A LETTER TO MY TEENAGE SELF

“there will be fear. a lot of it. there will be triumph. a lot of it. there will be constellations you want to reach for but can’t put your finger on. you will trace them like the scars on your body you got from trouble and the times of your life. you will take the long way to get to these Orions. the long way will become a theme in your life, but a journey you learn to love.
you will dive head first without looking into phases that you are certain of who you are.
at the time, you are searching. seeking in every corner and pocket of the world for who you are. take your time, baby girl. there’s no rush to get there. you will sow each of these chapters in the land that you become. you will see bits and pieces of them scattered into the skin you grow into. you don’t have to figure everything out now. time will reveal itself. i promise you.
sometimes you push these phases to the max, and when you go out into the world feeling confident in who you are and what you reflect, young folks will call you names and grown folks will call you names. It’s ok. one day you will name yourself, and that name will belong to you. it will not be the ones they ordained: “crazy, ugly, attention-seeking, weirdo.”
i really hate to tell you this, but sometimes you will still get called these things as an adult, except you will actually embrace some of them. you will learn that these are just words. words that only have power if you choose to give them power. every once in a while they will hurt, but you will choose to turn those words into a symbol of beauty.
speaking of words. they might just be your first love. sometimes you can write for hours, just you and the words on the pages. they make you feel understood, even if it’s just you that you’re talking to.
trust in these words, even when you’re feeling wildly insecure. hold on to your journals. cherish them. put them somewhere safe so that they may become a guide for you later, a revealer and a friend.
the lucky stars have been good to you, and there’s a long list of things you’d like to give gratitude to them for………..
because you have your mama’s blood, you are fiercely independent and outgoing. you’ve been starting petitions, building tree houses, and starting clubs since as long as you can remember.
sometimes in the midst of juggling all this, you put a lot of pressure on yourself and often crash and burn. you shut down. you go into your room, lock the door, put on music, and you do not move for 8 hours straight. it will feel like the heaviest and bleakest darkness you can possibly feel, and when you ask everyone to leave you alone and let you be, what you really want to say is “i want you here” and “i need help.”
sometimes it is ok to say just that. it won’t make you less strong or less powerful. no one you love will criticize you or blame you; in fact, they will lift you up.
seventeen will be the hardest year of your life. it will grow you up almost immediately. you will lose your best friend whom you love so much to gun violence in a single moment, and give birth to a new one within a year.
you will be terrified, and it’s ok that you don’t know what the future holds. some people will count you out because of the decision you’ve made to bring another life into the world so young, but you made the decision out of love and will live with the decision in love.
soon enough you will learn how to love and how to exist with love in ways that you never knew. you will learn how to love yourself and how to empathize with and forgive those who may have taken a bit of that pure love away from you.
you have a long life ahead of you, and i’ll tell you it’s not gonna always be easy, but I can promise you it will be fruitful and with much purpose. all the bridges you’ve burned, you had to, so that you could rebuild them to become a stronger and more wonderful you.
there will be pain, there will be doubt there will be beauty, there will be the unknown. there will be so many moments of joy and delight that the whole universe will feel painted in hues of amber and wonder. there will be times you are so sad you can’t lift your head. and there will be times you are so happy that the sensation of life knocks you down. but most importantly, there will be you. a whole, whole lot of it. and you will feel good about who she is and who she is still becoming.”

-Solange Knowles

To live and to stay in the moment

Short term happiness is a fleeting feeling. A drug, a high. Yet in this ever fast paced world we live in, everything we do is for a reaction. A short term satisfaction. 

Lusting for someone is a short term feeling. Going out, drinking, smoking, all equate to this feeling of euphoria for a short time. All these seem so enjoyable in the moment, but after a constant cycle of repeating them you begin to see something. Everyday life seems so plain, mundane and tedious. Your mind and body craves the rush and feeling of adrenaline pumping through your system.

Being in love, family and friendships are more under the long term happiness branch. It takes work, hell it takes a lot of effort but it is fruiful, and doesn’t have a shelf life of two days. 

In a time where we’re all chasing the new, and trying to be a little extra, we are only living for the moment. Nothing beyond. This isn’t making any of us happier, just hungry for a feeling which we keep coming back to. 

Apathy is the new intimacy

apathy

noun
  1. lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern.

The new wave of dating but not being in a relationship, is the backbone of today’s youth. It is the root of emotional and mental breakdowns. Intimacy is an artform which we have crafted to no longer exist, aside from the casual hookups. It is the reason why we have the notion of ‘fuckboys’ ‘fuckgirls’ thrown around constantly to give us leverage against each other. This apathy is resonant within the music culture and hip-hop, R&B scene. We have created such a toxic atmosphere where all we hear rappers and singers cry  about all day are from one of the following themes;

  • Why don’t these hoes love me (because hoe is a more empowering term for women, don’t get me started )
  • Why won’t my girl take me back even though I cheated on her. It just doesn’t make sense
  • I enjoy spending my time with various (bad) women but my shawty has got to be (good)
  • I dated a stripper, but if I do refer to her that is what I will call her out on. I will look pass every thing she ever did for me (yes I’m talking about Kanye)
  • Oh I could probably take your girl, because women love running from one man to the other for some reason

These are just a few from the top of my head but they all follow the same genre. It’s tiring being a single woman when you encounter men after men with the same ‘its not that deep’ attitude. Since when was this the answer to everything. Whatever happened to genuine interest and sense of affection and care. Maybe this is all the rage whilst at University, but I guess there are quite a handful of women (apart from me) who crave more. This sense of not caring to show you are alright, is detrimental. It is lonely and it isn’t fruitful. I don’t want to be waiting or not waiting for your text. I don’t want to be lead on just for fun. I don’t want to have to kiss a dozen frogs for my prince.

Creativity should NOT be graded

Being an Arts student for the majority of my life, the notion of grading art was always foreign to me. Some artwork which I would create with no effort or passion behind it would be greeted with waves of curiosity and wonderful remarks, and the ones with passion would not even be glanced at.

This replicated all the way through College and University. The framework which tutors use to grade and ascertain a credit rating for an individual’s work, is baffling to me. Through my two years at University, there have been instances during various modules where I have worked day and night to create an aesthetically pleasing solution to the project brief. The result of this is always met with a lower grade than expected. When asked for feedback, the feedback given is always a measely subjective opinion given by tutors. The grading criteria is a tool created to restrict art and suck the living passion which you once brought to the table. The Art institution is a joke when it comes to grading art. It is one big fucking joke if you ask me, so save your tears sweetheart and do freelance work, gain some experience and don’t spend 3 hellish years dictated by tutors aspirations and criteria’s.

Maybe in our next life, baby

To unrequited loves and broken hearts over interracial and caste marriages. The premise of these romances always start in such a whirlwind manner, sweeping you off your feet. Down the line after six to seven months reality hits home. The idea of leaving the other is something so foreign, the taste of it is like acid in your mouth. Flings and casual relationships which were never meant to turn so serious, gets the better of you. It is the elusive tale of mind over heart.

With the landscape of today’s generation falling into these habits and lifestyle, we, the youth of today are breaking and defying all barriers. We are testing taboos and limits set from generations ago. In lucky instances we manage to cross that line, and others we are pushed back into the realms of culture.

Love is a funny thing. When we have the greatest love we also have the greatest test. Sometimes we have to listen to society but mostly when it comes to matters of the heart, we can not be told what to do.

Maybe if I believed in the notion of different lives, I would gladly spend the rest of them with you.