It is no secret that growing up in front of the camera has left many an identity by the wayside. This has yet to be the case for Lauren Keyana Palmer better known as Keke Palmer.The 23 year-old actress and singer started her career in entertainment more than a decade ago at the age of nine. But her grasp on faith, privacy and the difference between the 21 professional and personal has always been well beyond her years. In this letter to her 40 year-old self, Keke offers a few words of guidance to make sure she stays on track.

Dear Lauren,

Knowing how we do, you are probably living a life completely different from the one I’m living now. I wonder how you look at 40 years old. Who am I kidding, you probably look just the same—you know Black don’t crack! But seriously, one thing about us is that we are always evolving. Knowing that we are not a finished product is something important to us at 23 years old, so I hope at 40 you are still finding new ways to express yourself. In fact, that’s what I’m working on now—building our identity capital so you can live your best life and express yourself to the fullest. 23 I want you to know that these times we’re having now are great, but everything passes, the good and the bad. Don’t hold on too tight to anything, especially youth. I hope you’re learning to not take things personally and transmute your sensitivity into opportunities to learn more about yourself. I hope you remember all the times that you thought you were going through the worst you could ever go through. And I also hope you remember that you always got through it. Make the best decisions you can and trust that God got you girl. Because you know He’s never led us astray. I love you.

xoxo Keke

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