Nine years ago seems like eternity now yet when I look back, 18 seems like only yesterday.

You were in your last year of high school, you were just discovering the magic of life and you were happy. In fact, if I can recall well enough, 2007 was probably one of the best years you’ve had yet.

 Adulthood is not as cool as it looked like back then, believe me. It’s freaking hard! But it’s also necessary. It is because of adulthood that I am the person I am now and you back then were just forming the foundation to the life lessons you would soon learn, fast forward years later.

  1. Love Yourself: I cannot express this enough. You sacrificed your time, your patience, your energy for everyone else but you. All you did was put yourself down every chance you got. You deserve all the good coming to you. You have a great family, great friends and you deserve a great life, we all do. One way to make that happen - love yourself, respect yourself, know your worth and share your energy wisely.
  1. You is kind, You is smart, You is important: I know you never believed you could do as well as you would have liked to in school but believe me when I say mum and dad were actually right when they kept drilling it into your head that if you just apply yourself, you’ll succeed. Your smarts + intelligence really blossomed in college because you were given the chance to actually learn something and create and develop your talent. You completed a four-year degree in two years! And you graduated well too - you did that!

You are about to be a Masters degree recipient. Again, YOU did that, you who thought you were destined to fail, and you who thought you would never achieve much in life… I just proved you wrong and I’m so glad I did.

 You thought you were fat and ugly despite being tall and skinny because you had surprisingly wide hips that by the way, will not disappear no matter how hard you try (I’m still trying to this day). You thought you could never be considered pretty because you thought you were too dark and too nerdy in glasses. Let me tell you something honey, right now chocolate girls are all the rage and when you see #BlackGirlMagic trending online, it’s because black girls are being celebrated now more than they ever were and I’m here for all of it - shout out to Lupita, Viola Davis and Nimoi!

 Keep healthy and stay fit and your body will thank you for it. I appreciate my curves more now than I did before and I’m just working towards a healthier lifestyle instead of trying to be a size 4 in a world of stunning size 8s, 10s and 12s etc. Your skin is doing the most right now so we thank God that acne hit us at 14 right?

You are beautiful. You know it now and you embrace it fully.

  1. Believe in yourself: I know you have gone through a lot. You don’t know it yet but trust me, 2009 onwards has been an ongoing rollercoaster. You have lost some people very dear to you, in death and in life experiences. You have fallen in love and suffered immense heartbreak at the hands of men who were not worth your time to begin with. You spent time punishing yourself, thinking you were undeserving of love again but everyone deserves love and one day, the right person will come along and show you why the others didn’t stick around long enough to see your awesomeness.  Just wait on it.

 You are valuable. You are a good daughter, sister, a good friend, student, worker and all round good person destined for a life of fulfillment, of greatness and of possibilities. Believe it. That tattoo you got five years later wasn’t just a spur of the moment thing… It is there to remind you to believe

Don’t worry so much, you will be okay, I promise.

Love always,

Present me.

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