SOLANGE KNOWLES covers this month’s Teen Vogue and in the issue, instead of an interview, the singer wrote an open letter to her teenage self.
In the touching and powerful letter, the now 30-year-old looks back on her many phases, such as becoming a mother to her son Julez at 17 – marking that year as the hardest of her life – while offering advice on believing in herself and creating art.
“there will be fear. a lot of it. there will be triumph. a lot of it. there will be constellations you want to reach for but can’t put your finger on. you will trace them like the scars on your body you got from trouble and the times of your life. you will take the long way to get to these Orions. the long way will become a theme in your life, but a journey you learn to love,” Knowles, writing mostly in lowercase, begins the letter, before listing a few of her teenage phases, which included “the Bible-thumping-church-camp phase” and “the Rasta-vegan-thrifter-who-is-determined-to-marry-Brandon-Boyd phase.”
“sometimes you push these phases to the max, and when you go out into the world feeling confident in who you are and what you reflect, young folks will call you names and grown folks will call you names. It’s ok,” she says. “one day you will name yourself, and that name will belong to you. it will not be the ones they ordained: “crazy, ugly, attention-seeking, weirdo.”
She goes on to acknowledge the triumphs of her mother Tina, whom she refers to as a “wonder.” The effect of watching the Knowles family matriarch take care of her kids and run a salon made the “Cranes in the Sky” singer feel “invincible” and as “fiercely independent and outgoing” as Tina.
She adds: “there will be pain, there will be doubt there will be beauty, there will be the unknown. there will be so many moments of joy and delight that the whole universe will feel painted in hues of amber and wonder. there will be times you are so sad you can’t lift your head. and there will be times you are so happy that the sensation of life knocks you down,” she concludes. “but most importantly, there will be you. a whole, whole lot of it. and you will feel good about who she is and who she is still becoming.”
Solange released her album A Seat at the Table last fall, which shot to the top of the charts.