Dear Vicenarian Duchesse,
Girl, how you doing? Life is sooo good from where I’m standing! I’m writing to you from Zanzibar, where I’ve been for the past week, on vacation with a few of our good friends and Bouboune.
You are thirty years old today. And I have to say, the first word that comes to my mind when I think of how you lived your twenties, would be PRIDE. It sounds very cliché to say “I am proud of my younger self” but I am so so very proud of where you are, given how complex your journey has been, what you’ve been through, and how good you’ve got it today. Now, because I am way wiser than you, allow me to tell you a few things I know will be helpful on this journey to becoming the most authentic version of yourself.
Trust. Du, the time you have with papa is way shorter than what you can possibly imagine. You’re going to grieve a lot. And it will suck. It will sink you in some really dark times but you have to trust that everything conspires for your well-being. I know this phrase will not make sense at times, but keep it close to your heart.
Believe. You need to believe them when they say that sunscreen is for Black and African folks too. Believe the hype and don’t wait until you’re 29 to start using it.
Create. Mbega, do you know great of a creative you are? I bet you don’t coz you’re still trying to make sense of all the economics and political science classes you’re taking but deep down in your heart, I know you can feel it too. You are going to become an amazing content creator and people will even pay you for it. Can you believe that?
Read. I know you hate reading and it makes sense, coz it makes you fall asleep, and honestly, those political science papers are boring. But I can tell you, it’s in books that you’re going to learn some of the most valuable lessons that you will live by, So try audiobooks maybe!?
Capture. You love to take photos and record videos of random moments with your loved ones. Keep capturing those memories, you’re going to need them in the future.
Flow. Girl you need to stop thinking you have control over everything. Coz you do NOT. And to be fair, the more you try to control things, you more life will keep showing you that you can’t. wewe urafyinira ubuzima? Just let things flow naturally. The good, the bad, the uncomfortable, the sad, the happy…let it flow!
Accept. You are going to meet genuinely kind people. Learn to accept blessings that come your way through them and stop doubting whether or not you deserve them.
Love. Yourself! Repeat after me, LOVE YOURSELF! You no longer feel sorry for yourself for being so skinny and I commend you for that coz you shouldn’t. Now, you need to practice loving your soul, and your flaws. And stop seeking validation from people by pouring too much out of your cup.
Unlearn. I cannot emphasize this enough but you need to make unlearning your best friend. Do not shy away from it. The things you’ve learned about growth, success, happiness, spirituality, etc… you need to unlearn.
See. Yourself through your own eyes. Not anybody else’s. Stand often in front of a mirror and look at yourself. Give yourself grace sometimes. You’re an African-First-Born-Daughter but that… that doesn’t mean you’ve gotta be perfect. You, like anybody else on this planet, can stumble and fall, and get up.
I want you to remember that nobody, and I repeat, absolutely nobody down here has figured this thing called life out. even the people that look like they’ve figured it out, they actually don’t. So, girl, you are doing fantastic being Duchesse.
Lots of love,