Janet Ivey’s Letter to Her 10-year-old Self

Dear Sweet 10-Year-Old Janet:

This is yourself at 46 and I, meaning you, meaning who we are now is writing to tell you that you are capable, smart and beautiful, You are talented and gifted and will step into the best of yourself and your creativity during your 40’s. So just hang on, it is an unbelievable adventure.

In fifth grade heaven conspires to give you Ms. Ernestine Yarborough as your teacher. You will remember more from this year in grade school than most of your other educational experiences combined.

When she tells you that GIRLS are good at science too, write it in your journal and never forget this. When she introduces you to the solar system and assigns you Saturn, this will change your life forever. One day you will pursue a career in television and have a show called Janet’s Planet. Your logo will resemble Saturn and you will dedicate your life to educating elementary aged kids about our amazing ever-expanding universe. Buzz Aldrin will ask you to be one of his Share Science Ambassadors (yes, the second guy out of the Eagle that walked on the moon!) and you will produce a DVD for Space Florida about Microgravity. You will write, host (experience microgravity TWICE aboard the Zero G plane) and produce the program. You will win a Regional Emmy, A Gracie Allen and a STEMFlorida Award for this educational video. It is a crown jewel in your accomplishments to date and it continues to inspire the kids with whom you share the DVD and the experience.

You can see yourself here

Oh and by the way, along the way, Janet’s Planet will win 12 Regional Emmy Awards and 5 Gracie Allen Awards. You will be very respected for the programs and short form interstitials you write, host and produce.

I also have to tell you that when Ms. Caroline takes your 5th grade enrichment class to Channel 13 in Memphis in 1978, pay attention. You will wear blue pants, a green and white striped shirt and a scarf around your neck. You are going to see yourself on a TV monitor for the first time and get to read from a teleprompter on this day. Just know it is the first of many experiences where someone will call out ACTION and praise you for how awesome you are on camera.

When Ms. Yarborough whispers “Someday you are going to be a great writer, Janet”, believe her and know that you will write children’s shows, children’s science songs, and children’s books.

Here’s a list of what you MUST HOLD IN YOUR HEART!

1) Never lose a holy curiosity! Einstein said this and the rest of the quote is “to never stop questioning.” You will do more than you ever thought possible because you are committed to asking bold questions and being unwilling to let “NO” or rejection stand in the way of your pursuing your dreams.

2) You have been gifted with a personality and charisma that will be made fun of often. You will be told you are TOO ENERGETIC, TOO PASSIONATE, TOO KIND, TOO GIVING, TOO, TOO, TOO… Ignore these labels and remember you are a high tone person living in a low tone world. BE BIG or GO Home is your mantra.

3) The handmade journal you make in Enrichment Class in 5th grade is the first of many journals you will have where you write your thoughts, dreams and wishes. The written words give life to the dreams. Look back often and smile when so much of what you are dreaming now, comes true.

4) You’ll fall in love with the scientific method, because you are a natural researcher. You like to ask questions, you like to imagine what could be true, you love to experiment and you love to share how science works in everyday life.

5) In college Dr. Kelly will tell you that “You have the worst southern accent she has ever hear and that you will never be in a position of leadership or respect because of the way you speak.” It won’t feel good but this moment is a gift. Heed her words, elongate your vowel sounds and become acutely cognizant of when your southern accent plays havoc with your speech. Send her a thank you note.

Bless you my sweet, beautiful, smart, talented, gifted self! Thou shalt be AWESOME!

See you sooner than you can imagine!

Blessings and Peace,
Janet at 46

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