A Letter to My Younger Self

Dear Alishea,

You are not a mistake. You may not have felt love or felt a sense of belonging from your family, but love extends beyond relatives. One thing I wish you would’ve known is that there are some people who don’t know how to love, so they try to give you things and false promises because of what they lack. Their absence of love does not define you.

Know that you are unique and made for a purpose. One that will eventually come to you through many trials and obstacles. You may not have the support you want, but you will also have the drive you need. You’re intelligent, passionate, dedicated, and wonderful.

But one day, you will be hurt. You will be betrayed because of your desire to help others and to see the potential in others. Despite all of their efforts to dim your life, you will rise above and succeed. You may think you’re worthless at some point, but that is a lie. Your thoughts will lie to you and tell you that you’re ugly, lazy, and no one will ever love you. Lies, sweetheart. Those are lies of years from people sent to tear you down because they were afraid of your power. Your beauty is unconventional, but you are still beautiful despite what your nose looks like or how short your hair is or how full your lips are. You will hate them and feel they make you manly, but that’s not true. You are not growing up in a time where “Black is Beautiful” and you feel like you have to fit in. You will eventually learn to love and accept your individuality. When you discover yourself and your uniqueness, own it!

Can I give you advice?

No is a powerful word. It’s okay to set boundaries. If people don’t respect your boundaries, they don’t respect you and don’t deserve to be in your life. Also, that depression you experience? It’s because your spirit doesn’t want you to conform. Your spirit wants to live and thrive and be free, but others around you don’t know what that looks like. You are wise beyond your years – you know what you need. Listen to your intuition!

How about some words of encouragement?

You are absolutely precious! Keep going despite others trying to discourage you. You will lose friends and family members, but don’t let that stop your shine! I know you wish you could’ve done things differently, but you will go through things that will cloud your judgment and you will make mistakes. You will lose money and make money. You will go through painful experiences and you will survive. You will want to give up and you will relive those painful moments. Those painful moments will feel like they’ll never go away. Maybe they will last as long as you live, but you will make new memories.

Do you know what the best part is about writing this letter?

You’ve lived to tell your story. You’ve made new friends and have a new family. A new experience that you never imagined. Did you ever think you would be loved the way you needed? No, but now you know it’s possible. It won’t be easy, but everything you prayed for is happening now. You won’t believe it. You won’t even believe the great things that are happening as I write this letter.

I am proud of you! You may lose your way, but you are not lost. Your path is not linear and that’s okay. It’s a journey! Enjoy it!

Love,

Alishea (2019)

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