A Letter to my Teenage Self

Dear Jazz,

LIVE. It’s ok not to have every second of your life planned. Take care of you first and foremost. But, never forget to lend a helping hand. Don’t feel obligated to make other people happy. Smile when you feel it, cry if you’re sad.  Shout if you’re angry. Let those emotions go. It’s ok not to be ok.  There’s no weakness in that. Perfection is overrated.

Even though you disagree, right now you don’t know everything. So, be open to learning from everything around you. The people you meet, the places you go, the experiences, all have something to teach you. Open your eyes and ears and listen close.

Yes you can. Yes you can scream at the Giants for lack of defense one minute then switch it up and grab a pair of heels to go hangout the next. It’s ok to be both. Though you will never be fond of the color pink. Ever. Yes you can accomplish all your dreams if you work at it. Stop doubting. Be you. Invest in you.

Your job right now, is to stay a kid for as long as you can. Don’t worry about the future too much. Explore new places, make memories with your friends and family. Take a ridiculous amount of pictures. They’re important. Go shopping with Mommie even if she takes forever as usual. Tell her you love her and anything else you think she should know. You’ll never be this free again. So laugh, play, take chances. Travel. Read. Discover something new. Don’t ever lose your curiosity, wonder, or your magic. It’s yours.

Develop ALL your talents. Don’t put yourself in a box. Create your own box. Become three dimensional. Follow your instincts. Be fearless. Be open. Love God. Be confident and unapologetic in your faith. Build that relationship to be strong. It’s the most important one. Love your chocolate skin, your muffin top and your natural hair. Don’t let anyone talk you out of it.

And please please, don’t rush into a relationship. Or love. You don’t even know what it means yet. I know that seems like an impossible task, but trust me. It’s much more of a headache than you think. Seriously. Don’t get so wrapped up in the idea of being with somebody just to change your relationship status.

Everyone doesn’t have good intentions. Everyone isn’t worthy, so pay attention. You’re smart, peep game. Get to know yourself first. Inside-out. Be best friends with her. Be comfortable with her, and most importantly, know that she is complete on her own. Once that happens, then find a guy that’s worthy. Not a space filler, but worthy of meeting that dope young lady.

Enjoy every minute of this time, because once it’s gone, it’s just a memory.  Life will get tough, but the people around you will help you through. You might lose some friends, but the world doesn’t end. Some days will get dark, sometimes you’ll feel stuck, but don’t stop. No matter what. Keep moving, keep growing and enjoy the journey. Even when you feel like the walls are closing in, stay positive. You’ll be fine, we’ll get there, I promise.



#Talkback: What would you say to your teenage self? Answer in the comments below.


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