a letter to my 10-year-old self: dear little black child, you are good enough

September 16, 2016

Life comes with no tour guide or ‘how to’ booklet. It’s simply a journey that you’re left to figure out by yourself amongst your good, your bad and ugly. I can’t help but think, what if I had a heads up before I was born or when I entered puberty? Surely that would have helped me. I’m sure it would have helped anyone growing up- but I suppose we’re all just not that bloody lucky are we? Here’s my short letter to the 10 year old me that didn’t know how to love, understand or accept before becoming the 22 year old me.

By Shanice Mears, AFROPUNK Contributor

Dear Little Black Child,

You’re gonna come across some borders, some so high you may not even think you can climb, but trust me there’s no such thing. You might be tested but remember your wonderfully made and too precious to be broken. There’s days you won’t feel like getting up because the night before you had no money for food, or your feet hurt from being in work all day. But just remember that’s okay. Because your struggle builds character and strength–two things you will need for the rest of your life. I can’t complain about my life because, you have to remember someone always has it worse than you! However you are your own worst critic as well as your own biggest fan. I didn’t know how to make myself better each time I felt sad, I also didn’t know how to accept my flaws when someone else pointed out to me I wasn’t good enough.

I was lost.

But don’t you dare think that being weak sometimes is a bad thing or crying makes you less of a person, because that’s not true.

You might have curlier hair than your classmates; your nose might be bigger than your friends and just because your darker doesn’t make you any less beautiful. You will be loved for your charm, your courage and ability to bounce back. You are intelligent and well spoken, you naturally have rhythm and having wider hips than most or a big backside does not make you fit just for the ‘male gaze’. You are not just one person’s type, but instead, God made you special so that you understood what it felt like to be different.

I’m not writing this because you need it, I’m writing this because you deserve it. As a little black girl you will learn through history than we were built to defend, to honour and understand how powerful we are.

So take your magic, and use it wherever you go!

With all my love and experience,