Things I Would Tell My Childhood Self

If I could go back in time and save myself the headaches I would

I’ve been deep into my 90’s bag recently. I’ve listened to the Waiting To Exhale soundtrack on repeat, and I’ve been watching Moesha all week. Thank god for the black people at Netflix who made that happen. Anyway, I’ve been contemplating what it would be like to go back in time and communicate with the insecure younger version of myself; who spent most of their days just trying to avoid getting beat up. If I could turn back time and heal my childhood self, how much better off would I be? Who knows, but I created a list of the things I would say:

  1. All That Glitters Ain’t Gold.

    Stop chasing after the shiniest flashiest things because those things don’t lead to happiness; if you feel empty inside, material things won’t make you happy. 

  2. The Prettiest People Do The Ugliest Things.

    This one is something I am still learning as an adult, but if I could make sure I knew this early on, it would save me a lot of heartbreak. Because adult me has wasted way too much time chasing after pretty fuck boys. 

  3. Your body is lovely and non-binary. 

    There are things about your body and your spirit that are masculine and feminine, and everything in between — just know those things are beautiful and valid. The kids that always beat you up are just intimidated by the unconstrained nature of your existence. 

  4. Your parents are just imperfect humans who had a child. 

    Go easy on them, your mom is raising you by herself, and she’s trying the best she can. Your dad is dealing with being a black man in America, and all the trauma from that weighs deeply on his soul. Give them some grace; they’re only human. 

  5. Cherish the moment.

    Stop trying to grow up so fast, stop trying to run away, you’re exactly where you need to be at the right time. Wishing you were grown is the dumbest thing you will ever do, trust me. 

  6. You are gay AF.

    You are gay; your obsession with Mario Lopez is not just a phase. Embrace it; it’s beautiful.

What things would you say to your childhood self? Let me know in the comments below. Just starting this conversation with myself has been very healing, and honestly, who doesn’t wish they were a kid again?


Thanks for being a subscriber

The Illuminations Grant is awarding $10,000 to Black Trans Visual Artists, applications are open until August 30th. Apply here.

Remember you are more powerful than you know.

Kile Atwater