Solange Prepares Her Teenage Self For The Journey Ahead With An Insightful Letter For ‘Teen Vogue’

"One day you will name yourself, and that name will belong to you."

In 2016, Solange released one of the most acclaimed albums of the year, A Seat at the Table. The 22-track, Grammy-winning audio ballad was not only acclaimed for its unique spin on funk, jazz, and rhythm and blues with chart-topping tracks such as "Cranes in the Sky," but the overall concept was a sense of healing for a population that hasn't had the best of years due to societal tension among races. However, despite the times, Solange has not only reached a more elite class thanks to the release of her album, but her identity ever since has been to inspire progress for Black women. Even with all of the success that Solange has had as of now, the journey that she had to experience included years of obstacles and situations that her younger self would not be ready for. 

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In a recent exclusive for "Teen Vogue," Solange wrote a personal letter to her teenage self, long before her journey in the music industry, and even in her life. The singer opens up with a clear idea of the obstacles ahead.

"there will be fear. a lot of it. there will be triumph. a lot of it. there will be constellations you want to reach for but can't put your finger on. you will trace them like the scars on your body you got from trouble and the times of your life. you will take the long way to get to these Orions. the long way will become a theme in your life, but a journey you learn to love." "you will dive head first without looking into phases that you are certain of who you are."

However, Solange knows that the different people and phases throughout her life will soon help her develop into the woman she became. She recently stated how important her upbringing was to finding her identity as a woman, and feminist, but doesn't hesitate to fully clarify that the both the joy and pain infused through each chapter in her journey would help her to be the person she is today. One of painful factors was being called "words," Solange writes to in the letter that she'll be embracing some of them as well.

"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. one day you will name yourself, and that name will belong to you. it will not be the ones they ordained: 'crazy, ugly, attention-seeking, weirdo.'  i really hate to tell you this, but sometimes you will still get called these things as an adult, except you will actually embrace some of them. you will learn that these are just words. words that only have power if you choose to give them power. every once in a while they will hurt, but you will choose to turn those words into a symbol of beauty."  

Being called names would only be a small bump compared to the other situations that Solange would face in her life. The recipient of this letter didn't know about how life would change in the blink of the eye, let alone at such a young age. But, it was still a pivotal point in her lifetime that she was fearless of pointing out. 

"seventeen will be the hardest year of your life. it will grow you up almost immediately. you will lose your best friend whom you love so much to gun violence in a single moment, and give birth to a new one within a year. you will be terrified, and it's ok that you don't know what the future holds. some people will count you out because of the decision you've made to bring another life into the world so young, but you made the decision out of love and will live with the decision in love."

With so much love and care written, it's clear that Solange's personal letter shows that she loves herself now more than ever before. Even as she traveled through all of the situations she faced as a singer, mother, and a woman, those situations would help her be not only a better person, but also an important healing factor in an era where it's needed most. 

You can read Solange's personal letter in its entirety on Teen Vogue.

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