Letter to My 12-Year-Old Self

I always find myself saying the cliche if I had known then what I know now, so I took Tyler Perry’s advice from a few years ago and wrote this freeing letter. Hopefully, you will too.

Dear Twelve-year-old Val,

You are a bright beautiful child. I want you to know no matter what anyone tells you, you are worthy, you are a Queen, you matter, and you are perfect just the way you are. You will hear so many voices that will tell you what and who you are, do not listen to any but your own. You are a good person with a kind heart. Don’t let anyone ignore that about you not even for a second.

Build relationships now and cherish the ones you already have because they will become important later in life. You need to know not to try to change anyone because the only person who can change that person is them. So don’t put forth or waste precious energy trying. Let go and let God. You have been sheltered and your pure of heart nature and vulnerability will make you easy prey.

Listen to what people say; dissect it and take away your best meaning before ever acting on it. Do not be naive. You have amazing instincts. Always go with your gut. You have many gifts that God has blessed you with. Use them all. Sing, dance, design clothes, write, nurse; be whatever and whoever you want to be but do not settle. Use your ability to learn and do anything to your advantage. Soak up all the knowledge you can. Keep journals. They will be of value one day. Travel! Don’t ever feel obligated to stick around. Do as much as possible while you are young. Be happy. The minute you feel your joy being compromised get out of that. That’s the only way to remain happy.

Don’t let anyone drain your energy, your time, or your love. Reserve every bit. Love hard! Don’t ever be afraid! Fear is not of God! Stay in God’s reach and pray about everything. Remember with Him you are never alone. Go to college away from home and when you graduate, take a trip to Italy or you’ll never find time to go. Enjoy every second with your family and don’t fret the little things. Find the beauty and good in everything and everybody. No matter, what remains humble. Oh yeah, you’re going to be a real beauty. Realize it and embrace it!! Love yourself, every fault makes you! Know that nobody’s perfect. People make mistakes and everybody, even you, is worth forgiving. Forgive those times when you are gullible but open your eyes, Val. Stay woke. Regardless of sickness, hardship, heartbreak, or pain which is sure to come in life don’t EVER EVER EVER give up!!!

I love you Princess, Me


Lesson or a Blessing

Seems like I’ve waited a lifetime for you,
I even thought I asked God for it too
But even He had a sense of humor, tricking me to think you were my sender
when in reality I was supposed to learn something, that’s you just don’t surrender
I was to learn I really have grown
beyond the mistakes of yesteryear and the hurt enthroned
see I knew I felt that damage was no longer there
and it took you trying to convince it was that made it clear
people are put in your life for a reason, not of their own
you, sir were there to prove to me something I’ve always know
I’m mature, I’m sexy, I’m brilliant, I belong
I’m His, I’m mine, I’m worked on, I’m strong
I’m not scared, timid, I’m not gullible or sad
I’m not that proverbial black woman bitter and mad
I’m not empty, worthless with nothing else to give
you see that one man did steal from me
but I fought to live
I climbed and I scrapped to rebuild my life
and I’ll be damned if I let you make light of my plight
what a woman has to do, you’ll never understand
she’ll become a better person but you’ll still be just a man
what made me lose respect for you wasn’t the way you left
but the way you stayed and continued your theft
your theft of my emotions, my love, my mind
my heart, my devotion, my loyalty, my time
you swooped in like a vulture picking apart its prey
but my God interrupted you sending greater my way
Therefore I remain unbothered
And instead of being depressed and always stressing
He turned even this lesson into the biggest blessing

Written by Valerie Furr-Collins
June 2, 2018