Swedish Vikings actually were the founders of Russia, as described in manuscripts from the 12th century, found in Ukraine monasteries. The Vikings traveled up along the rivers that lead to the Baltic Sea, pulled their ships on land and continued along the great Russian rivers, down to the Caspian Sea and The Black Sea. (swedishfreak.com)
I had to do it.
Well, my brother did it and I mooched off of his results! 23 and Me. It has become so popular now and for good reason! I have always been curious about exactly what I was made of. I knew the basics like most people, but I constantly had a feeling that there was more. And I was right! 23 and Me has given me a new perspective on myself and I want to share why you should go to the website right now and find out what your DNA’s history is. These are the types of things that make technology so cool!
You Can Stop Guessing
Lithuanian Song Celebration (Song and Dance Festival) 90th anniversary, Vilnius, Lithuania ( photo by Rudolf Abraham)
For me, this meant a lot because I was not that attached to my family on either side. I am estranged from my father and my mother’s family was quite small and mostly passed before I got to know anyone. All I had were stories, and I indulged in them. I was hungry to learn more about my mysterious predecessors because I knew it would help me discover certain behaviors of my own. How right I was! I found out that on my mom’s side we are part Scandinavian, which means we have Viking Blood! ?⚔ I already knew that we had a large majority of Lithuanian, but the Scandinavian part tied up so many loose ends in my mind! It gave my obsession with the show Vikings a whole new meaning! On my father’s side (he is from Jamaica) I found out that we do have a TINY percentage of Asian and Native American, but most of our heritage is from West Africa. Again, this has opened my eyes to parts within my personality that I did not quite understand before. For example, I have always had a certain skill for music and rhythm so now knowing that I am related to a heavily musical part of the world shows that this trait runs in the family.
You Find Out Why You’re Awesome
Get your results so you can better articulate exactly what makes you so amazing! When we are younger, we believe that we are unique and individual. Yes, some of that may be true, but as we grow older we inevitably acknowledge that we are apart of a greater entity which is our immediate family and beyond. Doing 23 and Me brings you closer to the family that you were never able to meet and learn about the wonderful traits they have passed down to you. I found out that I have a certain genetic makeup that most Olympic athletes have! I am no Olympian, by no stretch of the imagination, but it is pretty awesome to know that my genetics are quite strong and I hold the potential to be resistant to any/ all physical obstacles that may come in my way. This test has shown me that most, if not all, of my perceived shortcomings, are in my life because I placed them there, not because I am cursed. This is so freeing. I have the ability to overcome whatever might seem like a difficulty not only because I know myself to be mentally strong, but because it is fact that I am descendent from formidable people on both of my parents’ sides.
You Find Out What To Avoid
In Jamaica, the ackee fruit is a mixed blessing. Though originally native to West Africa, it migrated to Jamaica in 1778 and is now the country’s national fruit. If improperly eaten, though, ackee can cause what has been dubbed the Jamaican Vomiting Sickness — which, other than the self-explanatory symptoms, can lead to coma or death.
If you aren’t concerned about your health by now, you might as well jump on the bandwagon because it will only enhance your life to know what illnesses you may be predisposed to and take necessary precautions. Getting my 23 and Me results have put a certain level of control over things that once felt uncontrollable to me. I used to think that I was incompetent toward attaining a certain body or level of health because of my own self-loathing. I subscribed to the idea that I couldn’t do particular things like others because I wasn’t built that way. In my family, on both sides, there is a history of addiction in an array of things. Knowing this now has reinforced why I had the addictions I had and why it was so easy to pick up bad habits. Addiction does not have to be in the traditional way we are used to, by the way, it can manifest in an obsession with work, overeating, compulsive cleaning, etc. Honoring the not so flattering parts of my DNA gives me that much more hope in keeping them at bay.
You cannot overcome what you do not address.
It Opens The Door
The bad part about finding out my genetic makeup is now I NEED to visit every country I have ancestry in! It is my life’s goal! 23 and Me opened the door to lands I want to roam and people I long to meet. I feel a kinship to places I have never been and my feet are permanently itchy. Once you get your results on where you come from it is impossible to fight the urge to go there. I’m a traveler– we know this. I have a severe need to be in motion and my comfort zone is transient. 23 and Me has let me know that my Viking roots are to blame. I am made up of people who were eternally curious and voyaged across the world because they knew there was more to see and experience. I think that is inspiring! Of course, I will take responsibility for my own interests, but I think there is something to be said about the pattern. Maybe my need to move comes from a distant Swedish relative. Or maybe my love of nature comes from my Lithuanian roots. Or my boisterous laugh comes from Jamaica and my rhythmic hips from West Africa. Who Knows?
The only way for me to really find out is to go to all these places- and more.
You know, I never liked math, but solving my genetic equation is a problem that I am eager to solve!