Do you ever wish you could time travel and comfort your younger self by letting them know that you're going to grow up to be totally fine? In the latest issue of Teen Vogue, Solange did just that, and wrote out a profound guide to being chock full of great advice in the event that she stumbles into another dimension and has the opportunity to show Young Solo the way through the gnarliness of adolescence.
Humor abounds as she — in all lowercase letters — pokes fun at her style, her former crushes (what's up, Brandon Boyd of Incubus?), her various "phases" as a Fiona Apple stan and a dancer whose leotard was a "second skin," and stresses that these are all chapters to be celebrated as they were stops on the journey of figuring out who she was.
"at the time, you are searching," she assures. "seeking in every corner and pocket of the world for who you are. take your time, baby girl. there’s no rush to get there. you will sow each of these chapters in the land that you become. you will see bits and pieces of them scattered into the skin you grow into. you don’t have to figure everything out now. time will reveal itself. i promise you."
She stresses that the only approval she'll need is her own: "sometimes you push these phases to the max, and when you go out into the world feeling confident in who you are and what you reflect, young folks will call you names and grown folks will call you names. It’s ok."
Praise for Mama Tina Knowles Lawson abounds, too, and Solange spends a few paragraphs detailing just how special her mother is, and what a huge impact she had on the shaping of her own personality. "she is a wonder," she starts. "you watch her drop off 3 kids at 3 different schools in the morning, pick them up in the afternoon, shuffle each of them to their designated activities, and bring them all back to the salon she owns until she closes up with the utmost grace, love, and kindness. you realize watching a woman balance being a supportive mother, building a successful business from the ground up that was started in her garage, and giving back to the community will make you feel invincible and like the word 'no' is just an echo in the universe that you'll never know. you often take her for granted, but you know with every joint in your bones that she is a phenomenon and you strive to make her proud. you should thank her out loud more, too; tell her you value her." D'AW.
Solange wraps up by dropping some major knowledge about struggle, and how her life, which "will be fruitful and with much purpose," won't be without some tough spots. "all the bridges you’ve burned, you had to, so that you could rebuild them to become a stronger and more wonderful you," she writes. "there will be pain, there will be doubt there will be beauty, there will be the unknown. there will be so many moments of joy and delight that the whole universe will feel painted in hues of amber and wonder. there will be times you are so sad you can’t lift your head. and there will be times you are so happy that the sensation of life knocks you down. but most importantly, there will be you. a whole, whole lot of it. and you will feel good about who she is and who she is still becoming."
Damn. Teenaged Solange may not have benefited from her older self's wisdom, but we're counting ourselves lucky that we get to read these powerful words and take them to heart.