Dear past and current Lydia,
In light of it still being the month of love, I’ve been inspired to write a letter from the future to both my past and present selves. Most times, we live a life of stress and panic; we’re afraid of taking leaps of faith for our passions or the people we love out of fear of failure or even the fear of beginning, because of the unknown. You’re a perfectionist and always want to come out on top with a bit of praise and, while that’s okay, facing your fears is the first step.
You’ve always had big dreams. Even when misunderstood, your passion for creating things was evident in how often you had your face buried between two pages of a blank book while figuring out how to spell certain words as you wrote some short stories for yourself. I still remember, you struggled with the word ‘laugh’ but felt too proud to ask for help while writing a poem at the age of 6. Somehow, you made it work. Even though it meant getting a butt whooping from mom, you insisted on having your Barbie dolls dressed in couture courtesy of mom’s favourite clothes. You came out stronger from your parents’ separation before that, at 4, grew into a love-filled woman despite your heavy past, and despite the world’s opinions, you started living a life of freedom once you came to accept that being a young mother was not the end of the world. Look at that heavy past and look at how you turned out? You’re doing amazing! Never let anyone tell you that you’re not allowed to feel that way because someone else has it worse; this is your journey and someone else wouldn’t have dealt with all of this as best as you did. That’s courage and strength. Even with all of this hanging heavy over your past, somehow you managed to smile through a lot of the trauma and deal with it by looking to love and care for those who couldn’t find their own voices.
A lot of the time, you’ve felt (and still do) like you’re not good enough. Your passion for writing for fun— your dream of becoming an award-winning novelist— was killed off by the schooling system which told you that your writing wasn’t strong enough and that resulted in you constantly questioning if you were even good at writing at all; mom’s lack of understanding and support for your fashion design dreams had you doubting if you’d even make it at all in the cut-throat industry because “passion doesn’t pay bills”; your heavy previous relationship had you wondering if you were even worthy of a love worth a rom-com… oh, and remember that girl in primary school who laughed in your face when you said you’d own a Lamborghini one day? You’re slowly coming to crave these dreams once more and it’s amazing! Despite the negativity, in a small way, realising that at 23, you still want a lot of the things you wanted when you were 6 or so… that’s finding your voice and standing up for your heart!
This letter is a reminder to you that you are capable and worthy of everything you truly want. Look at where you’ve come from. When you set aside the negatives and use your hurt to fuel your drive, you can get very far with your passions; you could move mountains— change a life and/ or an industry, all while being yourself. You fear being different because everyone has told you to follow a script— you have to have a solid 9 to 5 and stick to it because it comes with benefits and a retirement package; you have to stop being so creative because it’s hard to find a good job as a creative person, especially in Africa where the priority by our governments is finding and funding engineers, teachers and doctors. Stop it! there is room for you in whatever field you want to get into, and boy will they love you. You have the power to change how people see things by just being yourself because, at the end of the day, there is and never will be another you. Nobody could ever see the world through your eyes, love the way you do, react the way you do to situations that could break you, or simply think the way you do. To love yourself fully, stop criticising the way you think because someone else doesn’t think like you do. All the things that you once stressed about, whether it be when you were growing up and thought you’d never get to a live in a ‘proper’ house because dad left one day without as much as a ‘goodbye’, or when you stressed about going to college when you didn’t qualify for funding and mom couldn’t pay for it because she really couldn’t afford to… a way was made and you lived exactly what you yearned for. Don’t panic! Just trust that, just like all those times, a way will always be made because someone hears you when you pray, even if it’s softer than a whisper, and they make a way because of your heart.
Comparing your journey to someone else’s will always be poison to you and you need to drop that trait and focus on your own path. Some people got a head start— you weren’t born into wealth, sweetheart, so you couldn’t have one of your dream cars at 18 and you don’t come from a family that believes in risks so you couldn’t ask them to fund whichever dream of yours burned the brightest. Though it’s intimidating to meet people your age or younger who seemingly have it all together, sometimes they really don’t, and that’s the lesson here: you don’t know what sacrifices anyone you’ve met has had to make to drive that car you gushed over or to live in the apartment they do at the age of 21; you don’tknow where any of that comes from and to wish that you were where they are is a big “fuck you” to all the forces that made your life what it is. Enjoy your journey and enjoy how much growth and learning you do from now on. Anyone who has the gall to question why you’re this old but live without that is not worth the time or energy. You are not and never will be your career or income bracket. People might someday remember you for how successful you became but at the end of it all, the same soil that will fall over a poor man’s casket is the same one that will fall over yours. So stay true to your heart, preserve your energy, live and love fiercely, stop doubting your talents and stop comparing yourself, your methods or your success to that of another. You weren’t created for the same purpose and you will never be in the same lane.
You stress yourself about school, making a living, how you look, finding love, being liked by a lot of people and that’s normal for any person but you’re not any person! Before anything else, you’re a spirit here to have a human experience. These things don’t make you and they’re not why you’re here so remember to constantly look within for inspiration, for guidance and for all the love you could ever dream of because that’s where your success and life hacks will come from. In the future, you’re your most authentic self. You’re living the life you’re currently dreaming of having and you’re touching and changing lives in the most unimaginable ways. All the people you once looked up to are in love with your character and all the fears you once had, you laugh about whenever they cross your mind. You’re blessed and you don’t know it yet but to solidify your future— to ensure you really do get that dream house in London along with those multiple careers you currently see yourself having, to have your perfect family and travel the world as often as you wish, to finally own all your dream cars— all you have to do is take your own advice more: believe in yourself and in the Universe’s ways and timing, especially when someone makes you feel unworthy of having it all. You can be, have and experience whatever crosses your mind at this time in your life, as long as you believe in your worth to have it. Deep down you know you’re worthy because you think about it all so much, but I wanted to offer you a tip that might make life a bit more fun for you and ensure you manifest everything without resistance: imagine that your daydreams are visions from the future— a sneak peek of what’s to come. It’s not a ‘dream’ or a ‘thought’, it’s a preview of life’s greatest comings and I want you to affirm that you accept and receive whenever you find yourself lost in all the possibilities, especially when a doubt creeps in or a voice says it’s not possible. Just like you believe what’s to come up in the next episode of your favourite series because of the preview, make it so with your own life too and watch the magic unfold.
You are worthy, capable and loved beyond comparison and I want you to carry on every day in that feeling of knowing this as fact. Even when life feels a bit rough and things aren’t going your way, know that you’ll never experience a rainbow without the storm. Everything is playing out as it should and the answer to all your questions and worries is simply the first eight words of this paragraph. Believe it, affirm it and live like it is so because it is. You’ve already won the race in another dimension; you’re already everything you want to be but you’re at risk of changing that by believing one negative thought over everything that’s in this letter. One day you’re going to be where I am in the future and, without you even having to look for it, this letter will resurface at the right time to prove your strength to you, and also remind you of the divine love you’re surrounded by.
I love you, I believe in you and I’m always here to guide you if you’d just quieten down the noise for a moment. I can show you how to get here if you’d just believe a little more and keep seeing life as a chain of lessons instead of pain sometimes. You’re in control in the way that you react to what life has to throw at you, and if nobody’s told you this before, you’re doing a great job so far!
All the love,
Featured images courtesy of unsplash.com