by ‘Damilola Oyedele
It’s my birthday! I was recently inspired by Oprah’s Letter to Her Younger Self and Glamour Magazine’s 30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Know by the Time She’s 30, so I’m sharing this personal letter (from me to myself) as I turn 24 and enter my 25th year of existence.
Dear beautiful, talented, wise young woman:
- Loosen up. You’ll be young only once. It’s great to have the wisdom of a 50-year-old, but you are not allowed to carry her burdens too.
- Be content. Refuse to show off and do not be ‘oppressed’ by those who do.
- Let other lights shine. Genuinely seek for platforms to express the gifts of those around you.
- You will never magically transform into Gabrielle Union. The sooner you accept your thighs (and your stomach, God bless her) the better. When in doubt, remember what Oprah said, “A lady should not lie about her age; she should lie about her weight.”
- Let go. Some friendships and relationships are meant to end. And when they do, be assured that there is better ahead.
- As much as lies within your power, do not slam the door on any friendship or relationship. You may need to use the same door in the future.
- Be grateful. For what you have, for who you have, and to whoever has helped you on this journey.
- Never be ashamed of who you are, or where you’re coming from.
- Quit looking for the perfect man. Or move to Mars.
- Keep looking for the perfect Nigerian hair salon – one with knowledgeable and talented staff who won’t give you attitude while they damage your hair. (If you still find yourself on this quest in a few years, by all means start your own salon.)
- Nurture your spirit. Remember that what everyone sees is not the real you. Damilola is invisible; commune with her Creator regularly.
- Don’t ever, ever, hate on another woman’s hustle! (Even if she is a ‘runs’ girl, it is phenomenally illogical of you to be jealous of her.)
- Make plans for every facet your future and stick with them.
- Learn at least one new skill every year. (This year you must learn to draw decent eyebrows, by any and all means.)
- For every inflow that comes into your life, there is a portion for sowing and another for food. Don’t eat your seed.
- Splurge (every now and then, preferably on fine designer watches) and don’t feel one bit guilty!
- Write. Regularly. For the love of God.
- Love your parents and make them proud of you.
- You don’t know it all, so think and listen more than you speak. Listen with your ears and discern with your heart.
- Your dreams are not mutually exclusive. Keep them all alive as you plan and pray.
- White rice and stew at 10pm is not your friend! Eat right and exercise.
- Hard times will make you a better person, so don’t settle for an easy life.
- You will be fine. Romans 8:28 says so.