I was asked to write a letter to my younger self. I haven’t been asked to do anything like this before, so upon reflecting on my past and without thinking too hard, this is what I have to say to little Laura.
Dear Young Laura Valente,
I am writing this letter to you as I sit in my office in the back of my salon and look back on my life; the stylists are going home, the cleaning lady is leaving, and the salon is left with just myself. I walked to the door from the hallway and look out at what I have created. My dreams have come alive and become so very real. After reflecting and looking over paperwork, paychecks, emails and orders, I have realized what I wanted to tell you. The more people you come to know, the more things you learn and the more ideas you dream up makes it harder to navigate who or what is real. Laura, the most important thing I want you to know, is to keep being you, regardless of what society is going to try to make you believe. Always remember that no matter who comes into your life, it’s important to stay focused on your own dreams and visions. Stay true to yourself, especially when others try to discourage you from pursuing what makes you happiest. Though there’s a little devil on your shoulder who wants to steer you away, remember that there’s an angel near praying, cheering and rooting for you. Taking the long road may not be as quick as the easy way out, but the ride will be so much more worth it! Keep your head high, pray for those who don’t want you to succeed and bless those who help you on your path to success. Smile, laugh, sing and dance when you can. Hug someone dear to you. Spread a little love today. Make a difference and be something inspiring for the bettering of our community. Make people feel beautiful. Learn from those who have experience and take nothing for granted. You WILL SUCCEED, so long as you stay humble and kind with your head and heart on the same path. I love you Laura and I hope you learn that you are beautiful and smarter than you may think–never discredit yourself. You will accomplish everything you want to do and more. You will be a voice for others and you will go on to create amazing things just as long as you believe in yourself. I am thinking of you Laura, and I’m here ready to watch you shine.