A LETTER TO MY 21 YEAR OLD SELF. May 5, 2015 My Lovely Girl: Your life is really just beginning and though people (your parents) tend to act like you should leave college knowing how to tackle the world, you won’t…and you’re not supposed to, anyhow. This life is nothing less than a journey of expansion so give up the idea of ever having it all “figured out”–you never will. In time you’ll learn that as your pendulum swings from stages of sheer confusion to absolute confidence, the fun is in figuring out how to better navigate the in-between phases, always mindful that “This too shall pass”. Just breathe. Things are always working out in your favor. There is an incredibly wonderful world waiting for you beyond Spelman. You’ll put yourself in a much better position if you leave those gates realizing that the goal is not to get a “stable job” but to be intentional about designing your life and creating experiences where you know with all certainty that you’re in alignment with the deepest part of your being. Spend more time doing things like driving PCH with your best friend, or almost attending the Super Bowl with your other best friend (LOL!)–these are the moments that will stay with you forever. Know the stories of your family but understand that they are there to serve as part of your foundation, not as guideposts to chart your path. This journey is yours and yours alone so let the stories of others be just that–their stories based on their personalities & their experiences–and understand that people are always motivated by much more than meets the eye. Never adopt anyone else’s narrative as your own. The only way you will ever truly know something is to experience it for yourself & through your own eyes, otherwise you’ll find yourself carrying a lot of baggage that is not yours to hold. Listen to Erykah Badu’s Bag Lady one more time with fresh ears. Pack light. Worry less about what a thing looks like, and try to just be with what it is. This is called Acceptance. Again & again, life will gift you many opportunities to grow in this area. Understand that you never need to be someone different than who you are to find your place in this world. NEVER. You’ll spend a lot of time trying to make yourself fit into boxes that aren’t suited for you and instead of recognizing that the box isn’t the right fit, you’ll think that there’s something wrong with you…which couldn’t be further from the truth. My Darling, if you’re being yourself and something isn’t a good fit, you don’t change yourself to so that the container fits, you change the container so that YOU fit. Whether in jobs, friendships, with boyfriends or anything else, the right container is the one that fits with ease and feels good. If it doesn’t meet this criteria, keep searching. This isn’t the message that you’re learning from the world, but it is your golden rule. Never be afraid to keep searching until you find the things that are right for you. As India Arie once said, “You know the truth by the way it feels.”, so go after that feeling with reckless abandon. The secret is to be yourself, and then allow the people who resonate with your truth to find you. That’s the beauty of this life–what you seek is also seeking you, always. I hate to break it to you, but you will not stay with him–he is not your forever guy. Jumping in there and bending the situation until it looks like what you want it to be is the antithesis of taking the path of least resistance. Here’s a tip–if you have to work that hard to keep it together then it’s not the right fit. That relationship is compensating for a void you feel yet can’t quite put your finger on, but one day the the lightbulb will go off and you’ll know it’s time to move on. And as difficult as it will be to leave that sweet little girl & start again, you will…and you will be better for it. The only thing that is ever real is love. You’ve had a chance to love someone and be loved in return–what a blessing! Hold onto that love and leave the chaos behind. When all of the dust settles, the only thing you both will be left with are memories of a time when you both loved each other the best you knew how. And when you know that you gave it your best, that will be enough. Oh Dayka, you are the world–if only you could see it right now! You are intelligent, strong, kind & courageous with a fantastic sense of humor. You’ll get called out a lot for speaking your mind but that is a wonderful trait! Never stop & don’t second guess yourself…this will be the very thing your tribe loves about you. There is always a place for a woman like you who has the courage to bring truth to the table, especially when you’re transparent enough to tell your own. Your life will see many twists & turns/ebbs & flows, but one day you’ll look up and realize you’re standing right in the middle of your sweet spot and it will make you so grateful for all you’ve been through. No step you take is wrong and no action will be in vain–you are always exactly where you’re supposed to be. And when you get quiet enough to listen, you’ll hear your soul whispering that familiar refrain that is always guiding you in the right direction. More. More. MORE. Be more. Do more. Give more. Be confident, my little rockstar. You are enough. I love you. d. Share this: Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window) Related 4 Comments on A LETTER TO MY 21 YEAR OLD SELF. Candace May 5, 2015 at 4:06 pm (4 years ago) AGAIN I’ll say, where were you when I was in undergrad. So many of the points you made I can apply to every year I spent at Drexel. I’ve received confirmation and wisdom in this post…thank you Reply DaykaRobinson May 5, 2015 at 6:59 pm (4 years ago) Candace- Let me tell you where I was in undergrad–acting a slight fool, lol!! Time has definitely been kind to me…I like to think that I’ve gotten better with age. And the good thing is, we “met” exactly when we were supposed to. 😉 Thank YOU for your comment. Xo Reply Caltia Latimer May 18, 2015 at 12:42 pm (4 years ago) OMG! I absolutely love this post. This letter is speaking to everything I’m going through as a young women in her late 20’s (from work to love to life). You’ve definitely motivated me and gave a sense of direction along with encouragement viewing your blog. I admire your drive and persistence. I have a BS in Architectural Design and work a full-time job that’s not in my field. I don’t like it but it pays the bills. I rather be doing something I love which is design. I’ve been scared to branch out into the architecture industry and chose to go the independent route by developing a brand for myself. I’ve been completing interior design project here and there to build my portfolio and clientele. Thanks for the insight and your outlook! You’ve showed me that it can be done. Can you adopt me as your mentee? lol 🙂 Love your work!! Reply DaykaRobinson May 25, 2015 at 10:53 am (4 years ago) Hey Caltia- Hang in there! The road is unfolding for you now in ways that you can’t quite imagine just yet, but if you stay the course I promise it WILL come together. Having that full-time income isn’t a bad thing–use it to your advantage! You’re doing the right thing by building your portfolio along the way and by the time you’re ready to really launch, you should have a good body of work behind you which is important. Trust me, I have been THERE…10 years ago I had NO idea what I was gonna do with my life or how it would all come together. From this vantage point I can now see that everything was working for my good all along, just as it is for you. 😉 Feel free to email me if I can be of more help. email@example.com Xo, D Reply Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment *Name* Email * Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.