Dear Chisom,

Rather than saying dear self or dear me, I chose to address you by name. Your name, the translation means “God is with me” and I need you to remember that beyond all things. You have grown so much and have come so far, made mistakes and learned from them. Have met people that have changed your life forever, whether they stay or not. You have been blessed beyond measure with a family that loves you and friends that care about you. You are beautiful, intelligent and such an incredible role model to many. You are important and truly give way more than you take, whether it’s time, energy, material items, whatever the need is, you are willing to provide no matter how taxing. In the face of the current and previous political and societal climate, you have struggled with your identity in many ways. The intersections of being black and nigerian, first generation and a woman have brought about their own hardships. Even still at 22 years old there are many things you are still discovering and will continue to discover about yourself. Accept your changes wholeheartedly and with the trust that God will guide you through each journey. Live unregrettably and love wholely. There are so many things coming and I truly can not wait for them to play out the way they are supposed to. Do the things you love and take care of yourself. As you stand now, you find that there are moments where you feel like you can conquer the world, but there are also moments where you feel the world has conquered you. There are things you have figured out and things that you haven’t. Environments that are soul-filling and soul-depriving and they all serve a purpose. Understand that there is still so much to come and even still you have conquered sooo much! This is okay! Be proud of what you have done so far and excited for what you will accomplish. Your drive and ambition has brought you across the country to serve a community that has welcomed you with open arms. A place that you have already considered a forever home. Whether this is your ultimate home or not, it is faith that brought you here and it will be faith that brings you to your next adventures. Make sure that through each of these journeys you keep in mind the most important individuals in your life and let them know that you love them dearly and wouldn’t be where you are without them. So often the pace of life leads us to forget about those we love and we have to remember that it is because of them that we are where we are physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally. Also, please remember to sustain your spiritual life and take care of your soul. Develop yourself in ways that will make your a better human being and touch the lives of those you encounter. You know your purpose, carry it out. Don’t let anything get in the way of your dreams. Fall in love, live happily and trust that the Lord will be with you every step of the way. While there are many things that have been said in this letter, the most important thing, and we’re coming full circle here, is the remember the power and meaning of your name. 


I remember when you were a dreamer. You believed in any and everything you put your mind to. I also remember when you were afraid. Afraid of what the future could bring and where your stars will align. It’s not easy growing into a woman. It’s so intimidating to beautiful all the time. I remember when you were numb. You didn’t realize what it’s like to feel…to love…you were so curious. Soaked up the world like a sponge, you wanted to be great, but your action plan was rocky. There were missing holes, the complete version of yourself was yet to be fulfilled. Here you now…bold, filled with light, confident, strong, still learning, but more open to feel…to receive love…to receive pain. Your understanding of the world isn’t a fantasy, but experiential. You’ve been through a lot, but what woman hasn’t. I’m so proud of you. I’m so thankful for who you are. You’re more beautiful today than you’ve ever been. Be of peace, even when you can’t bear to weather the storm. Be of peace even when you let yourself down. Be of love, even if people hurt you. Be of love, even when your reflection is shattered. Be of grace, even when you fall. Be of grace, even through your pain. Be of strength, even when you’re week. Be of strength, especially when your heart breaks. You’re an inspiring woman, who carries love on her lips and light in her bosom. Keep God first, don’t stay away from his blessings. Open your heart, wipe the tears from your eyes, continue to be unapologetically black, bold, and beautiful. Don’t stop. Keep pushing. Keep shining superstar.

I love you.

Dear Self,

It wasn’t that long ago that the only beauty you could see was placed around the walls of your house. Photographs of queens and kinds in our family glistened in the light. Yet your dislike for what you saw in the mirror overshadowed that all. When those boys in your 8th grade class told you were too dark. You let the words seep so far into your skin that your actions only displayed a dislike for how your looked.

Dear Self,

I don’t remember the moment you realized that every inch of your body was beautiful, but I remember everything changed. Your smile grew bigger. You became fearless in the face of adversity. Your heart regained its strength and your dark skin manifested your understanding of self love.

And finally…Dear Self,

Remember that God uniquely placed you here for a purpose only he may know, but you will continue to discover. So keep evolving. Continue to dream the biggest dreams. Cover every inch of your body with love and when you go home love on those pictures on the walls of your house. And remember that you too…glisten in the light.


