You are 27 years old and whilst you have no fear or the anxieties that you have been taught should come with late 20’s, getting here took a lot of heart. You are more comfortable in your skin. It shows.
As you read this, the waters of a new relationship feel strange and they should. The person you attracted to right now is an ass. You have no business being with him, but the wounds of your father’s departure and traumatic childhood have left you bare, seeking if only for a few moments of affection. He will break you and alter the course of your life. You will be sadder and begin to camouflage with the world. You will remain numb for almost five years because the sun scares the darkness that you will soon begin to feel.
Here is the funny, almost sad part, you will keep seeing him because he has you hook, line and sinker. Just enough attention to keep you there. The right amount of disdain and open ridicule to keep you at his feet to seek approval. I wish I could hit delete on the day that you met him, that way the next flings that break you further might disappear.
M will deny you when you ask what your relationship status is. And he will be right. He is in love with someone else. She is smarter with better prospects of making something of herself. M thinks that your career is too feeble and risky. Not worth the investment.
When you meet him in a few years, still broke and trying to figure things out, he will be right. Broke does not do well for the skin.
M will leave you with just the right amount of damage for Q to completely shatter any confidence in you. Please don’t blame them for it all. I refuse to abscond you of any wrongdoing and instead ask that you pursue the path of wisdom. See the err of your ways and choose to be kinder and loving to yourself.
The proof is in the pudding. In addition to the long line of men you will allow to break you, is two who will make your world go around. Z will give you the best years of your life. Gentle, sensitive and can work his tail off. He is what the world calls ‘Beta’ male but really, he is the best of them all.
Despite the joy of knowing and loving someone like him, you will not end up together. All the plans you made will haunt you for years. He too will suffer the choices you both made. Let it go. He has a family now and raising a son. May your heart find peace knowing that he made you better person and so did you.
You would think that ten years would make you better at love choices. Not quite. You are more self-aware and wary of people out to hurt you. Celebrate that! One more try at this thing called love, you will tell yourself. It will not last long but this time you are better equipped. This time, he walks away from you. He will make the conscious decision to hurt and you will bounce back faster. All that pain will be channeled into creating some of your best works yet.
Yes, you will make it to radio! Keep going for the auditions.
Failure has been presented to you like something to avoid. Embrace it because you are about to have the greatest of them all. Work, friendships, love and family are just a few things that will show the weaknesses in you. Your insecurities will be magnified in your failures. By the time you are standing where I am at right now, you will understand that failure is just a leg up to life’s biggest lessons. The kind of wisdom that books are yet to pen.
I pray this letter gets to you in good time to forewarn you of the impending storm of shame that is coming your way. It is a weapon that the world will use to tame all that you are. Shame is often accompanied by its mother, fear. Together they will rob of your dreams and desires. The pain from knowing you could be and are better will send you down the hole of depression for two years.
The thing about shame is the stench. It fills up a space when you walk into a room and repels positivity. It will alienate you from the rest of the world. Soon enough, you will discover the works of Brene’ Brown. She explores shame like a science and that helps break it down into tiny pieces that you can deal with.
Sarah Jakes Roberts will also write a book that will change the course of your life, in your journey of moving from shame and brokenness crossing over to wholeness. One day the sun that scared you with its glare will be the fire you need to take the world by storm.
With God’s help you will.
You are tempted to lose your faith right now. I don’t blame you. The things you are going through are built for someone older and wiser. At 17 with pseudo wisdom it is no surprise that you walk away from the throne.
In true Jesus’ style you will find your way back. I mean really come home to the point where God will trust you with a gospel show. That morning radio slot you dream of as you listen to Caroline Mutoko will become a reality in a decade. I wish I could make it shorter but being a breakfast show host at a Christian station takes a lot of spiritual muscle and your detour will delay your destiny. Don’t agonize too much about it. God is in the business of restoration and will take back everything you lost in disobedience and trust you with it again. At 27, you will have grown so much that you feel God next to you.
All the pain from self-sabotage and scars that you did not sign up for is just the right amount of baggage that God uses to show himself. He will fill up your empty spaces and heal your pain points. The word of God will flow through and like a fountain. Nourish you especially on the bad days. Your faith will impact others in ways you never imagined and give healing to many. You are wiser now to know that you are a vessel in use and that will give you a good head on your shoulders.
Work will make up the biggest part of your life. That, you will learn, comes with its set of challenges. You will try your hand in different fields as you strive to be better and will mostly fail. To the point where you will be the laughingstock of those who know you.
Here’s a consolation prize, all the cleaning you are doing at the theatre pays off. The failed audition to be an actress and those following soon are all a set up for something greater.
Keep your head down. It all works out in a few. Most teams in your line of work involves male leaders and business owners. You will feel insecure around them. For some just avoid them honestly. Others are trying to break down your walls to show you that there are some good ones. Let them. It will help you later when you go to grad school and meet some of the kindest men you will ever know. You will know how to appreciate them better.
I need to make a meal in a few and have told you most of what you need to know, allow me to leave you with one life saving tip. It will come handy. Anything you want is a decision away. It’s really that simple. A job that brings you fulfillment. A partner who is everything God has in mind for you. Positive impact in the world as a result your choice to pursue and obey God’s call on your life. A healthier mental and emotional space. Re-writing the wrongs in your life. Eliminating toxicity in your life. All these great things that your dream of in colour are a decision away. Decide for yourself what feels right, and your brain and body will do the rest. Remember everything is a decision away.
Let me humor you if you have a little more time. Businessman Donald J. Trump will be president of the great United States of America. Even they, did not see it coming. He will do so through a democratic election plagued with Russian interference. Ukraine will vote for a comedian who played president on TV to be their real president. You have not heard the best of it.
Theresa May will be a powerhouse in Great Britain while Angela Dorothea Merkel is over at Germany doing the women movement proud. We will have a biracial princess in the monarch. You will have to see that for yourself. I don’t want to spoil it for you. It’s magical!
Back home, things might work. I say back home because in ten years you will pack your bags and move to another country. It is everything you imagined.
Egypt will have a revolution. South Africa still has a knack to attack their fellow Africans. We are working on changing the narrative. Nelson Mandela dies. So does Robert Mugabe. Omar Al Bashir is ousted by protests led by women. You are growing up in a beautiful time.
Yoweri Museveni is still holding on to power and Bobby Wine is giving him sleepless nights. He is more like our very own Boniface Mwangi, Bobby I mean. Boniface goes for the jugular. He is tearing down power structures. They try to mess with him, but he is relentless. Uhuru Kenyatta is in power.
Things have since gone south. Remember the decisions I warned you about? Here is one bad one we made as a people. Can you imagine his deputy is William Samoei Ruto?
You must believe me. I know from your end they do not even get along. In a few years, they will be best buddies and run the country. More like run down the country. Don’t let this deter you from getting into political conversations. The space needs people like you to inspire the younger generation to engage and create a better world that will come even after we are long gone.
The world today is a symphony of ebbs and flows. You need only gear up and enjoy the great ride of life. I will write you in another ten years. Use that time to decide if you want to grow out your hair or keep it short. Either way you are beautiful.
Happy 17th birthday,
From the future,
27 year old self