The World Misses You, Maya Angelou

 

As you no doubt have heard, we lost one of our great warriors and poets this week, Maya Angelou. We at Diesel are stung by this news, but take comfort that her legacy will endure long past the period of mourning.

There are, of course, many fine things one might read or view in homage to her, but I am particularly fond of the letter she wrote to her younger self a few years ago.

Dear Marguerite,

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,
Maya

(from What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self)