A Letter To My Younger Self
My Dearest Kwame,
Okay, I get it. You're pissed off right now because you think you're just another statistic. An unmarried black woman; mother to a beautiful little girl living with a man who hasn't married you. You blame him and hate him for the state of the relationship. He cheated on you; the crazy chick he cheated with harrassed you and you happily played the role of the victim.
Your life gets better because you get stronger. In the next ten years, you'll learn some valuable lessons about life, love, and forgiveness. Here are a few things you will learn on your journey through adulthood, motherhood and beyond. The good news is you survive it all.
- The pain of heartbreak is temporary. Being cheated on hurts. The pain of a broken heart feels never-ending in that moment. But guess what??? You get over it! You and he will break up, but you will work together to raise a wonderful child. I promise you will experience love again.
- Forgiveness is necessary. You're great at holding a grudge, but that's not a quality to brag about. Wearing your pain like a badge of honor is nothing to celebrate. You learn to forgive. You learn that the pain of the past shaped your future for the better.
- Don't fake it. Happiness, love, orgasms, relationships...don't even fake enthusiasm! No matter the situation, faking your feelings will hurt you more than anyone else. If you're not into it, be honest and say it but don't fake it.
- Being married doesn't define you. In your mind, most of your high school friends are married with 2.5 children, the white picket fence and it hurts to know you may never experience this. But here's the good news, in the future you won't care. You come realize that your path in life shouldn’t resemble anyone else's.
- Drop an "f-bomb" anytime you want. You don't have to censor yourself because some people think women shouldn’t curse. If you want to curse, go ahead and do it. Use the other words too if you want. Cursing isn't unfeminine, it can be very cathartic. So go ahead curse, swear, and talk like a sailor. Do it! Don't let anyone tell you how to be a lady.
- Trust your gut. Your intuition is strong. You know when things aren't right. You suspected the cheating and the lying. You knew they were more than friends, but you dismissed your feelings because you weren't ready to face the truth. That's perfectly okay because you needed to learn this lesson. You needed to learn that trusting your gut will never steer you wrong. It's not just a cliché, it's a fact!
- What others think about you doesn't matter. You look mean. Why do you always look so angry? I thought you were a snob? I thought you didn't like me until I got to know you. You will hear this and more. Yes, your expressionless face will be referred to as a resting bitch face but that's okay. It's okay because you will learn to love yourself (warts and all) for who you are. You will learn that the opinions of other don't shape the person you become; only you can.
- Stop worrying about the future. Just live your life. Enjoy the smell of the cool crisp New York air; the beauty of the trees in the Central Park and the sound of your daughter's laughter. The future is out of your control, worrying about it won't change a damn thing.
- Don't be afraid of success. You're driven. An achiever. You want to try and do it all not for the fame and glory but for the experience. But at some point you will tell yourself that you can't handle the responsibility success brings. You will tell yourself "it's too hard" or "you're unworthy". All of this, these doubt you have, it's all a lie. Your success won't look like your coworkers' version of success or your best friend. It will be your own. It will come because you will work hard to achieve it.
- You are complete. It feels like so many things are missing in your life right now. You grew up believing that some man would come into your life to save you and then you will be complete. The thing is the person you’re searching for is you. With therapy and self-improvement work, you will learn that you've always been a complete person; a whole person. Your life isn't defined by the things you have, your relationships or the money you make. It is defined by you.
I promise you ten years from now, none of the issues you worry about will matter. When you think of your past instead of feeling pain, you'll feel appreciation. Appreciation for all you've learned and the person these lessons have helped you become.
What advice would give your younger self? As always, please leave your thoughts in the comments, I'd love to read them. And don't forget to share...sharing is caring!
Image from CreativeConnex