I stumbled across the above photo of myself in my social media archives a few days ago. I looked and smiled at the photo. This was 2011 and I was 22 years old in this photo. I recall that my older brother took this picture on our way to my honours graduation ceremony. It was a really great day, I was so happy that after a tough academic year, I made it.

But beyond this day, the year 2011 was probably one of the most challenging years of my life. I fell in love with this young woman in the photo again and I felt like doing something corny. You know how famous people say ‘if I had a chance I would say this or write a letter to my younger self’’…so that’s exactly what I decided to do. Since June is youth month in South Africa, I decided to share some wisdom in the form of a letter to my 22-year-old self, so here goes:

Dear Bongeka
I write this letter in the year 2018, yes you are now 29 and I want to share some things with you. There’s so much to share but I can’t write everything now, but hear me when I say, 2011 is the year you will truly learn what faith is.

I love the habit of praying about everything and spending so much time with God that you are cultivating, that is going to be the back bone of your life, thank you for starting it.

You are at your heaviest in terms of your weight and I know it pains you when those you love say you are “fat” but you know what – in exactly a year from now, you are going to make a few lifestyle changes and God is going to help you with your health and baby, you are going to look so sizzling that everyone will be asking you how you did it, so don’t stress about.

You will soon learn that life is not what you have been taught growing up! Life is war baby and you are going to see that, but you know what? You are going to fall in love with yourself and that will be the foundation of your greatness and your self-confidence.

When you see that injustice speak up more, so that it doesn’t haunt you. You will soon learn as you already learning that religion is limiting. Next year you will have an encounter and a revelation of the true Gospel of Grace.

Don’t stop believing that you can do the impossible – continue to dream big and yes you are part of those chosen to impact your generation positively. But the clarity of your purpose will be revealed to you in the next coming years.

I need to tell you this, this is major – one of the most critical battles you going to have to fight is a battle to be you. But don’t worry too much as you will get better at it over these next few years and unfortunately this is a never – ending battle in a world that constantly wants us to be the same.

In a few months from now you will take a trip that will change your life. On a lighter note- uhm there will be no wedding ring and no kids by 27 – Thankfully! Lol, in fact you will realise that this marriage and kid’s thing is not to be dictated by society. 

Sadly, you will lose one of your closest friends, but don’t despair because you will gain the most incredible people as friends. They will continually show you how much they love you.

And finally, cherish your family, they really got your back. Put God first always, speak less and listen more and enjoy every moment of your life because baby, you are a force to be reckoned with!

Yours truly
Bongeka in 2018

Image courtesy of: https://www.haikudeck.com