Solange begins with open letter to herself by stating,
“there will be fear. a lot of it. there will be triumph. a lot of it. there will be constellations you want to reach for but can’t put your finger on. you will trace them like the scars on your body you got from trouble and the times of your life. you will take the long way to get to these Orions. the long way will become a theme in your life, but a journey you learn to love.”
In this brutally honest letter, Solange allows her fans and others to see the growth that she’s had in her allow and truly understand that she didn’t become self-confident and assured over night. Below I’ve outlined 3 of what I believe to be her strongest lessons.
- Welcome change
As adolescents, we are constantly going through phases- some that we will outgrow and some that will stay with us- that mold and shape us into the person we will become. In Solange’s letter to herself, she reveals that she too went through the dancer phase and the football-player’s-girlfriend-who-wears-braided-blond-highlights-and-swears-by-capri-pants phase. At this same time, she reminds us that these are just phases and we define who we are.
“sometimes you push these phases to the max, and when you go out into the world feeling confident in who you are and what you reflect, young folks will call you names and grown folks will call you names. It’s ok. one day you will name yourself, and that name will belong to you. it will not be the ones they ordained: “crazy, ugly, attention-seeking, weirdo.”
“i really hate to tell you this, but sometimes you will still get called these things as an adult, except you will actually embrace some of them. you will learn that these are just words. words that only have power if you choose to give them power. every once in a while they will hurt, but you will choose to turn those words into a symbol of beauty.”
2. Appreciate your mother
Obviously, this may not be applicable to everyone, but to Solange, her mom played an integral role in the woman she is today. Solange describes her mother as
“a wonder. you watch her drop off 3 kids at 3 different schools in the morning, pick them up in the afternoon, shuffle each of them to their designated activities, and bring them all back to the salon she owns until she closes up with the utmost grace, love, and kindness.”
“you realize watching a woman balance being a supportive mother, building a successful business from the ground up that was started in her garage, and giving back to the community will make you feel invincible and like the word “no” is just an echo in the universe that you’ll never know.”
Many of us can relate watching our mothers being literal superheroes and never understanding how they do it but always appreciating their work. With that being said, it is so important that we verbally and physically show our loved ones how much we appreciate them. Often those who give and give and give are rarely on the receiving end and that’s not okay.
For Black women specifically, thank your mother for showing you other Black Women who defied all stereotypes. Solange thanks the Black women in her life for allowing her to “study them, and will constantly think of all their stories, their beauty, their strife and their stride. they break down all of the archetypes and stereotypes that you see of black women on tv and in magazines, so you don’t trust those anymore. you thank them for re-writing the script before it was ever etched in your memory.”
3. 17 will be hard year of your life, but you can get through it
For Solange specifically, 17 was the year that she lost her best friend to gun violence and at that same time experienced many heartbreaks. Regardless of what you’ve been through or yet to go through, all of us can admit that at 17 your emotions are on a rollercoaster. From college decisions to senior prom and dealing with personal problems in between- 17 is the year that all happens. Solange reminds us that no matter how dark of a place we are in, it truly does get better.
Solange concludes her letter to herself with this
“you have a long life ahead of you, and I’ll tell you it’s not gonna always be easy, but I can promise you it will be fruitful and with much purpose. all the bridges you’ve burned, you had to, so that you could rebuild them to become a stronger and more wonderful you.”
“there will be pain, there will be doubt there will be beauty, there will be the unknown. there will be so many moments of joy and delight that the whole universe will feel painted in hues of amber and wonder. there will be times you are so sad you can’t lift your head. and there will be times you are so happy that the sensation of life knocks you down. but most importantly, there will be you. a whole, whole lot of it. and you will feel good about who she is and who she is still becoming.”
To read the letter in it’s entirety, click here!