Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Birthday Post: Letters to My Younger Self

Today I turn 28-years-old. It feels good. I feel good. When I think of where I came from and where I am now, I can't help but think to myself, "Damn, I've come a long way."

Because it's true. I've come a long way. And this week, I found myself composing short letters to my younger self that serves as proof.

Dear 5-year-old Alicia -- 
Baby girl, you're like Annie -- half orphan. Mama never had an abortion; papa sorta did, but you'll manage to live. (That was a Jay-Z reference. You'll grow up to love him.) 

10-year-old Alicia --
It's been five years and you still haven't had closure with the whole "mommy, daddy, and grandma are not really able to take care of you" thing. It's cool though. Mommy and grandma seem to have their own demons to battle. They will. In due time. Allow this to be your first lesson about timing -- it is everything.

15-year-old Alicia --
Girl, daddy may not be around to have the "teenage daughter talk" with you about how those teenage boys can be. He's not going to teach you the ropes, but you'll learn them anyway. In due time. You may never get closure on your relationship (or lack of relationship) with your father. But you'll make peace with it anyway and move forward. 

17-year-old Alicia --
No matter how many times you scribble his name in your diary or how many times you see how his last name looks next to your first name, you will not marry your high school sweetheart/first love. You two will go to different colleges and you will break up. You’ll be devastated by it during freshman year. It's cool though. You'll survive. I know this much is true: you will ALWAYS survive. 

22-year-old Alicia -- 
You’re about to graduate from college. Wowsa! You didn’t do nearly as many wild and crazy things that you thought you’d do in college. But it’s all good -- you’re not that kind of people. And that’s quite alright. You’ve got your head on strong and you’re going places. You’ve overcome so much already and you’re ready to experience life. It’ll only get better from here.

22 ½-year-old Alicia -- 
Umm… yup! That’s a positive sign that you see on the stick you just peed on. You are definitely pregnant. Say it with me: “Ah, man, f*ck!” I guess you were saving the wild and crazy things for post-college, huh? Okay, I see you. I respect ya gangsta.

23-year-old Alicia -- 
Floss. No seriously, floss. Daily. I know your gums are sensitive because of this pain-in-the-ass-morning-sickness-all-gosh-darn-day-long pregnancy, but... floss. Otherwise, you'll have to have dental surgery when your soon-to-be-son is 3 ½ years old. Only thing is that you'll be in grad school at that time and in the middle of finals and a thesis. And you'll cuss yourself out for not flossing three years ago. So please, for the love of fluoride.... floss.

24-year-old Alicia -- 
Ahh... The quarter life crisis begins. You had a baby, unexpectedly. You got lost. Very lost. In a relationship that, you guessed it, didn’t last. But, I promise you, you find your way out soon enough. In due time. (Remember what I told you before: timing is everything.) And you'll be better, stronger, and a little bit wiser because of it. Hang in there. Even when you can't see your way out. Hang in there. There's more to life than this, lovely lady. 

25-year-old Alicia -- 
When he shows you who he really is, believe him the first time. It need not matter that you have a kid together. Trust me on this: believe him... the first time.

26-year-old Alicia -- 
Being single in your 20s is going to be many things, but above all, it’ll be a learning experience. And I’m pretty sure it’s an invaluable one. Being a single mom in your 20s will be even more of a learning experience. You thought you were resilient as a child and teenager, but you’ll learn the true meaning of resiliency, perseverance, and hard work. All over again. You’ll learn when to try harder and when to walk away. All over again. You’ll learn the meaning of strength and courage. All over again. You’ll build character. All over again. You’ll still make mistakes – lots of them -- all over again. But you know what? You’ll kick some serious ass. 

Lady, I’ve got three words for ya: you. better. work. 

Because there’s so much more for you to see and do and experience and learn. There’s life to live. And you’re ready to live it. On purpose. And with a purpose. 



  1. I'm in love with this post!!! Love love love it! I see u. This almost brought tears to my eyes I swear. I truly wish sometimes we could go back to our younger selves and have pep talks lol :) You are killing 28 Ms. Alicia. GirrrrlI can't wait til 40! hahah that will be my new 25! :) stay blessed

  2. A beautiful celebration of you! Happy Birthday my dear friend! xoxo

  3. Loving this post girl! I wish you a very Happy Birthday and many more to come! xoxo

  4. I think younger Alicia would be proud of older Alicia - happy birthday

  5. WONDERFUL post, doll! Happy Birthday to you. What a lovely young woman you've grown to be - in spite of it ALL! I respect ya gangsta, fa sho!

  6. Happy Birthday! Love these letters to yourself. We do learn so much about ourselves with time. Could totally relate to many of these letters, especially the "you're not going to marry your high school sweetheart" one. So true!

  7. I super love this post. Happy Birthday to you!

  8. i need to do it.
    continued happiness throughout the year.

  9. Belated Happy Birthday! Wonderful you..the Rogers

  10. Happy Birthday Lady! You've come a long way and you've earned your stars and stripes!

  11. Aaah, this is amazing. Isnt hind-sight 20/20 tho?!! Love each of these letters.

    Happy be-lated birthday, sis!


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