Letter to My Younger Self: Sierra Tango Oscar Papa
“Now before I finish, let me just say
I did not come here to show out
Did not come here to impress you
Because to tell you the truth when I leave here I’m gone
And I don’t care what you think about me, but just remember
When it hits the fan brother, whether it’s next year, ten years
Twenty years from now, you’ll never be able to say
That these brothers lied to you Jack” – Sean ‘Jay-Z’ Carter, PSA
I wish I had written sooner. I hope you get this in good time, it will make things a whole lot easier for you. But then again, maybe the beauty in life is in the stumbling and sauntering. Whatever happens, you are reading this now, and it means you are still alive.
If I had to give you one advice to live by, it would be a single word: STOP.
Stop obsessing over everything. You’re 15 and ready to take on the world. I know you think you have it all figured out- graduate at 19, serve at 20, get married at 23 and have all your babies by 28. But I need you to let go off everything that you’ve planned. The thing with life is that most times you don’t even know what you want till you see it. I wish I knew a better way to explain this, but I don’t. Don’t be so pre-occupied with what you want that you lose out on all the beauty in life.
Stop obsessing over love. I know you don’t like to hear this, but you’re only just fifteen. You may think that you know what love is, but what you feel has not even scratched the surface. Love will kill you. Love will raise you up. Love is your mother working seven days a week for you. Love is your father buying drug after drug so that strange illness doesn’t snuff life out of you. The things you’ll do for love, the things you’ll do in the name of love, some of it will make you wonder if it was ever worth it. Love is amazing, but it’s never enough. You’ll find out though. And oh that boy you think about every night before you sleep, ten years from now you may hear he died and not feel any emotion.
Stop being so easily swayed. There’s so much that you’ve been taught already. You’ll find some of it to be utterly useless. You will learn that it pays to be your own woman. You’ll find the things that you think you should stand for in life. When you do, hold on to them. Never let anyone’s opinion shape your perception of someone or something. There’s over 6 billion people on earth, and we all have opinions. Not everyone will agree with you, and you shouldn’t agree with everyone either. Just don’t go on the offensive.
Stop being so damned soft. You’re still a good person, emotional, romantic, and godly. But good don’t always win. You’ll learn though. You see you may have been taught that if you give good out you’ll get good part. The earlier you stop expecting everyone to be nice to you, the better. People will hurt you, sometimes intentionally, other times unknowingly. Grow a backbone. We’re all living breathing people sauntering through life and trying to get home. Don’t expect too much from other people. Don’t take everything so personally, otherwise you’ll grow into a bitter lonely woman.
Stop putting other people before yourself. Stop putting yourself before God. You’ll find that you’re clueless about this thing called life. Put your hands in the hands of the One who designed the journey. Stop worrying too much and trust Him. I know that this is hard for you, but just wait and see what He does with you.
And Oh, no matter how much you cry, find the things that bring you joy. Regardless of how many times life knocks you down, there’ll be so much to laugh about if you only took the time to look. Enjoy every moment as much as you can. Love yourself. Life is hard enough, you need to be on your own side, just in case no one is rooting for you. But there are people rooting for you. When you think everyone else has left your side, a stranger will offer you a handshake. That’s the beauty of life.
Love yourself Kiddo. Love.