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  • Writer's pictureIbiyemi Balogun

A letter to my younger self on my 32nd birthday.

Last week I was talking to a 22-year-old who coincidentally was born on my birthday May 12. We had such a great heart-to-heart about life, courage, career, control, and being confused about the next steps but still holding on to God. After our conversation, she said to me “I feel like I’m talking to my older self”. Funny enough she sounded a lot like me when I was 22 and now that I’m turning 32, 10 years later, I want to write a letter to my younger self. I want to tell her all the things I know now that I wish I knew then. Most importantly I want to tell her that everything will be alright even if it doesn't look like the picture she had in her mind. 

About Yourself; 

  1. You are beautiful - not just in the physical sense even though sis you’re foine! But in all senses of the word. Your heart and soul are beautiful, and although you will doubt it ALL the time, you have to believe that God made you this way on purpose. You will have people take advantage of your beautiful heart, love them anyways BUT also discern when you need to guard that beautiful heart. 

  1. You will face rejection BUT it’s actually protection - this will suck ALOT and you might even develop a fear of rejection. Rejection from your past relationships, friendships, family, work, school, church, even your own self. You will struggle with this one and it will open up a can of worms but you will also see that a lot of it was for your protection and what God has for you is so much sweeter. You can rest assured that you are being taken care of. 

About Love & Relationships 

  1. You will settle for the bare minimum in relationships when in reality you deserve more BUT guess what you didn’t know, so you can release yourself from the shame shackles. You cannot stress yourself about what you didn’t know. You will meet a beautiful man at 24, pick your bags and RUN!! Haha just kidding….but am I? Seriously though, you will learn alot about yourself through that experience, and you will hold on for much longer than you need to, but it’s ok because you will eventually let go. 

  1. You will have an era of “therapy dates” and people will take advantage of your listening ear and coaching ability, don’t let that deter you from sharing your full self later on. You are worth more than just your wisdom in relationships. You will legit meet people who turn the first date into a coaching session. Don’t use it as an opportunity to latch on and make yourself a commodity; just realize what it is and know that that’s not your man. Your worth is not just tied to what you can do for a man.

  1. Oh, when you thought it was God's voice that told you, you would get married at 30, it wasn’t it was people’s influences. 3 people said it and you equated that to a confirmation but it wasn’t. So when you get into that relationship at 30, he’s not the one. He seems like the one initially for about 2 seconds but he isn’t. Also listen to your friends oh, they want the best for you! 

  2. You unfortunately will turn marriage into an idol and God will call you out on it but he will redeem your dreams. 

  1. You will meet a guy at 31 who makes you laugh, smile and will comfort and support you during a hard time. Although it will end, you will be so grateful because it will restore your faith in God and in good relationships. 

About Friendship 

  1. You will have the most amazing friendships, please recognize that you are not a burden to them, they love and care for you and so do you! Your childhood friends will play an amazing role in your life when you turn 31, make sure to nurture them along the way. They knew you as a kid, the innocence, the hope, the joy. Allow them to remember you like this, it will give you a renewed sense of yourself when everything goes into transition. 

  1. At 25 you will meet a tiny angry woman at a house party and in a few months you will move in together and become best friends who challenge each other to grow. You will have your most formative years as an adult with this woman, don’t let her go! You will do everything together, you will laugh till your belly hurts and cry till your tears run out and you will ultimately grow tremendously from this relationship. 

  1. You will have the best girl crew (Dunfieldians you know yourselves) and you will have an adventure and just like that everyone will grow up, get married, have babies, and move out of the city. It’s ok, your time together was special AND you will form a new version of your friendships.

  1. You will have a few tough friendship breakups and it will SUCK because you will blame yourself for a long time but then you will let it go. You will follow them on socials, and wish them well but don’t worry God has the best friendships in store for you, you can be rest assured that it will be worked out for your good. 

