I recently turned 28 at the end of last month. As my birthday approached I did a lot of self-reflection, introspection, and inspection. I thought about the past couple of years of my life and how far I've come from being a naive, bright-eyed, and less than confident late teenager, to evolving into a mature, strong, assertive, and more conscious young adult woman. In doing so, I decided to write a letter to my 18 year old self.
As an 18 year old, you thought you had it all figured out. Being a freshman in college, everything that you could imagine was at your disposal. You thought that by packing up the car and driving 2 hours to Winston-Salem, NC to attend school would eradicate all the pain, hurt, and hardships that you faced back home. You thought that the comfort of your dorm room, roommates, and new found friendships would buffer you from experiencing your first heartbreak, giving away your innocence by losing your virginity, and carrying you down a rabbit hole of clubbing, promiscuity, and indulging in all types of things that caused you more harm than good.
Little did you know that who you thought you were was not even really you at all. You probably never imagined the loneliness you would feel in the midst of being in the company of friends, and that you would leave God on the curb for some guy you met on campus on in the club. I know you thought that stuffing away your morals, manners, and home training into your suitcase and throwing them in your closet would make you feel more acceptable to others, but it really just stifled your growth.
I know how quickly you gave up and gave in when life started throwing some rough blows and relentless punches. You probably did't know that you would cower in the corner because you didn't recognize your own strength. You found self-worth through clothes, shoes, no good relationships, and social status. You probably didn't tell people that you secretly fought with extremely low self-esteem and that you believed that you unattractive, and that those feelings manifested into being a bitch a lot of the times. And that you thought you loved yourself but you didn't even know how to. But guess what? Everything thing that happened to you good, bad, and in between helped to create me. You may have felt like an over looked caterpillar, but the cocoon of your late teens, and mid-twenties helped you to blossom into a beautiful butterfly inside and out.
So I thank you for paving the way for me to be who I am now, and setting the stage for who I strive to be.
Your 28 year old self.
(Photo Credit: http://www.hercampus.com/sites/default/files/2015/09/12/letter.jpg)