Dear 18 Year Old Vernetta,
What can I say to you? What can I say that will help you navigate through college and your twenties unscathed? What can I say that will help you understand the depression you fought through was all for a purpose? Now that I’m 31 there are so many lessons I can tell you about. So many things I can prevent from happening to you. But I can’t. So I will share several poignant lessons that will help you grow strength from your past.
- The lack of love you felt you received from your father should never prohibit you from showing and giving love to others. Don’t take out on others what you felt deprived of.
- Going hard for a career you didn’t care about is worthless. Don’t allow others to pressure you to get that “good, stable” job. Take a chance, a risk. Guess what? Life keeps moving and you can always change direction if necessary.
- Learn to enjoy the little moments as they don’t ever come back. Learn to relish in just being. Nothing else. Just embracing all that is within you and around you.
- It’s okay to be emotional. No one can tell you any different. But know how to use those emotions to heal you and not hurt others in the process.
- You won’t have your life together by 30. Most people don’t. So don’t stress yourself out. Just know that everyday you make an effort to live your life, move one step closer to your purpose. No one can take that away from you.
- The sacrifices you made only built an inner strength necessary to show other women what it’s like to own who you are meant to be.
- It’s okay to walk away from everything you’ve ever known or been taught if deep down it conflicts with who you are and what you believe at this stage in life. You are grown and can form your own opinions whether or not they contradict with your upbringing.
- Wishing and hoping for things to change never work. So get up each day and make something happen. Whether small or big each step you take makes a difference for your future.
- Overcoming your 15 year battle with depression was hard fought but you won. You kept working until you felt you were in a good space. Now you let others know depression doesn’t have to stop you from creating a wonderful future.
- When all else fails, just say “eff it” and let it go. Release and let it go. Don’t allow those negative thoughts and energy prevent you from letting people see the caring, loving person you are.
- What other people think about you is not a fight you have to wage each and every time. Just move on and karma will deal with them later.
- You will be almost 30 when you actually get your true, genuine friendships. The friends from your past that hold a special place in your heart stay with you through your journey into becoming you. But the friends you have today are the ones who helped you break down the walls around your heart and pushed you to be you. How? They accepted you for you with no questions asked.
I hope these lessons will empower you to know that your inner beauty will be a reflection for others. It’s a mirror to encourage other women to know that their past shame will no longer be a stain in their life. You are a Gamechanger because you never gave up on yourself. For that be extremely proud.
Your amazing future self.