A Letter to My Younger Self

My dearest baby Bru, I'm not coming in here telling you what you should've done, because I know you're stubborn as hell and don't wanna hear it. But I am going to reflect on some lessons you'll learn along the way, and there are so many.

Enjoy the days of Barbies, cereal, Fresh Prince and spending all day with Mom, because there will come a time when doing those things will seem like a luxury. You've always been an old soul, and that never changes, but be careful. You grew up so fast, perhaps faster than you needed to, and sometimes I worry you didn't spend enough time being a kid.

You'll realize with time that some of your biggest strengths are also your weaknesses. And vice versa. You love to plan, you love to be in control and you love to be prepared.

That was all great when it came to school (you were a rock star in the classroom), but don't hold on to those traits so tight when it comes to life.

See, here's the thing: You will face some heartbreaking situations as a child, things that will make you hang out with the wrong crowd, or seek attention in the wrong places, or grasp so tightly to the things that you feel you can control. But you gotta learn to have faith and just let go.


I know you don't wanna accept this--but you can't control much in your life. What you can control, however, is how you react to each situation. You get better at this over time, but you'd save yourself a lot of heartache if you would have learned this sooner.

Don't be so afraid of failing or making a mistake that you stop yourself from living. You're just a kid. You're allowed to make mistakes. You're allowed to fall flat on your face and figure out how to get back up again. You don't have to have all the answers. And you don't have to constantly prove yourself.

I know why you did it. I know why you still do it. You just wanted to make him proud, and you never got that satisfaction of knowing that you do.

Well, I'll tell you this: I'm proud. I'm so fucking proud of you. I know I shouldn't curse to you, but spoiler alert, you're gonna talk like a sailor when you get older, and you know what, that's OK, too.

I could warn you about all of the sleazy guys you'll come across or all of the false promises you'll hear or all of the heartbreak you're going to face, but it needed to happen. They all needed to happen, and I'll tell you why.

One day you're going to feel so broken that you're going to pick up a pen and paper and just start writing everything down because you have no one else to talk to. As an only child, you were constantly left with your thoughts, and sometimes it was overwhelming. Sure, you had your friends, but most of them could never understand what you were feeling.

The paper could, though. The paper listened. So that's what you did. You would let your thoughts travel down to your fingertips, writing everything down and reading it back to yourself like a letter from an old friend.

Then one day, you thought about sharing some of your words. Of course, you never really process the fact that you're putting yourself out there for the world to see, and that never changes, either. And you know why? Because of that feeling.

You're going to post something and you'll get a message back from someone saying, "This is exactly how I feel but couldn't put into words." Don't forget that feeling. That's going to spark everything.

You will face some dark times. You will learn that your biggest enemy is yourself, and sometimes you can be unfairly mean to yourself. I forgive you, because ultimately, you didn't give up on us.

Embrace the pain and learn how to find comfort in the uncomfortable, because that will continue to hit you throughout the years. The difference is you'll see the lesson in everything, and that's one of the most beautiful things about you.

Whether you want to accept it or not, your purpose is much greater than you. And one day, you'll come to realize this, and that's precisely why every moment that you wish you could erase is a moment that was always meant to happen.

I told you you grew up too fast. And that's true. You faced a lot of difficult and tremendous challenges at a very young age, but because of that, I sit here today as a woman with depth and understanding. So thank you for staying strong.

You have such a big heart, baby girl, sometimes you just don't know what to do with it. But believe me when I tell you, that's the best part of you. You are fiercely loyal and empathetic. You are smart, funny and beautiful in ways that go far beyond skin deep.

You love to love, and sometimes it steers  you in the wrong direction, but you try to justify it. You believe that maybe you're led to these people because they're the ones who need it most. That's very sweet of you, Bru, and sometimes you're right, but you need to stop putting everyone else's needs before your own.

Protect your peace and protect your heart. You bring light and love to those around you just by being you. You don't need to prove you're worth loving, and you don't need to go after those who choose to leave.

That beating monster inside of you is going to be the source of your greatest accomplishment. Something much bigger than you. Remember that when the world seems dim or you find yourself with nowhere to go.

And the last, but most important lesson: Love yourself.

It seems so simple but that may be one of the hardest tasks you'll face throughout your life. You're so quick to love others, but loving yourself became so difficult. Whether it was society weighing you down or your inner demons taking over, I'm here to tell you that you are absolutely worth loving.

Once you begin that journey, you'll see a new world begin to open up, one where all you really have to do is believe that the Universe will conspire to do whatever it is that you desire, because you are a good person with a genuine heart who loves deeply.

Always find your smile. Always be honest. Always fight the good fight. And always, always, always let your heart speak.

I love you.