Who hasn’t wished they could travel back in time to give their younger selves a little insight or advice about the road ahead?
In an emotional cover story for Teen Vogue, singer and visionary Solange Knowles penned a letter to her teenage self. “There will be fear. A lot of it,” she begins, before delving into a number of challenges and surprises the 30-year-old has come to reckon with. The most heartbreaking part comes when she candidly opens up about a major, coming-of-age time in her life at 17.
“Seventeen will be the hardest year of your life. It will grow you up almost immediately,” she writes. “You will lose your best friend whom you love so much to gun violence in a single moment, and give birth to a new one within a year.” Knowles lost her friend Marsai Song in a drive-by shooting, according to People, and gave birth to her son, Daniel Julez, with ex-husband Daniel Smith Jr.
“You will be terrified, and it’s ok that you don’t know what the future holds,” she continued. “Some people will count you out because of the decision you’ve made to bring another life into the world so young, but you made the decision out of love and will live with the decision in love. Soon enough you will learn how to love and how to exist with love in ways that you never knew. You will learn how to love yourself and how to empathise with and forgive those who may have taken a bit of that pure love away from you.”
The letter covers many aspects of Knowles’ life, and the many challenges she’s had to conquer, including being labeled a “weirdo.”
“...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 awhile they will hurt, but you will choose to turn those words into a symbol of beauty.”