame all the famous people on television that say you can do anything you put your mind to. Or maybe it’s the (false) prosperity gospel teaching that made me think naming and claiming was the key to unlocking my dreams. Better yet, all the positive thinking speakers and authors sold me some false hope too by giving my words more power than they actually have. None of these people sent a memo to the economy, employers, or my future husband that they were suppose to give me what I desire.
But wait, I’m 25, so I can’t really blame anyone else for what I decide to believe, can I? I can choose what to believe now about success—namely that success is not defined by status. If I’m supposed to be a janitor, then being a CEO is beneath me. That might sound strange, but success is determined by purpose and purpose is prescribed by God. And if you’ve ever heard any Bible stories, then you know God’s purposes are quite different than ours and His means are always unconventional. I could be right where He wants me to be, but too busy looking at where other people are to appreciate and invest where He has me. Now, don’t get me wrong, because of my spoiled upbringing, I do have to check my laziness and be sure that I’m not actually hindering myself. And I should dream and set goals that seem far-fetched, because I don’t know what might be in-store for me. But I also have to pursue contentment in the here and now. I have to embrace the truth that contentment is not about having what you want; it’s about wanting what you have.
Here’s to 26 and whatever it has in store!
Caresse Spencer is a writer for urban and Christian culture by way of Reach Records, Blueprint Church and the Rebuild Network who is currently working on a campaign (All is Vanity) with artist/songwriter Natalie Lauren to help women discover the best path towards getting more out of life. Check out her website CaresseDionne.com and follow her randomness on Twitter @caressedionne
By Valerie Jean-Charles
A few weeks ago, a conversation emerged on my Twitter timeline discussing whether or not black women should seek older men for dating and relationships. Many young women may hold the belief that an older man will be more established in his career, more protective and eager to settle down with one woman. Yet, as someone who has dated older, I now know this is not always the case. There are a few major differences in the way that older men do things that any young black woman should respectfully consider before embarking on a May-December romance.
One of the first factors a woman should weigh is that an older man may not be as mature as she might assume him to be. The general assumption is that a man of a certain age will be very mature, what with the assumption that he’s gotten all of the partying and “playing” out of his system. A man should be judged individually for what emotional and mental state he presently is in, not for where society dictates he should be at a certain age. My experience has taught me that there are plenty of men who are well into their 30s and 40s who still possess the behavioral traits of an early-20 something, college-campus playboy. Unless you are looking for a fun and light partnership, such a man – regardless of age – is not the type to pick when ready to settle into a serious relationship. Trust, the old saying, “with age comes wisdom” does not apply to everyone. More or less, the experiences of a man can be what makes him more mature, or what has him getting his Benjamin Button on behavior-wise.
On that note, another major difference that is sure to arise is the large gap in life experiences. Although, a young lady may feel as if she is too mature for men her age, her lack of experience will more than likely cause her to come off as young, inexperienced and even immature in front of an older man. Let’s face it: the things we experience by the time we are in our mid-20s will pale in comparison to the journeys and obstacles we will have endured 10-20 years down the line. A woman in her 20s can only act as what she is – a young adult, no matter how mature she is. Such a difference in life experiences can prove to be thrilling at first. He may be invigorated by her youth, while she is enthralled and inspired by his background and knowledge. But the very things that may cause a strong connection, may threaten it. The power dynamic may be more tipped in the man’s favor due to his array of experiences and age. Being older, the man may be more grounded in his beliefs and habits, being less likely to change them; regardless of how they may affect his partner. The younger woman, on the other hand, may grow weary of the adviser role the man may assume, feeling as if he is being more condescending than mentoring, more stubborn than willing to compromise.
Lastly, a woman should consider if she is ready for what she is asking for in a relationship with an older man. She may feel as if she is ready to settle down, when in actuality that may be the farthest thing she needs, and even understands. An older man may be at the point in his life where he is ready to find a wife – and not just a girlfriend. He may be hoping to get married in a couple of years, with babies soon to follow. A younger woman must really ask herself if she is truly ready to experience such life changing events, and willing to give to her significant other what he is asking for. On the other hand, there are some older men who have already been married and have children, and may not wish to have anymore, or go through the experience a second time around. Because of that, they might want to take things at a snail’s pace. A young woman should weigh whether or not she is ready to make such definite decisions that may affect the rest of her life and alter plans she’s had for herself.
I am, by no means, slamming or demonizing May-December relationships. As I have learned in the past, they can be both thrilling and daunting, and some can be a big success. It all depends on the guy. With more and more articles continuing to question the marriageability of black women, I understand why some may look at men they may not have considered before. And I do advocate for women to keep their choices open as love is such an indiscriminate force. However, I do ask that we keep our heads leveled when trying something new, especially when picking mates who are more seasoned than us.
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