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Unchained. Unbothered.

May 29, 2020

A recent college graduate, Ashea Acevedo has spent a year in the work force and is preparing to attend graduate school soon. Born and raised in New York City, losing her mother as a young teenager gifted her with a wisdom about life and its challenges from a young age. On this episode, Ashea discusses one of the surprising realities of being an adult: no one considers you one if you’re still in your early 20s. She laments everyone from supervisors at work and family members at home dismissing her ideas and beliefs as if it is only age that is a determinant for smart decision-making. Ashea explains that being raised by a well-meaning father who did his best to prepare her for adult life came with the burden of unlearning some of those lessons he instilled. She talks about realizing the expectation that she give freely of her time and energy to people just because they needed you was what depleted her mother and exhausted other female relatives who had a hand in raising her. She cites the decision to create boundaries as key to her growth as a Black woman. This awareness of how we teach people there is nobility in giving until they’re depleted became sharper when Ashea was tasked to read “The Giving Tree” to her early elementary students. She refused to include the famous children’s story in her curriculum and continue the toxic narrative of happily allowing yourself to be chopped down into a stump in order to fulfill the whims of another. Ashea is so self-aware that she immediately admits her greatest struggle is to ask for help and accept it. Freedom has always meant financial independence – even from parents – so as a young woman just starting out in life, she is becoming more comfortable with not seeing financial help from her father as a weakness. “I’ve become better at asking for help and seeing it as making me a better person, a better adult,” Ashea says. “Asking my dad for money doesn’t make me any less free than if I didn’t need his help.”