Dear Lido,

I love you so much, I figured out time travel just to give you this letter.

You need to know that your life is going to be wonderful, eventually. The worst that could ever happened to you already did. At 9 years old, when you woke up in the middle of the night in your pink striped PJs, because a monster had his claws between your legs. This memory will haunt you, it’s very hard for you to cope with it and life now, but please know, as painful as it is, this sadness will turn into strength, and it will díctate your passion to protect little girls and young teens like yourself in Colombia and around the world. Trust me, you will do it, and you will do so with your powerful art, your humour and may I add: impressive smarts! Yes girl, you are the full package, always were, always will be.

In 5 years from now, you will become a mother (don’t worry, you planned it) while being a student, and an artist living in a big expensive city with no family around to help, and it will be difficult, but you will also be really good at managing all of that because you are amazing – the extra responsibility will make you even more organised and responsible. You see, in the years to come, you’ll learn that artists have a stigma of being lazy and self-centred. Though some of that is true, you my dear will be known for being extremely prolific, quite different from most of your peers!

Every year that goes by, you will become stronger and wiser. You will find a life partner that only seems to exist in movies. You will find the most loving friends in a foreign country. You will create art and music and film, and you will bring your loyal friends along, emphasis on “loyal” – beware of social climbers and people who want to steal your energy and ideas. There will be lots of those, oh! And stay away from the “industry men” who tell you “YOU ARE AMAZING” way too much, they are ready to ruin your life and lie so they can steal songs and visuals straight from your laptop after they gain your trust!

Stick to your day-ones and be ready to be disappointed, many many and many times over by people, but don’t take things to heart – remember who you are, remember the blood of the women before you, they root for you and guide you. Trust the voices in your head, that’s inspiration knocking at your door.

Finally, I want you to continue to ignore “the voices” from television/ mainstream media, plus voices from kids that make fun of you, call you a clown and the teachers that misunderstand you. Continue to dance to your own beat and your own drum: it will come very handy in the future, when a thing called “Instagram” comes along. If you are not careful, it will make you feel ashamed of voice, your body, your poundage, your skin, your hair, your beautiful face and everything about you! Lido, I know you avoid mirrors in the hallway, I know you brush your teeth with your eyes closed…stop it baby girl. In the very near future, the girls you want to look like now are going to get plastic surgery and be inside a cancer chamber—-aka “tanning bed”—-to look exactly like you.

There is so much more I want to tell you, but I also know how quickly you are going to figure it out. I love you so much, and it will take you another ten years to love yourself like you deserve to, but I’m here. I am you and you are me, and honey, all of your dreams are coming true. Hold your breath, it’s all happening fast!