I’ve seen all your Alex Elle-esque antidotes and gentle words of wisdom for your former selves and I can’t — and by can’t I mean, speak sweetly to my young self.
I needed my ass whooped. But I don’t have a time machine, or a good belt so I’ll settle for a good read. You ready self? I’m ready D. Here’s what my former self would have said to me at different times in my life.
College? Bitch Please
No really. If you have a plan, tell me now. You wanna be a doctor. Fine. College it is. Let’s go! You wanna be an artist? How bout New York. Too cold? What about, LA. Too scared? Mmk. But we can’t just sit here in torment sis. Use the money you’re about to spend on college to travel; learn about yourself and the world for tuition’s sake. Whatever you do, cut this near decade, college charade out. What are you trying to prove? Who are you trying to impress? Stop now! Abort! Abort! It’s painful to watch. And now, so are these student loans piling up on the kitchen island.
Sallie Mae is Not Your Friend
Look. The impolite financial aid officer is going to make you feel like signing that raggedy piece of paper is all that stands in between you and your 1 o’clock class. She’a gonna say “Do you wanna go back to your dorm with Crystal’nem or not?!” with a red stamp in her hand waiting to pounce ADMITTED right below your name. Right then and there you’ll consider, The Black Experience or The Bum Experience. You’ll contemplate things like, “What else is there for a girl to do after high school?” and “Do you really wanna go out in this world with just a high school diploma?” But don’t let these thoughts or the “It’s lunchtime” look on the financial aid ladies face fool you. College ain’t for everybody and judging by the 8 years it took you to get out, you were that somebody.
The Hoe Phase Won’t Hurt You, It Will Help You
You’ve been a serial monogamous all your life. You, like, Elizabeth Gilbert “disappear into the person you love. You are the permeable membrane. If you love them, they can have everything. They can have your time, your devotion, your ass, your money, your family, your dog, your dog’s money, your dog’s time—everything…until you get so exhausted and depleted and the only way you recover your energy is by becoming infatuated with someone else“. Shout out to idyllic Eat, Pray, Love quotes, but uhh, your time is up old lady. You really should have been a hoe at some point, hoe! After the 4th year of dating your high school boyfriend, somebody should’ve told you “Uhhh. You might wanna see some another niggas now“, and they should’ve done it with a stank face so you could feel like a blistering outcast for not pursuing “hoe activities, with hoe tendencies” with your hoe ass friends. Instead you, devoted Destiny, got right outta one long term relationship and into an even longer one. Hoe sit down.
You Are Not Weird. Ok Maybe a Lil
But so what. Up until 32, you didn’t know who you were; didn’t really possess the ability to stand firm in your eccentricities. So when everyone else wanted to go out and party and you just wanted to chill back at home, it’s understandable that you would feel outta place and misunderstood. But depression bitch?! No lemme stop, no obscenities for you here. We’ve come a long way from hiding to shining and “I see you” — the way you revel in those differences now. I am less harsh here because I am enjoying watching you unfold. Continue to concentrate on what makes you unique. I hear it will lead you closer to what He has for you.
Move. You Is Not a Tree
Now back to the tough talk. You must’ve signed a lease with Mayor Kasim Reed the way you cling to Atlanta. I peep your dramatics when you’re driving home from the airport after a few days away. You act like you’re on a movie — top down, scarf blowing in the wind, passing the old Turner Field. You turn on the radio, the number one song in the country is on and it’s by an artist from the A. You smile to yourself knowing that where ever you’ve been ain’t cooler than where you stay. It’s a good feeling but…turn off the D4L song and SNAP out of it! Dang. You’re starting to see spaceships on Bankhead Des. Wake up! Do you wanna die here? Or do you wanna feel that way about another place; 3 even?
Write That Shit Down. That’s Good
I know you remember this moment both vividly and quite often. The summer studying abroad. We were riding to our dorm on a bus and an omnipotent voice spoke to you as you looked out of the window, “Write everything, on anything!”, it said. I know. It still gives me chills. Anyway. That was your intuition dummy. You ignored that almighty voice and went about my Caribbean way; disregarding it every since. And who better to attest to the amount of thoughts and ideas that if cultivated and acted upon could’ve changed the course of your life.
The bottom line? Don’t eff round. Make a deliberate effort to follow your premonition in 2018 and beyond. It has some beautiful things in store. And I don’t want future self to have to cuss you out ever again.
Your Former Self