A Letter To My Younger Self
I understand if you're thrown off by the title. “Isn’t she pretty young?”. Twenty years young, to be exact. You can call it the cards I've been dealt, fate in action, or the paths I've chosen, but I’ve had some pretty extensive life experience in the two decades I’ve been on this planet. These are the things I wish I could go back in time and say to younger Sarah. So as I sit here to write this, since I can’t think of where to start… I will let the word vomit ensue.
Dear Young(er) Sarah,
First things first. I want you to take a look at your tiny sweet self in the mirror. I want you to stare at those beautiful curls, and say out loud “I love my hair”. I’m sorry I never did that for us. I’m sorry you struggled for so long to embrace the hair you were gifted. If I could go back in time, I’d change that for us. I’d make it known that your African heritage is an awesome and integral part of you, and girl, you can and will rock it. Your hair is gorgeous, don't let the girls at school tell you it looks better straight- they're just jealous they don't have African Queen hur.
Another thing I want you to know is that your creative brain is going to give you a really, really, hard time. You have severe OCD. You also have anxiety disorder, and major depression. But unfortunately the diagnosis is going to come later in life. I wish you knew sooner, for so many reasons. You are going to believe there is something innately wrong with you. That you are unworthy. That you are never going to be “normal”. But I promise you, you are special, strong, and capable of overcoming anything. Your mental illness is a part of your identity, and it is both a blessing and a curse. I wish I could tell you that, so the coming years wouldn't be so hard on you. But you will get through it. Promise.
Something else you should keep in mind… You will have your heart broken more than once. And it’s going to suck more than you thought it would. I can imagine you staring at me in disbelief and thinking I couldn't possibly be right. But baby, boys have a way of working their way into our hearts and making us vulnerable, turning us into balls of mush that we never thought we’d be, giving us pet names and us willingly giving them in return. It will feel like a fairytale at first, but when it ends, you will think the world around you is crumbling. I want to tell you that it’s okay to hurt- but you WILL be okay. I want you to know that you should never regret anything that made you feel happy in your life. I want you to know that heartache is part of life experience and although it feels like death, and you have a setback with your mental health, and you have to get mom and dad to hold your hand through it- it is all worth it.
Lastly, I want you to remember not to let anyone else define you, but yourself. It is easy to let a boy become such a part of you that you cant identify without him. But its all about balance. You can give someone your complete heart and still not rely on that person to be the reason for your entire existence. Also, do not let the entertainment industry take away the best parts about you. You are kind, generous, genuine, and caring. It is easy to get swept up into things that seem alluring, but these are nothing but materialistic things that will never result in real happiness. You’re more than that.
You are uniquely and singularly you, and that is your gift. Keep your chin up, love hard, fight through the lows, marvel in the highs. You will be just fine.
(You’ll actually be more than fine… You'll be great ;)