A Letter to my Younger Self

Me circa 1989–1990

I am in the process of writing a book. I have only started really referring to myself as a writer this year. I figured that it would finally help me get my shit together. You know, speaking it into existence and what not. Mind you, I do a bit of coaching, I am developing a podcast and currently have a day job in the financial services industry. With that being said, I still have three books in draft stages. I also have a treatment and pilot script for a TV show idea I’ve had since about 2014 and they are all gathering digital dust.

I began thinking about my past and started an emotional audit. 2016 was year which came with a great deal of change and I am grateful for everything that I have learned and experienced.

The emotional audit got me thinking about my younger self and the advice that I wish I had received as a young girl. In hindsight I came up with this….

DEAR PRECIOUS,

I want to start off by letting you know that you are awesome, smart, intuitive and unique. People are not always going to understand the intricacies of your nature and it’s important for you not to think that this translates into a mandate to change yourself deliberately to appease their discomfort. You are an enigma, embrace that.

You exude an air of confidence wrapped in an introverted cocoon. Your fearless nature will lead you to many achievements and some opposition, but I want to assure you that all the adventures and misadventures you will experience will become an amalgamation of the secure woman you will grow into.

No amount of complimentary words or lustful advances you receive will truly assist in the development of your sense of worth and self. That is an inside job. Love doesn’t hurt and you should never be left in doubt about whether someone cares for you or not. If you have to question it, move on. Most importantly, love yourself. Accept the things which you cannot change, or change the things you cannot accept. Fiercely pursue and protect your inner peace and strive for knowledge of self.

Keep your eyes wide open, people may not always tell you who they are but they will sure as hell show you, even if it’s inadvertently. Keep your eyes and soul open. Vibes don’t lie.

Always speak the truth because following the crowd and not thinking before you speak will jeopardize relationships. Loose lips sink ships, so if it isn’t true, kind or necessary, keep schtum.

The validation received from pleasing others is fleeting, it quickly becomes a burden and is a thankless venture. You cannot pour from an empty cup so ensure you fill yourself up fully and continue to replenish yourself with love, experiences and gratitude.

Some of the best friends you will see into old age aren’t even in your life yet, but be rest assured that these members of your future tribe will be chosen by your energy and not by circumstances such as school or the neighborhood you live in.

Your Mum is a lie detector, don’t lie to her, she always knows. She carried you for nine months and has dedicated her life to providing for you and your siblings and guiding you in the light. If there is anyone who is going to be unconditionally on your team, it’s her. Her expectations may appear unrealistic and stifling but you will and can rise to the challenge and even if you don’t, your judgement will develop and you will make sound decisions on your own. You have been gifted with incredible intuition, trust it.

The best romantic experiences stem from friendship and don’t sell yourself short even if he gives you butterflies and makes life feel like it should be coupled with a soundtrack of 90s and early 2000s RnB jams. Not everyone who is attracted to you will be good for you, choose wisely who you let into your space.

People love in different ways, but if people are unable to appreciate the unique way in which you love, don’t bust a gut trying to prove it.

Remember hurt people, hurt people. It usually isn’t about you and it is also not your cross to bear or code to decipher. Have distant compassion for those who are unable to muster up even an ounce of positivity, humility or compassion. That isn’t an easy life to live.

Never give up. Not getting it done or right the first time doesn’t mean you throw in the towel, find a new way, build a path, go get it. If people around you do not fiercely encourage you the way you do them, take heed.

The anxiety you currently suffer from won’t completely disappear but you will overcome its ability to disable you. You will overcome barely being able to breath and the other unpleasant symptoms. Rather than internalize it all, speak it out, write it down and recycle it into a call to action.

Don’t put relaxer in your hair! If a product requires the stylist to wear thick gloves, that crap should not be on your hair let alone your scalp. Embrace your natural hair, its gorgeous! There are a lot of subtle lies you will be told about your beauty. Don’t shun your abundant beauty to conform to Eurocentric standards; it’s a recipe for disaster. Perfection, you will find is a moving target. Do not aspire to be perfect, aspire to be and do better. Compete with no one, you are the only competition you are up against.

You are going to fall in greater love with Nina Simone. Ms Shepherd did you a solid by introducing you to Queen Nina during your Year 4 assembly in primary school. Don’t give up on the piano, you can’t read music but you’ve been blessed with perfect pitch, that is kind of a big deal.

Letting your mind wonder off into space, talking to yourself and enjoying your own company isn’t weird. You are going to do some of your best thinking during your alone time.

When you get a moment, take a personality test. You are going to find out that you are an INFJ and a whole lot of things about your personality are going to be articulated in a way that you have never been able to. It will be creepy, like someone has been Truman Show-ing you for years. Bear in mind it is insightful but it won’t dictate you, you are unique. People are going to want to label you an extrovert. You are not. I know extroverting and ‘Peopling’ for extending periods of time exhausts you. There is such thing as an outgoing introvert, this is you.

Don’t change the fundamental fabric of your being but do allow life to contribute to your growth and continue to put out good, it will always make its way back to you.

Yours,

2017 Precious

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