A LETTER TO MY 21 YEAR OLD SELF.

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My Lovely Girl:

 Your life is really just beginning and though people (your parents) tend to act like you should leave college knowing how to tackle the world, you won't...and you're not supposed to, anyhow. This life is nothing less than a journey of expansion so give up the idea of ever having it all "figured out"--you never will.  In time you'll learn that as your pendulum swings from stages of sheer confusion to absolute confidence, the fun is in figuring out how to better navigate the in-between phases, always mindful that "This too shall pass". Just breathe. Things are always working out in your favor.

There is an incredibly wonderful world waiting for you beyond Spelman. You'll put yourself in a much better position if you leave those gates realizing that the goal is not to get a "stable job" but to be intentional about designing your life and creating experiences where you know with all certainty that you're in alignment with the deepest part of your being. Spend more time doing things like driving PCH with your best friend, or almost attending the Super Bowl with your other best friend (LOL!)--these are the moments that will stay with you forever. Know the stories of your family but understand that they are there to serve as part of your foundation, not as guideposts to chart your path. This journey is yours and yours alone so let the stories of others be just that--their stories based on their personalities & their experiences--and understand that people are always motivated by much more than meets the eye. Never adopt anyone else's narrative as your own. The only way you will ever truly know something is to experience it for yourself & through your own eyes, otherwise you'll find yourself carrying a lot of baggage that is not yours to hold. Listen to Erykah Badu's Bag Lady one more time with fresh ears. Pack light.

Dayka Robinson, 2001
Dayka Robinson, 2001

Worry less about what a thing looks like, and try to just be with what it is. This is called Acceptance. Again & again, life will gift you many opportunities to grow in this area. Understand that you never need to be someone different than who you are to find your place in this world. NEVER. You'll spend a lot of time trying to make yourself fit into boxes that aren't suited for you and instead of recognizing that the box isn't the right fit, you'll think that there's something wrong with you...which couldn't be further from the truth. My Darling, if you're being yourself and something isn't a good fit, you don't change yourself to so that the container fits, you change the container so that YOU fit. Whether in jobs, friendships, with boyfriends or anything else, the right container is the one that fits with ease and feels good. If it doesn't meet this criteria, keep searching. This isn't the message that you're learning from the world, but it is your golden rule. Never be afraid to keep searching until you find the things that are right for you. As India Arie once said, "You know the truth by the way it feels.", so go after that feeling with reckless abandon. The secret is to be yourself, and then allow the people who resonate with your truth to find you. That's the beauty of this life--what you seek is also seeking you, always.

I hate to break it to you, but you will not stay with him--he is not your forever guy. Jumping in there and bending the situation until it looks like what you want it to be is the antithesis of taking the path of least resistance. Here's a tip--if you have to work that hard to keep it together then it's not the right fit. That relationship is compensating for a void you feel yet can't quite put your finger on, but one day the the lightbulb will go off and you'll know it's time to move on. And as difficult as it will be to leave that sweet little girl & start again, you will...and you will be better for it. The only thing that is ever real is love.You've had a chance to love someone and be loved in return--what a blessing! Hold onto that love and leave the chaos behind. When all of the dust settles, the only thing you both will be left with are memories of a time when you both loved each other the best you knew how. And when you know that you gave it your best, that will be enough.

Oh Dayka, you are the world--if only you could see it right now! You are intelligent, strong, kind & courageous with a fantastic sense of humor. You'll get called out a lot for speaking your mind but that is a wonderful trait! Never stop & don't second guess yourself...this will be the very thing your tribe loves about you. There is always a place for a woman like you who has the courage to bring truth to the table, especially when you're transparent enough to tell your own.  Your life will see many twists & turns/ebbs & flows, but one day you'll look up and realize you're standing right in the middle of your sweet spot and it will make you so grateful for all you've been through.  No step you take is wrong and no action will be in vain--you are always exactly where you're supposed to be.  And when you get quiet enough to listen, you'll hear your soul whispering that familiar refrain that is always guiding you in the right direction. More. More. MORE.Be more. Do more. Give more.

Be confident, my little rockstar. You are enough. I love you.

d.