“It’s not about the way you look, it’s about the way you are. It’s not about how I look, it’s about the way I am.”- Phylicia Rashad
Rashad’s letter is to her 21-year-old self:
Romantic involvement distracts you and can blind you to what’s really in front of you. And what really is in front of you? You are. You don’t even know yourself yet. You think you know and you want to assert that you do, now that you’re a certain age, but you don’t. What’s in front of you is a whole world of experiences beyond your imagination. Put yourself, and your growth and development, first. There are long-term repercussions to what you’re doing now. Everything you do, every thought you have, every word you say creates a memory that you will hold in your body. It’s imprinted on you and affects you in subtle ways—ways you are not always aware of. With that in mind, be very conscious and selective.
With high hopes for you,
What advice would Phylicia share with her younger self? “I would tell [myself] not to be so preoccupied with looking for approval from other people,” she says. “You’re never going to be anybody other than who you are, and who you are is greater than [you] imagine. The way that we think creates our reality—it’s very powerful. I would say to a young girl who’s feeling insecure about her looks, ‘Stop!’ Who you are is not the way you look—who you are is who you are on the inside. There’s not a mirror in the world that can show you that. It is beautiful; it is amazing; it is awesome.”by deviant