You are as powerful as the ocean. You are radiant as the sun. You are gorgeous as the moon. You are continuously blooming and blossoming into this woman that you are afraid, yet very excited to become. The idea of becoming has not been an easy road. Growth itself is a challenge, and it’s uncomfortable…very uncomfortable. I have felt your pain, your heartbreak, your insecurities, your hate, your jealousy. I was there with you through the. Restless nights. The uncontrollable tears, the days of silence; where your heart and mind were at war with each other. But, through the internal suffering – I was holding you. I was the one who wipes your tears, gave you hugs, and held your hand – and I will continue to be by your side as you blossom through self-discovery. I am the solitude you will find comfort in and the unconditional love you can depend on because I have been in love with you since the moment you were created

I want to explore beyond the boundaries you’ve unknowingly set for your mind. The mysteries seen deep within your eyes, side by side, directly in contact with your pride. As it blankets your heart and all the reassures inside, I understand why you hide. It seems easier to cage the thoughts than to confide. The secrets wading so content yet harbored in your soul, blind, like the breeze glides over the ocean water at the dawn of morning and the dusk of night. Keep it confined, inside, nothing allowed in from outside. All truths, no lies, pitch black, no light, forcing occasional tears to the side, refusing to cry, suicide by omission of what you consider classified. How? Why? How can I see what your try to keep constantly circumscribed? It’s a love story. It’s our love story. So many unknown variables like who are you and who am I. Have we crossed paths, yet. Have we ever even met? Home, alone, content , at peace with my…self-love increases as I learn to love her, the flower child she’s blossoming into, absorbing every color the sun shines on her with no dispute, she allowed no intruders in to rule her because I laid the foundation of strength, independent , confidence, and self-reliance in her. So that she requires no ruler, no one to control her, the type of attitude that’ll have her mad at you due to your ignorance of her radical self. She’ll even take a stab at you, though not tactical she’s still of flesh and blood, she’s human. It’s nature. She has galaxies rotating inside her. She consists of much love with no such trust, because even the greatest end up liars. She’s just tired of being one who relies on the unreliable characteristics our nature. She figures if she loves herself hard enough, there’s no room for hatred. Because she learned to love herself, her love is that much sacred.

Dear Self,

Life comes at your fast and I want to remind you, that up to this point, you have conquered every obstacle that you have encountered. Why do you think that you won’t be able to overcome this challenge? Sometimes you will be uncomfortable and that’s okay. Sometimes things won’t go according to plan and that’s okay too. You have to accept those things for what they are. Do what you can and do your best.

At every turn you have proven yourself to be strong, determined, creative, and you have persevered. Look at where you are and all that you have accomplished. No one can take that away from you.

I am so proud of how far you have come on your self-love journey. There is nothing more freeing than to be able to wake up in the morning and love what you see in the mirror. Remember that feeling and never let it go. Never forget your worth. Never again let anyone mistreat you. You have worked too hard to be great only to let the people around your be unappreciative of your effort, your greatness.

Always remember that you are beautiful, intelligent, compassionate and most importantly…you are worthy of all you desire. You are enough,. Take care of yourself.

Love you always,


Dear Idara,

Remember that who you are is a result of who God intended you to be. Nothing that you have or accomplish could have been done on your own, but only with his power are you able to be the woman you are today. Always be grateful for the opportunities that you have been given and continue to create opportunities for those around you. I’m not entirely sure what it is your supposed to do with your life, but continue to pray for guidance so you can accomplish the work you were intended to do here on Earth. I’m also proud of you. As often as I don’t tell you that, I am. You have pushed yourself to become the best that you can be and every day you are growing. Please, never stop growing, but as you grow…be patient with yourself. Rest when you need to rest. Allow yourself to live in the moment and enjoy what you have now instead of always thinking of where you will be in the future. Continue to love yourself because you haven’t always been able to do so. Push any form of self-hate out of your heart because you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Continue to create because what you create will touch the lives of those around you. Remember that what is for you, will be yours as God has already made it so. And through it all, continue to give thanks….give thanks because the life you live is not promised….so be grateful for every breathe God continues to allow you to breathe.

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