About Career 

  1. You will build a successful business and it will scare the heck out of you BUT you’ll do it with God and it will actually make money. It might take a while for it to make money (no seriously, like yearsssss) but then all of a sudden in 6 months, you will see tremendous growth, trust God through it. 

  1. You will build a career in a field you didn’t know existed when you started at 22. You will be so fulfilled because you will impact thousands of people’s lives. Yes girl, you heard right, thousands of people will be able to point to a tangible way you impacted their lives. So you better believe in your gift of encouragement. Harness it, build it up, sharpen it BUT for God’s sake, build boundaries EARLY. Know the lines between client and friend. Don’t take on the burden of others like it's your own. You are called to support not to carry the load of others. 

  1. You will burn out; like quite a few times, unfortunately. Each time, God will pick you up, give you rest and make you whole. It will suck each time but you will learn a valuable lesson each time so don’t worry too much about it. You might blame yourself in those seasons but try not to. It’s not entirely your fault, the systems of corporate Canada were just not created to actively support people that look like you. They are trying but at some point, you will have to step in to attempt to take care of yourself. At some point, fighting the system will become too hard and you will need a break. You will also need to un-learn years of toxic achievement and overwork/overproduction. 

  1. Your “I got the job” stories will always be unique. Nothing about your career will be linear or clear. Embrace it because it will make you a better career coach which is great because you will be able to resonate with your clients much better. 

About Health 

  1. Your body and your body image will be a bone of contention for years; I mean like 20 years….but one day you will wake up and will love your body for helping you show up! From then on, you will learn your body’s love language and although you won’t be perfect, you will speak affirmations over it. 

  1. In 2020 this random ass virus will cause the world to stop. It will freak you out and mess with your mind for years. You will experience loss in that season and the seasons to come. You will develop a weird “health anxiety” and be worried about getting sick. One day you will go to church and get a revelation about death and it will no longer scare you! 

  1. Your body will go through hormonal changes (PCOS) and you will have to balance it with supplements, diet, and exercise. It will be annoying at first trying to balance it all and it will bring you fear about the future in terms of fertility but you will pray about complete healing. You will manage it for years and learn to co-exist with it, while still believing for your complete healing. 

  1. Your MIND sis!!! Your mind will be like a battlefield. You will go through high highs and low lows. You will think you are weird and unlovable because of the way you overthink things BUT you will receive peace. You will have occasional moments of fear but God’s peace will always be something you can reach for! Don’t forget that! 

  1. You will spend years in therapy; there’s no shame in it. Embrace it, be honest during your sessions, and open up for help. 

About Faith 

  1. God will pursue you relentlessly, He will never give up on you! He will remind you that you are loved and cared for even when you drown in self-condemnation he will never reject you! Even when you don’t show yourself compassion and consider yourself unworthy of his presence, He will show up regardless. He will hold your hand through the good, the bad, and the ugly. He will restore your JOY. Rest assured that you will ALWAYS have God. Don’t let the enemy distract you or lie to you about what you mean to God! 

  1. Although you start your faith journey as a kid, scared of the rules in your Sunday school, you will learn that as you grow up, those “rules” are just boundaries that allow you to have TRUE freedom.

  1. Faith is the most important thing, pray about it, and ask God for more of it. Seek first his kingdom and everything else will be added. Worry about pleasing God, and being obedient even when you’re not sure about your next step. Faith will carry you through this journey we call life. 

Baby girl, there is so much I can say to you and if I did, we will be here all day. You will learn about finances, travel the world, have great friends, conquer your major fears, write a blog consistently, and impact people’s lives. Ultimately God is your source, everything else is secondary. Lastly, although you have not yet found your husband and you don’t yet have kids, it will happen for you and it will be amazing and it won’t matter that you waited this long. 

So on your 32nd birthday, I wish you the best time with your friends and family and an exciting 32nd rotation around the sun. This year is about to be lit lit, enjoy it! 

Your older self, 


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