I just downloaded the latest issue of O Magazine and really enjoyed the letter that Oprah wrote to her younger self. A few years ago, I read Maya Angelou’s book, Letter to my Daughter, which follows a similar theme – an older, wiser woman sharing what she’s learned in life with a younger woman. I love the idea of people sharing their life lessons with others, particularly when those lessons have been learned over a long period of time.
Well, even though I am not as old as Oprah, or as wise as Maya Angelou, I decided to write a letter to my younger self…
Dear Sabrina (Sabrina is my first name – Joy is my middle name :-)),
You are about to graduate high school and attend Florida A&M University. You might consider keeping a journal to document what will be some of the best years of your life. Because you have moved around a lot, you haven’t developed any long-lasting friendships, but you will meet five other young ladies at FAMU who will become your life long friends.
You’ve been a good kid, gotten good grades and earned a full academic scholarship. When you get to school, remember that you can have fun and be focused on schoolwork. Even though you aren’t passionate about earning an M.B.A, you can still earn one while figuring out exactly what it is you want to be when you grow up. What you father told you when you were little, that you could be anything you want to be, is true. What he didn’t mention, but is also true, is that YOU have to DECIDE what you want to be. Your college years are the perfect time to get this all figured out.
Here are a few other nuggets for you:
- Cotton briefs are generally not considered to be sexy undergarments (this info really isn’t needed until a bit later in life (ideally), so you can just file this away for later
- Your hair may not be strong enough to handle relaxers; if you start wearing your hair natural now, you’ll have a full head of kinky curls by the time going ‘natural’ becomes trendy
- People will disappoint you, but they will also surprise you in wonderful ways
- Discipline and patience will take you very far in life
- Don’t second guess yourself so much…you are smart, you are beautiful and you are important
- Don’t worry so much about what other people think (and this includes your parents – even though they are wise, only you know what truly brings you joy)
- Being a professional female athlete is a legitimate career option – you might give some thought to taking your college track career more seriously
- You look better in pants versus short skirts (your bow legs make mini skirts look slightly ghetto)
Love you much,