Just in case you thought Solange couldn’t be any more of a queen, she has gone and written a letter to her 17-year-old self, which extols the virtues of resilience, patience and the power to rise about the “grown folks” who call you names. Her music has always carried an impressive wisdom and the ability to tap straight into our souls, but this letter feels like exactly what we needed when we were 17-years-old — in fact, exactly what we need right now.
“there will be fear. a lot of it,” she writes. “there will be triumph. a lot of it. there will be constellations you want to reach for but can’t put your finger on. you will trace them like the scars on your body you got from trouble and the times of your life. you will take the long way to get to these Orions. the long way will become a theme in your life, but a journey you learn to love.” Getting super real, Solange then goes on to breakdown some of the life stages to get ready for, including: “the dance-is-life” phase, “the Bible-thumping-church-camp” phase and the “Fiona-Apple-fan-club-president” phase.
“sometimes you push these phases to the max, and when you go out into the world feeling confident in who you are and what you reflect, 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.'” Not only does she say to own your own name though, she also points out that words “only have power if you choose to give them power. every once in a while they will hurt, but you will choose to turn those words into a symbol of beauty.”
According to Solange, 17 is one of the hardest years of all, but she says that it’s important to trust in your words along the way, even when you feel insecure and to ask for help, even when you don’t think you need it. She says that 17 is all about growing up and realising the woman you want to become. “there will be pain, there will be doubt there will be beauty, there will be the unknown. there will be so many moments of joy and delight that the whole universe will feel painted in hues of amber and wonder. there will be times you are so sad you can’t lift your head. and there will be times you are so happy that the sensation of life knocks you down. but most importantly, there will be you. a whole, whole lot of it. and you will feel good about who she is and who she is still becoming.”
You can read the full letter over at Teen Vogue.
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