This wonderful letter by Maya Angelou was featured on Brainpickings last week. It was a contribution to a 2006 anthology, What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self, in which forty-one famous women wrote letters back in time to their former selves. The anthology itself looks very interesting & Maya Angelou’s letter is wonderful:
You’re itching to be on your own. You don’t want anybody telling you what time you have to be in at night or how to raise your baby. You’re going to leave your mother’s big comfortable house and she won’t stop you, because she knows you too well.
But listen to what she says:
When you walk out of my door, don’t let anybody raise you — you’ve been raised.
You know right from wrong.
In every relationship you make, you’ll have to show readiness to adjust and make adaptations.
Remember, you can always come home.
You will go home again when the world knocks you down — or when you fall down in full view of the world. But only for two or three weeks at a time. Your mother will pamper you and feed you your favorite meal of red beans and rice. You’ll make a practice of going home so she can liberate you again — one of the greatest gifts, along with nurturing your courage, that she will give you.
Be courageous, but not foolhardy.
Walk proud as you are,