26Bday-400

Dear Brandee,

You are enough; don’t let anyone tell you different. If you find yourself struggling to fit into the molds that society and the people that you surround yourself with have created, stop trying. You weren’t designed to fit in; you were born to stand out and be great. Never seek the approval of those around you; it should come from within yourself. You are the only person who can create your own happiness so never rely on anyone else to create that for you because if you do, you’ll be let down. It’s important to be conscious about the people that you share your time and energy with. If they’re constantly bringing you down and not inspiring or empowering you to chase your dreams and accomplish your goals then it’s time to cut them off. Separate yourself from individuals who are emotionally draining.

When it comes to friendships, quality matters more than quantity. It’s better to have a few close friends who genuinely care about you, then a bunch of so called “friends” who could give two shits about your well-being. No matter how long they’ve been in your life; always remember you don’t owe another person anything. You owe it to yourself to be around individuals who embrace you for who you are.

When it comes to love and relationships, never settle. Understand that you don’t have the power to change a person, but you do have the power to remove yourself from a situation where you’re being mistreated. If a person isn’t loyal to you or giving you the same type of love that you’re showing them, it’s a waste of time. Find the strength to walk away. Stop always giving people the benefit of the doubt. When you give a person chance after chance and they make the same mistakes over and over again, clearly they’re showing you that they don’t think you’re worth changing for. Maya Angelou one said “when people show you who they are, believe them.” Take what she said to heart. People only treat you the way that you allow them to. So instead of pointing the finger at the person, embrace that and move the fuck on. I know you’re probably tired of men playing games and stringing you along, but that just goes to show they’re not on your level and can’t handle a woman of your caliber.

When it comes to your career and your plans for the future, always stay true to your dreams and goals. News flash: Not everyone is going to believe in your ideas. Some people will even call your dreams “stupid.” Don’t let that deter you from what you want to do. Use the hate and negative energy to motivate you and push you forward. Work your ass off and prove them wrong. Your dreams and goals are not meant for everyone else to understand. Keep working and be consistent with everything that you set out to do.

Lastly, you are beautiful. Don’t try to change anything about yourself to fit somebody else’s standards. You might not be for everybody and that’s completely fine.

Although sometimes things may seem dark and it feels like the world is against you; if you could see the sunshine that’s on the other side of the hump and if you had the wisdom that I have now, you would understand why you’ve been through so much and that the future for you is beyond bright! Always remember to love yourself, respect yourself, and be yourself.

XOXO,

B

Written by Brandee

Brandee Sanders is a Harlem-bred writer and editor. Her work has been well received in the media. She's been featured on MSN.com, The Root, NewsOne and countless other outlets. Brandee is the founder of a Harlem-based blog called Meet Me Uptown. In 2014, she launched Brunch With Brandee a one-stop...
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