Dear Future Me,
If you haven’t turned your In Sha Allah’s (God Willing) into Alhamdulillahs (Thank you, God) yet don’t worry, everything will turn out alright. I know that you’ll always have those thoughts about the future: the scary unknown place that keeps us worried sick. However, I’m here to tell you not to think too deep into it and enjoy the present.
You constantly wished to have those dramatic visions like Raven Symone, hoping it’ll prevent you from making foolish decisions. But that’s not how the world works, girl.
You need to familiarize yourself with being comfortable with the unknown.
Thinking back to the past, I know things like guilt crept through every now and then. The moments of tears pouring down your face anytime someone brought up the topic of family will always resonate with you. Oh, and you can’t forget how much you hated being away while the family was still in the projects. The guilt you felt for being at a place you wanted to call home made everything so uneasy. But you know what, all of this happened for a reason; you and your family were destined for greatness.
I think about you, pray for you and vouch for you. Who do I see you being? A woman whose candles will never burn out without a fight. The spark that was lit at the nose of Africa. The little flame that innocently ran around the village, marketplace, school, to enlighten people with joy. The epiphany of lightning and thunder that crossed the oceans to plant a new adventure for life. The voice of an unapologetic Senegalese woman, still flamboyant and still on fire. What I see in you is that growing flame—your persistence to develop, enlighten and transform.
I hope that you continue to carry yourself as that lightning and thunder. I pray that you still vouch and act for being the change that you want to see in this world. With so many obstacles designed against you, know that you’ve traveled across the Atlantic Ocean and still thrived, our In Sha Allah’s will always turn into Alhamdoulilahs.
I want you to realize that the sky is not the limit, you have a lot to go, and that’s all right. Never let fear and deception stop you from leading with your torch into the darkness. It’s hard for me to picture you on just one pathway. I see you being a leader as the head of diversity at some media company, establishing and nurturing your own company to highlight correct promotion for dark skin black women. Or perhaps, you find yourself leading commercials or your own talk show. Whatever the case may be, I know that you will lead. Never ever let go of the passion that fuels you, that goal that pushes you and awakens you. I hope that you did not forget what makes you Fatou, remaining faithful with action to the world outside of you, but also, being at peace with yourself and what you do.
I know that spark is still in you, you know, the one that made you take a lot of classes surfaced around media, black women, writing and film. I hope that you plan to still use your voice to stand up for your truths and injustices. I know this sounds intimidating expressing your struggles when already being crucified for speaking up. But don’t fret, this justified anger, truth, uniqueness and “exoticness” will keep your fire exuberant. Remember that with everything you do, it’s for your family, the people, and the truth. So please future me, never let that flame go out because the torch is in your hand.
Without superpowers, know that you still remain powerful. Just breathe, you are your own power.