Dear 20-year-old Josie,
Mamita, you will be alright! Don’t feel the need to take life, and yourself, so seriously. This need that you have to be in control, be 10 steps of everyone, including yourself, and have a plan B, C and D, served you well many, many years ago. Now, it is getting in the way of experiencing your beautiful, abundant, and promising life. Trust that the lessons you’ve learned from the hardships you’ve endured will carry you through this phase of your life. And the new lessons you will inevitably learn will carry you to the next phase. And so on and so forth. Baby girl, you are okay, you are safe, you have all the tools to figure it – life, you, the world around you – out.
And another thing, Ms. Know-It-All. Degrees are necessary in this world, especially as the brilliant Black Dominican, woman of color that you are. But they do not define your self-worth. You are not more worthy of love, attention, and financial abundance, because you have multiple degrees from the best universities in the country. You are deserving of love – unconditional, irrational, nonsensical – love just.as.you.are. I promise you that. In fact, I invite you to use all the self-awareness that you possess and think about the things that make you unbearably happy. Go ahead, dream big! There are no wrong answers here (because I know that’s what you’re wondering!) Having that at the forefront of your mind will serve you well as you go on to change the world. Thank me, later.
If you choose to take in anything that I’ve written, take this: throw out the checklists, of friends that are worthy of you, of partners that are worthy of your time, of opportunities that are on par with your potential. Checklists, in this sense, are limiting and a perfect vehicle to self-sabotage. They are there because you are afraid of getting hurt – that’s understandable and inevitable. What matters is how you handle it. And the more you go through it, the better you get at handling it in a way that honors you. Besides, your spiritual team always has your back. You know that because you feel it all the time. You’re not going crazy.
I love you so, so, so deeply,