Ask Ayana Iman: I'm 32 & Have No Idea What To Do Next
Dear Ayana Iman: Where do I go from here?
I'm 32, a graduate with my Bachelors in Communications/Journalism, and experience with photography but I have almost no experience with reporting or writing stories. My dream and desires are to become a news anchor and gradually move on to investigative journalism. I'm a poet but would like to expand my writing skills but it seems it is hard to find a job in this field with no previous jobs in writing or Journalism. I have faith but now in my 30's, I feel like I need to get on the ball. I've been writing and have a blog but I feel like it's not getting enough exposure. What should be my next steps going forward?
Hear me when I say I completely identify with your current situation. The keyword in all of this is "current." This chapter of your story does not define your life; unless you allow it to. You are capable of achieving all you desire, and thankfully, we live in a time that allows you to gain access to the media and news outlets by creating your own opportunities.
Reading over your question, I gained a sense that you doubt your capabilities largely in part to your age and inexperience. It's time to change your thinking.
Here are my three A's of Change:
- Affirm - Affirm you are that news anchor, write it down on paper, and put it where you can see it every day. E.g. "I am a news anchor for *tv or digital platform* and excited to empower listeners/viewers daily."
- Align - Trim the fat of people, things, and personal behaviors, like succumbing to fear, that no longer serves you. Next, build and maintain your tribe of professionals in the field. Try researching the networking events in your area and attend, ready and open to receive new contacts. And always ask for what you need and be willing to give a little in return.
- Activate - Take action. You have all the tools you need to create change. Are you ready? Create your presence on social media, a podcast, hell, find an internship in the news/media field. If you feel your blog is stifled by low engagement, it's okay to try a new outlet.
Start and the plan will come. Whatever you do, know it's a step in the right direction.
Dear Ayana Iman: I'm a 33-year-old woman who is trying to fix a lot of the wrong I have when it comes to relationships.
I am pregnant with my second child and what I thought would be a forever thing turned out to be lies. I feel like I carry the weight of my father leaving me and my stepdad turning his back on me. How do I stop this with my next relationship later in my life to show my child something great?
I have some good news for you. You have acknowledged some of the causes of your previous decision making, congratulations! This first step can help you unpack years of trauma related to the feeling of abandonment by your father and stepdad.
Before getting into a new relationship, you have to deal with you. Stop fighting for scraps when you deserve a full plate.
The time is now to forgive yourself for any past indiscretions, from the mates that you chose to the acceptance of mistreatment. Spend more time getting to yourself, your likes and dislikes, also your needs, so that you can create better boundaries. Discernment will be necessary when navigating a new relationship. Trust me, this renewed spirit and confidence will do wonders for your self-esteem.
In regards to your fathers being absent, please understand people don't always know any better and unfortunately they can be too self-absorbed to see the error of their ways. It's time to move forward knowing you are loved and have a lot of love to offer. That in itself is deserving of being reciprocated.
Do you have a question about love, life, career, wellness, etc. that you'd like for life coach Ayana to answer in a future Ask Ayana segment? Submit your questions here for a chance to have your question answered!
Featured image of Ayana by Primo Supremo
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
If you’ve ever wondered what type of mindset it takes to reach icon status like Oprah Winfrey, it’s probably best to start by knowing which one she’s managed to avoid over her long-standing career.
And let’s just say imposter syndrome didn’t make the cut.
While promoting her new book, Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier, with her co-author Arthur C. Brooks, Oprah shared in an interview with People that when it comes to imposter syndrome, it’s one emotion she hasn’t experienced.
"I don't have any of that imposter feelings that so many people have," she says. "I didn't even understand it, I had to look it up."
According to the acclaimed talk-show host and media mogul, she attributes this to her early life experiences, specifically the impact of her father's influence as a child. "I remember as a young girl being a strong orator in the national competition for speaking and winning the local championships, then the state championships. And then placing, I think it was No. 3 or something, in the nationals," Winfrey shares.
"And I remember after every contest, the families whose kids were just in the contest were going to celebrate and their families were all excited. My father's thing was, 'Get your coat.'"
She continues, "I learned, in all these years, every exciting thing that would happen to me it was always, that's good, get your coat. Get your coat. I don't know if that was ingrained in my personality or I just learned that nobody's going to be excited about it, so you might as well just get your coat and go. I don't have high highs and I don't have low lows. Which is a good thing, because no matter what I'm going through, I know I'm going to come out of it and be okay."
Impostor syndrome, also known as impostor phenomenon, is a psychological perspective of persistent self-doubt and the feeling of being a fraud despite evidence of one's competence, skills, or accomplishments. People experiencing imposter syndrome often believe that their success is due to luck or external factors rather than their own abilities and fear that others will eventually discover that they are not as capable or knowledgeable as they appear to be.
With over 40 years of accolades and history-making impact, it’s clear that Winfrey doesn’t shy away from the fact that her success is due to her hard work and diligence, with everything in her life being that of what she earned — which she finds deep value in: “the ability to live in the space of true appreciation for a life, not just well lived, but well-earned."
From coming from the lineage of an enslaved great-grandfather who earned 80 acres of land in exchange for labor, to becoming the first Black woman billionaire in the world without the foundation of generational wealth, Winfrey beams proudly at her ability to shift her and her family’s legacy for the better.
"I didn't have a grandfather, a great-grandfather who could give me land. But now...I am able to have my own and to know that I work for it. And it wasn't a husband that did it. It wasn't a brother or an uncle, or whatever did it, but I did it," Winfrey says.
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Featured image by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images