Today, am sharing a blog post by my 20 year-old daughter. She wrote the following: A letter from her own 30-year-old future self. Hope you enjoy reading.

Dear me,

While on my early morning jog today, earphones blasting my tunes at full volume, I lost sense of my surroundings. I remember having turned the corner on one of the busier streets, usually rather empty at this hour, in a daze. The next thing I recall is being viciously honked at by a black Chevrolet, its bonnet so close to my body I could feel the heat emanating from its engine at my waist. While I was brought back to awareness by this potentially fatal experience, the car withdrew out of sight in a hurry. All I could catch from its rear end were the numbers ‘2020’, bringing back a flood of memories, a time of uncertainty.

Much of what is your reality right now has remained unchanged 10 years later, the subways, the roads, the government. A magazine recently did a spread on the way beauty standards have ‘evolved’ over the last decade, pushing me into familiar waters having seeped into the system of every woman in every country. I know the place you are in right now, a teenager fighting herself to claim a space of her own within her own body. The mirror sings of imperfections and the future is an anxiety-rousing ballad. The world I live in is a little more accepting of the diversities of skin and curves than yours. The article made me wonder if there was a right answer and if so, how it could help my younger, struggling self.

With the thread of social media, sewing people into connectedness, comes an entire sewing kit. Models and their perfect measurements as needles to poke at your insecurities, the perfect vacations in the perfect locations as spools to wrap your insufficiency around, better opportunities and better displays of love as scissors to cut at your seams. But the years have taught me something I want you to remember- to box the items up and let them be just what they are- someone else’s tools.

Let your own truth be the source of your comfort. The yardsticks chosen by society are as transient as they are arbitrary, wanting in substance and unworthy of losing sleep over. By the time you would’ve shaped your actions as per its demands, it would’ve moved on to a new mould, expecting you to alter again to fit into it. Instead, allow yourself the flexibility to be your natural self.

Things might not always go to plan, answers might not always be found and some moments might be characterized by the very wish of their absence. It is in these moments that you mustn’t lose sight of yourself, gracefully flowing along with the circumstances rather than resisting what is beyond control. Make sure to take time out for yourself, feeding your craft and soul alike; it is only when you are content that you become better equipped to spread positivity. The world spins on an axis called hope so hold on to your dreams because soon enough you’re going to be living them. I am proud of you for all that you are and all that you have made me.

From the precariousness of life is born the possibility of freedom. The certainty of everchanging seasons will lend you the ability to celebrate this sinusoid. Seize every moment of your youth with zeal, give your all to love, accept yourself and keep the spirit of life fragrant with compassion, blooming in self-love. Because you never know when you might be brought down by a car, your entire life flashing in front of your eyes, wishing you had learnt to love yourself a little sooner.

Love,

You.

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