Letter to 18 Year Old Me

May you never get lost seeking something you already possess in yourself.

You are phenomenal.

You are the magic.

You are blessed.

You are loved.

You don’t have to wait for permission to be your true self, because no one will give it to you. Self Discipline will get you miles further than Beauty and Brains.

The woman you desire to become won’t just spring up on you and surprise you, you have to work on her daily... you gotta let yourself breathe and relax when the world seems like it is too much, because it is gonna go on without you either way.

For the longest time I always believed that one day I’ll just wake up and be this remarkable woman… it’s been 8 years since, and that day hasn’t come because it doesn’t exist.

I began visualizing who she is, and each day, each situation I’d bring in elements of her which I admired and loved to see in myself. And this has taught me to show up as her. Most importantly, I’ve learned that it’s okay to reinvent myself as many times as possible.

You don’t owe anyone versions of yourself they don’t even know, like you do. Versions of you they may not even like, Versions of you they felt comfortable disrespecting,

Versions of you that fed their ego…

you don’t owe anyone anything. No one owes you anything. Babygirl, you gotta have your own back… first of all, it’s your back!

I’ve learned to tune people out when they put me in boxes I know I don’t tick or boxes that have old versions of me or boxes that have no business being in the same sentence as me.

I smile boldly every time someone tells me that I’ve changed, because I work too damn hard to stay the same.

I hope no one boldly talks you out of being yourself.

I hope you embrace the journey of finding yourself within.

And it only dawned on me today…

The beauty of life is the journey (it can be any journey) that leads you to different places, that allow you to search yourself and meet yourself deeply.

And I hope one day you understand this ♥️.

I will forever be grateful to The Young Legacy Empower Her Program for assigning me to my mentee, because it’s moments with her, that enable me to reach that much deeper in myself and reflect.

She had sent me a beautiful birthday message, and in the midst of me thanking her, I found myself writing a letter to 18 year old me and half way through I realized that this was probably what I needed when I was younger. There’s so much beauty in sharing your journey with young woman. I never take it for granted. There’s nothing more beautiful than wanting to see someone win so bad and be a being a part of that journey ♥️

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Temple

I spent hours at the mirror

Surrounded by silence

Admiring my body

Not for anybody

But myself.

I marveled at my beauty

With no intention of

Capturing the moment

Or sharing my body

Just embodying who I’ve grown to become.

A woman.

A well carved sculpture

Embodying love,

War

And growth.

Destroyed inside

By the men I let enter

Take pictures

And pull away from me

what was sacred.

What is sacred.

How dare you

Make me kneel before you

For your mercy.

For your pleasure.

When I am the Temple?

You leave me drenched in your burdens…

Yet you leave the same way you came in.

Did I not move you?

Were you now elevated in my presence?

Zhengzhou, Home of Shaolin Temple

Sunday, 07:30

23 September 2018

First poem I’ve finally written in God knows how long

Day 79: In Closing

Love is personal

Love is peace

Love is painful

Love is a lot like happiness

Love is a process

Love is patient

Love is being patient with yourself

Love is being yourself

Love is God

Love is seeking God

Love is finding God

Love is knowing your creators and forefathers

Love is knowing who you are

Love is knowing that you’re body, soul and spirit

Love is praising on a mountain to be one with your trinity

Love is singing

Love is silence

Love is letting music move you

Love is confusion

Love is confronting your demons

Love is knowing your demons, so your loved ones don’t have to feel their aftermath

Love is forgiveness

Love is forgiving yourself for holding on to hurt

Love is bursting into tears on a bus filled with strangers

Love is healing in a different country, in isolation

Love is loving yourself through it all

Love is finding your voice

Love is finding your voice in prayer

Love is prayer

Love is being mindful of the things that make you happy.

Love is is standing up for what you believe in.

Love is kind

My kind of love is chaos, but it’s also deep.

My love is uniquely me.

Day 20: Uprooted

It’s of utmost importance to be aware of your childhood,

There’s a subconscious link to the type of lovers you attract.

A subconscious link to triggers and bad habits.

A link to how you respond to certain situations.

We love along grooves formed in our childhood.

Through Life, we recreate feelings of love we knew when we were young.

Our psychological history, predisposes us to fall for certain type of people.

Truth is, we were force feed whatever love that was given to us when we were young, until we were capable of feeding ourselves our own definition.

And it’s unfortunate that some aspects of love that we’ve grown to know aren’t only cemented in, but are actually part of the foundation.

And knowing that you have to tear yourself apart from the root just to learn your own ‘healthier’ is painful.

Just earlier, my mom and I were having a conversation. A year ago, I would have easily sided with her without even flinching, but instead it turned into a fruitful debate.

I say this because, I had not only embodied her ideology of love, I had remolded it to be own without even being aware.

And now that I’m growing conscious of the intensity and complexity of my own love, I’m slowly learning how to articulate it and implement it in my own life.

I’m Redefining my own love.

Day 19: Truth

I’ve reflected on my Love Redefined series so far and learned that I robbed myself deeply.

I’ve been too scared to articulate my pain, I realized that I’ve literally scratched various surfaces in the hopes of finding solace, only to drown my thoughts in confusion.

Truth is, the only pieces I can fully relate to is Value, Love Letter, 4am & Silent Prayer.

I’m scared to dig deep because that means dragging childhood monsters that have now grown into emotional strongholds, triggering habits, unhealthy patterns and toxic relationships.

It also means hurting the ones that I love with honesty and confrontation. Admitting and accepting that they actually hurt me, instead of merely sweeping the pain under the carpet.

Because ultimately, that pain translates to other avenues get released in the form of miscommunication, poor decisionmaking, turning down love and feeling inadequate in love.