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  • Walt Shakes

    Walt Shakes

    Walter Ude (@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter. He blogs at mymindsnaps.wordpress.com.

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NOTE TO SELF (An Inspiration By Tyler Perry)

In an update titled ‘This Little Letter Changed My Life’, Tyler Perry shared his vulnerability on his Facebook page. It was a letter he wrote to his younger self. He updated:

‘I did something about a year ago that was so liberating and freeing. You should try this. I’m telling you, it will help you.

‘I was asked by CBS This Morning to do a segment called “Note To Self”. It’s where you write a letter speaking to your younger self. Have you ever done this? If not, you should. What would you say to the child that you used to be? I’m telling you, it’s amazing. Try it. Let me know how it moves you. Here’s the link to the one that I did.’

And the link is here: http://bit.ly/17fz4wp

So this got me thinking: If I had anything to say to the younger me, what would it be? And here is what I came up with. Read. And at the end, perhaps, you will be inspired to do the same for yourself. In the words of a friend, Maryann: ‘You will never know how much you want to say to yourself until you started typing.’

note to self‘Dear Child,

‘I would love to first commend you on your strength. That resolve that made you hold fast to the things you believed in, even when you had to make compromises. That steel in your backbone that you made to bend in order to accommodate those circumstances Life cast on you, but which snapped back to ramrod uprightness when those circumstances made you question who you are.

‘I see the frown digging a groove in your brow, and I know you’re wearing it as a statement of defiance against the world. You believe if you frown enough, then perhaps, the world will learn to let you have your way. You believe it so, because you see how the fierce bark of your dog, Timmy, makes people shrink from his path. I wish you didn’t have to know life like that. I wish I am there to protect you, to shield you, to gently smoothen the creases caused by your frown. But perhaps, it is good you frown, it is good you worry, because these are the facets that form a part of the strength in you.

‘I also see you smile. That wide, beaming opening, a trusting vulnerability laid bare for the world. The smile which is the root of your optimism, the beginning of your naiveté, and the draw of all things – good and bad – to you. You smile when you are happy, a brightness that reflects the purity of your heart. You smile when you struggle to cover the hurts you feel inside. You smile and people love you. You smile and some others take advantage. You smile, and I smile now, infected, knowing what a treasure you have hanging on your lips.

‘I see you fighting your brother. I see you swearing that you hate your father. I see you wishing you are on your own, away from this family you think you have the misfortune of being born into. I see your struggles and I laugh. Not at you, no. I laugh because I know you don’t despise them. Believe me. You may think you do, but underneath all that rancor you feel is an ardent love, a need to protect them, to provide for them, to be there for them. You don’t know it now, but you will, when the time comes.

‘And then, there’s the hope I see in your eyes. A wonder of the future. A hesitance holding you back from prodding at what it holds. And yet, the optimism that drives you to achieve something of who you really are. It has been a tough journey so far, child, but I want to assure you that it gets better with each step. Those times you spend lying on your bed, aching with a medley of emotions, looking through your window at the blanket of stars winking in the night, comparing their vast reach to your dreams, wondering, hoping, believing, seeing – I want to tell you that the purpose for those moments still thrives. I will come back someday soon to tell you that all the things you wanted, you can now have. I will come back someday soon to take you to the place where your dreams have all come true.

‘You just remain steadfast. Dream. Believe. Pray. Yes, pray. And when you kneel to pray for your father, and your mother, and your siblings, and all those who wish you well, remember to pray for me, as I pray for you. And above all, remember to remain the child that you are.’

I am @Walt_Shakes on Twitter

Leave a comment


  1. anderson

     /  October 23, 2013

    *Nodding* Your younger self ws a star-gazer. Now I get it.

  2. kene kingsley

     /  October 23, 2013

    That tyler perry video was really good..

  3. Darlington

     /  October 23, 2013


  4. Ahhh.


  5. Those are beautiful words, Uche. Truly heartfelt. Wonderful

  6. Maryann

     /  October 24, 2013

    I see u, Walter. I feel your pain. Keep smiling, you look so cute when you do. Thanks for the “mention” as twitter will put it.

  7. Nur'ayn

     /  October 24, 2013

    I know your younger self will receive this with joy, and be proud of the man he has made you. Excellent writing.

  8. Adeline Kasper

     /  October 25, 2013

    Oh! Beautiful!!

  9. Sweet… The child you once were was wise beyond his years, no? That last line, it’s a very good advice, one that I try to hark to. I enjoyed reading and knowing a bit of the child you once were. Well done, Waltz.


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