Dear 12-year-old Me,
You woke up and you opened your eyes. First and foremost, be grateful for that! There will be days that you will wish that was not true. Before anything remember to be grateful for every single day. This simple act will create a great impact on your life. Love yourself before you even call yourself to love someone else. This will save you a great deal of heartbreak. Never question why you should love yourself.
Love yourself because you are you, and there is no one in this world like you. Love yourself because you have meaning. You were created to have a purpose. It is okay if you do not know what it is. It is okay to not have everything figured out, even if it seems like everyone around you does. Take time to find what you like to do. What makes you happy. Never settle. Allow yourself to have a lifetime of joy from something you love as opposed to a lifetime of average.
Embrace your features.
Do not be afraid of what makes you unique.
Embrace the culture and the dynamic history that makes up your being.
Wear your hair out more.
Put that lip gloss on.
Rock those hoops.
Soak up the sun, do not run away from it.
Strut your stuff.
Find your confidence. Find yourself. Most importantly, do not let anyone diminish you, including you. Know yourself and your beauty. Your hair is beautiful. Your skin is beautiful. You are your own power. Seek to discover it. You do not know how powerful you are.Learn the history of your skin; the unique coveted quality of your hair.
Lastly, it is okay to not be okay. It is okay to have bad days. Not every day is going to be a walk in a park, there will be rain. However, it is what you do in addressing those days. Ask for help when you need it. Do not suffer in silence.
You were forced to grow up fast. From a young age, the eldest black girls are expected to do so much. To take on the domestic role—cooking, cleaning, taking care of younger siblings. Being manicured for what they are“supposed” to do when they get older. This forces us to suppress our own feelings and hide our emotions. Then it creates a cycle with our own daughters because it was all that we were taught. This limits our ability. It limits our perception of our own future, it allows for the suppression of our own hopes and dreams, and it creates the idea that the only thing that we are meant to do on earth is to submit to a man, create babies, and care for the family.
You are not limited to this. Know that you are so much more than you think. You have your whole life ahead of you. Again I say, never let anyone diminish you, tell you that you cannot do something, or that you are limited to one thing; including you. Most importantly, I love you now. I am sorry that I did not love you when I should have. Go take on the world.
Written By Maia Wells