So yesterday, I was thinking I wanted to get a glimpse of my future, you know, like flipping to the back of the book to see what happens. So then I started thinking that I should just start writing my story from the end so that I create the ending myself and that’s how this letter came about. I thought about myself as an old woman and tried to look back on my life from her point of view. I thought I could discover details, facts, but in writing the story, it turned into a letter to myself, and I realized that the facts, the details didn’t matter. What mattered is who I become. And now I have this vision of myself the person I want to be, the life I want to live.
To Latasha Monique (Age 32, 2013)
I know it’s late, but I have something to tell you. One day, years from now, you will become me. I remember I used to have so many questions. I wondered if I would travel, if I would ever find happiness, if I would find love. There were things that I knew. That I would have this beautiful silver hair. And yes, I had already found love – and yes it was real. For a long time I didn’t allow myself to feel. I mean really feel things. I was protecting myself. But you can’t live if you’re protected; if you push everyone away. Life is about experience. Experiencing everything that life gives you. The facts don’t matter. They don’t make your story. What matters is being true to yourself. I thought I had experienced love, but I had only scratched the surface. You will experience everything life has to offer if you just allow yourself to feel. I wanted a fulfilling life, and I believe that it has been. I haven’t always been happy. As you know, it’s an ongoing battle. But I have accepted that this is who I am. I understand my place in the world. I understand why all the struggles were necessary. Don’t rush through life to get where I am. Take your time. I have perspective now. As they say, hindsight is always clear. I hope that you will live your dreams and trust in yourself. You hold your mother within you; you are her daughter after all. She would be so proud of you. Listen to her voice inside you. She will always be there. She will guide you and she will never steer you wrong. Remember her advice.
Don’t lose your passion, your spirit, your love. Allow yourself to believe. When you feel the darkness taking over, you fight; you hold on to the light, don’t let it escape you. And remember, I am here because of you; I am who I am because of you, because you survived, you followed your voice. Because of you, I am. Of course you will make mistakes, but you will learn, you will understand. You will learn to be a part of this world. You will force people to think, to change. You will learn to say what you feel, to experience what you feel. And not be afraid of the passion. Not afraid to be a passionate person, a person who cares and feels, deeply, with all your heart. You are learning, but self-awareness takes time. It is a process – Do not rush it. All will be as it will be. And you will live through it. You may even enjoy it. Do not forget me. I only exist because of you. If you think I am wise, it is because you learned a lot on your journey. If you think I am happy, it is because you learned the value of true happiness. If you think I am fulfilled, it is because you learned to open your heart. If you think I am generous, honest, kind, it is because you are all of those as well. If you think I am beautiful, it is because you have finally allowed yourself to experience the beauty that exists within you.
Monique (Age Eighty-Something)