meinroomFor those of you who are mid-career or around my age (39), I have a question for you. If you were asked to write a letter to your younger self, what would you say? What advice and warnings would you give yourself? Would you hint at the future or let it be a surprise? I was asked this a few weeks back and have really been thinking about it lately. There is so much I would tell my young self. I wouldn’t reveal anything too prominent because I know that the path I have taken and the decisions I’ve made have shaped me into the woman I am today. Could I have changed some things? Probably. But all of my experiences, good and bad, have all been relevant in and pertinent to my growth. Here’s what I would say to a young me (21).

Dear Adrienne.

You are a gifted individual. I know right now it seems like you’re lost and don’t know what your path will lead to. You have a beautiful baby on the way and you need to create a legacy for him. Don’t be scared. Life is full of decisions and though some of your decisions have been wild, I love that you stick to your guns and champion what you believe in. Hold onto that because it will come in handy later on in life when you face even tougher decisions.

Don’t let a title or your current circumstances deter you from that dream you’ve always had. That little black girl from the projects of New York is destined for greatness. People sometimes don’t understand you or believe in you, but the only person that truly needs to understand you is YOU. Don’t let “no” keep you from success. Don’t let fear keep you from trying. Don’t let inexperience keep you from doing it anyway. Nothing is given in this world. You have to earn everything, and it’s up to you to dictate how people perceive you. Even though you have no solid mentors or connections, don’t despair. That can be changed over time. Get to know who you are first and understand your worth. Then find people you’d like to meet and be like. Some times all it takes is a simple conversation to get things started. The art of conversation is your gift. Use it wisely and often.

You have an incredible mind and there is no limit to what you can achieve. God has a plan for you and it’s up to you to listen and follow. Giving up is not an option for you. You have a legacy to create, lessons to learn, and some tough decisions to make. You may not realize it now, but you have such an incredible strength that will be tested many times. I can’t tell you what’s in store for you, but I can tell you that if you keep your focus, don’t give up, continue learning and use obstacles as stepping stone, phenomenal things will happen for you. You are destined to share your message with the world and I will tell you that you will some day be an important figure for women.

Be strong, keep that rebellious spirit, and always go for what you want.

Take care.

Adrienne

I had to re-read my own letter and wow. If I had someone tell me those things when I was 21, I probably would have had more confidence in myself. But then again, maybe it’s good that I didn’t. I had the chance to learn how to be confident and experience growth. Experience is the best teacher. Sure there was more that I could have said to myself, but at that point in my life, what I said is exactly what I needed back then.

So take some time and write a letter to yourself. It could be about your career, entrepreneurship, personal strength/development, or a simple pick me up. I’m amazed at how far I’ve come and the woman I’ve become. I’m sure after writing your letter to your young self, you’ll see it too.

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham

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