Dear 21-year-old Yetti,
Everything I have to say, you’re probably not going to want to hear. But if it means anything, it’s not a lot, and it’s coming from a place of care and love. You ready?
You’re quite the emotional mess ain’t you? And right about this time, your 21st birthday has probably solidified this year as the worst year of your life. But it’s not, it gets so much worse. But better too! You’ll get through this, and everything else that will transpire after because you kind of have to. You’ve got a world to impact.
Stop cutting yourself. Just stop it. Fidelis and Diana will hold your hand through it. Trust boyfriend with those sad thoughts. Just stop it, okay?
That idea book you have? The raggedy purple notebook mummy keeps moving around on your shelf? Keep it. Believe in it.
National Society of Black Engineers? Girl… you’re about to become a legend. Those long hours, and hair pulling moments? So fucking worth it. But you can’t go to those conferences and belittle everything that you are every time you see a pretty face and a skinny frame. Stop the compare and despair. Also, Ochelle isn’t scary, you’ll like her. She’s good people.
Speaking about hair, those Dominicans are frying your scalp. How in the hell are you dealing?
You’ll spend a lot of your time wondering if this relationship is for you. If it’s the holy grail, and if it’ll last. It wasn’t for you, it was far from the holy grail, and you will thank the universe that it didn’t last. But before you become jaded, before you punish yourself for going against those gut feelings to break up, and before he drives you to a level of crazy where you will not recognize yourself, enjoy being fearlessly in love. Allow him to save you from you. I think he ends up doing that twice. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and naked with someone who at some point wants to be vulnerable and naked with you. It’s okay from him to love you, Yetti. Allow yourself to be loved. You deserve this and your future boyfriend deserves everything that you learn from this experience. You’ll thank this boyfriend for all that and some.
Oh, and you ARE a great girlfriend. Even if he neglects to tell you so. You’ll thank him for that later, too.
Stop holding a grudge against Daddy. He’ll become one of your biggest supporters one day and it’ll feel pretty amazing.
Continue to be health conscious, but Yetti… stop obsessing over your weight. It’s going to drive you crazy, and then you’ll over do it, and make yourself very, very sick. It’s not worth it.
Which leads me to this one last thing. I Promise. No more after this.
You can’t see it now, but you’re enough. Yes, you’re more than enough. Gorgeous, even. Don’t laugh. Don’t roll your eyes. You’re beautiful, even at 152lbs, with chubby cheeks, and a pooch you continuously throw shade at. But it’s not simply an outer layer thing, you have a light about you no one will get to see until a little later, but it’s there, and it’s what is going to set you apart from the rest. From this light will grow a series of ‘find yourself’ moments. Don’t fight those moments. It’s you learning to love who you are from your facial features to your passionate drive. It’s going to burn. It’s going to suck. But it will be needed, because the world eats women who are too fragile to love themselves.
And stop avoiding mirrors, it’s annoying.
You’re a lot stronger than you think, Yetti. You’ve just got to trust in it. Trust that the universe will not swallow you whole if you decide to fight back.
Lots of love,
The woman who’s going to conquer the world, one self-love journey at a time.
P.S. I know, I said no more but you do lose the weight. We look good, boo! We look good!