Phylicia Rashad’s Letter To Her 21-Year-Old Self

prashadMost famous for her role as Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show, Phylicia Rashad entered our homes and hearts each week with her loving, and real voice of an attorney, mother and wife. With each year, Phylicia seems to get more elegant, poised and graceful. But if you ask her, she says it was her mother, a poet, who gave her a sense of duty about exploring her full potential. She says, “It’s interesting how you wander through things. Grace is always present, and there comes a time when you really must be conscious of that presence and turn your face to it. Otherwise, you’re just walking blindly through life.”

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The Broadway, television and film actress has much to be thankful for besides being a recognizable face. Rashad has grown into an award-winning fixture of what it means to be a successful Black woman in Hollywood. Would she change anything?  As she reflects on her journey, she’s written a letter is to her 21-year-old self about what that Phylicia should do:

Dear Phylicia,

Romantic involvement distracts you and can blind you to what’s really in front of you. And what really is in front of you? You are. You don’t even know yourself yet. You think you know and you want to assert that you do, now that you’re a certain age, but you don’t. What’s in front of you is a whole world of experiences beyond your imagination. Put yourself, and your growth and development, first. There are long-term repercussions to what you’re doing now. Everything you do, every thought you have, every word you say creates a memory that you will hold in your body. It’s imprinted on you and affects you in subtle ways—ways you are not always aware of. With that in mind, be very conscious and selective.