I suppose this letter was bound to happen.

You have, without a doubt, had the most difficult of years. And I know - I feel it - that you have questioned yourself so many times. You have stood on the edge (ledge) and watched it all cave around you. You have fought and lost. You have risen and fallen. But look, you are still here; breathing, feeling, moving, rising - alive. All the hurt and betrayal is in the past now. Move from them. Move towards the light. Take steps towards who you are. Be better. Feel stronger. Love. Be happy. You deserve it all. You have won. 

And now, now that Oliver Mtukudzi's husky, unmistakable voice is spilling from the small Bluetooth speaker and filling your dark room. Now that there is a crusade outside your house. Now that you are seated on the floor wondering what's next I want to tell you, certainly, that better days will come. Remember 2015? When we thought we had lost it all? Remember 2016 when we couldn't function without Xanax? Remember when Prozac was the way of life? Remember when we thought we heard the world mocking your existence? Well, you made it out. All the proof you need that the darkest days are behind you.

Believe me, love, when I say there is better ahead. Already you've started getting your heart's desires. The rainbow in the sky is getting bolder, clearer. Look.

I am not saying 2018 will be a smooth ride. Nor am I implying that it will be perfect. But I know you, and I know whatever comes your way you will be ready. You will go through bad times. But you will come out stronger, harder, faster. And if all else, if all else fails, you will still be you.

This note serves to be a reminder every time you lose the faith. Now listen to me, the world - people, things - will hurt you. But you have to keep the faith. Never lose that. And when you hurt people remember to say sorry.

Be patient, keep an open mind, be less angry, let go of the bitterness, forgive, don't be angry, listen. All these ills have plagued you in 2017. Do better. 

Never stop learning, unlearning, relearning.

Above all else, love yourself. Surround yourself with friends who value you and believe in you. And even then, give the same back. Expect from them only what you can give. 

Build a support system.

Don't forget: "No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself."

Remember: "To look life in the face. Always to look life in the face, and to know it for what it is...at last to love it for what it is, and then to put it away."

Be grateful. You couldn't have gone through 2017 without people like Zukiswa, James, Magunga, Abigail, and all the others who stood by you even when you had nothing to give back. You have your gratitude.

I must leave now, your food is getting cold. Eat. Sleep. Exercise. Read. Write. And always remember - never, ever, forget - you have yourself. 

In a few hours, 2018. In a few hours, a new leaf. Cherish it. Call on me if you need any assurance. Listen to that tiny voice. Say yes more often. And read this when in doubt.



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