I always find myself saying the cliche if I had known then what I know now, so I took Tyler Perry’s advice from a few years ago and wrote this freeing letter. Hopefully, you will too.

❖ ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖

Dear Twelve-year-old Val,

You are a bright beautiful child. I want you to know no matter what anyone tells you, you are worthy, you are a Queen, you matter, and you are perfect just the way you are. You will hear so many voices that will tell you what and who you are, do not listen to any but your own. You are a good person with a kind heart. Don’t let anyone ignore that about you not even for a second.

Build relationships now and cherish the ones you already have because they will become important later in life. You need to know not to try to change anyone because the only person who can change that person is them. So don’t put forth or waste precious energy trying. Let go and let God. You have been sheltered and your pure of heart nature and vulnerability will make you easy prey.

Listen to what people say; dissect it and take away your best meaning before ever acting on it. Do not be naive. You have amazing instincts. Always go with your gut. You have many gifts that God has blessed you with. Use them all. Sing, dance, design clothes, write, nurse; be whatever and whoever you want to be but do not settle. Use your ability to learn and do anything to your advantage. Soak up all the knowledge you can. Keep journals. They will be of value one day. Travel! Don’t ever feel obligated to stick around. Do as much as possible while you are young. Be happy. The minute you feel your joy being compromised get out of that. That’s the only way to remain happy.

Don’t let anyone drain your energy, your time, or your love. Reserve every bit. Love hard! Don’t ever be afraid! Fear is not of God! Stay in God’s reach and pray about everything. Remember with Him you are never alone. Go to college away from home and when you graduate, take a trip to Italy or you’ll never find time to go. Enjoy every second with your family and don’t fret the little things. Find the beauty and good in everything and everybody. No matter, what remains humble. Oh yeah, you’re going to be a real beauty. Realize it and embrace it!! Love yourself, every fault makes you! Know that nobody’s perfect. People make mistakes and everybody, even you, is worth forgiving. Forgive those times when you are gullible but open your eyes, Val. Stay woke. Regardless of sickness, hardship, heartbreak, or pain which is sure to come in life don’t EVER EVER EVER give up!!!

I love you Princess, Me

❖ ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖


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Valerie Collins
Valerie Collins was born in Tucson, Az, the last of six children. She has loved writing since a child but decided to pursue a career in Orthopedic nursing. Shortly after her marriage and birth of her first child at the age of 22, she was diagnosed with the chronic pain disease, Fibromyalgia, its subsequent conditions, illnesses, and syndromes. Once the disease disabled her in 2001, she revisited her passion for writing poetry and short stories and has accumulated over 100 poems and spoken word pieces over the years. She became a member of the International Society of poets in 2002 and The International Who's Who in Poetry in 2006. She currently is a member of Realistic Poetry International, Who's Who Among American Business Women, and Women of Facebook Create. Her accolades include 2005 Poet of the Year. She was awarded both the Outstanding Achievement Award in Poetry and the Official Commemorative Poetry Ambassador Medal while serving as a Poetry Ambassador associate in 2007. She wrote a play entitled “Fix Me Jesus” in 2012 for Alabama 1st COGIC State AIM Youth Convention Competition drama category which was awarded second place. Currently, she is in rehearsals for her second stage play for the local playwright, Shawna D. Moore which will be on stage in August 2019. She is in the process of compiling a two-volume poetry book entitled My Poetic Life: A Memoir of Love and a book detailing her life with Fibromyalgia, entitled Behind the Walls of Silence. In July 2018, she created her first blog site My Poetic Life (The Book) as @vfurrmstheblogger to act as a launch for both books and it has taken on a life of its own. She also owns a small crochet business, Val's Gifts of Warmth, where she sells her handmade crochet items.
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Johnny Johnston

A great lesson for everyone especially those whose demons from there past continue to control the confidence within their spirit. It is a mountain but mountains too can be conquered.