An Open [Love] Letter to Lauryn Hill on Her Birthday
Happy birthday! I hope all is well with you and the kids. Being that today is your birthday I wanted to take some time out and celebrate you for a change. I know that the media, myself included, has been hard on you for the past decade or so. Some of the criticism may be malicious but a majority of it comes from a good place. I’m sure that you have an inkling as to how The Miseducation positively touched people. I know for me, as a little girl in elementary school at the time, that album taught me about honoring and protecting my body and heart. It taught me to watch out for the shady people that would inevitably show up in my life. And most of all, that album taught me about the formidable power of love, love for the man I hope to one day meet, love for the children I hope to have, love for the woman I am now and the woman I’ll become and most importantly the love God has for all of us. I know I’m not overstating when I say that The Miseducation fed our spirits.
When you feed people’s spirits, they’ll always want more. And when you weren’t giving us more nourishment, more music, more you, we got a little impatient, irritated and then severely disappointed. And with that disappointment came the prying inquires into your private life. After all, we felt we had a right to it after The Miseducation because in our minds we knew you. And we knew the Lauryn in those songs wouldn’t choose to lead the life you were leading; the babies, the relationship and the absence. We couldn’t understand it and we judged you unfairly for it.
But now I understand just how much God was in that album. You reached a higher place with that art. A place you perhaps weren’t always willing or able to reside in and we judged you unfairly for that. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone commend you for dedicating your life to being a mother and raising children. I know I haven’t. Judging by the time, effort and talent you put into giving birth to The Miseducation, I’d imagine you’re even more devoted to nurturing your babies. I saw that you mentioned that your daughter Selah is/ was on the honor roll. That’s admirable and maybe even more important than creating music for your selfish fans.
We kept our eye on that relationship too. I still don’t understand it but I’ve come to the realization it’s not meant for me or anyone else to understand or judge. As women we could all easily end up in situations that appear unsavory to others. We’ve all been there. We were looking for a scapegoat to blame for your absence and Rohan fit the bill. Either way, it was really none of our business and we’re sorry for dippin’ all the way in.
Today, your birthday, is about celebrating the life you’ve led and the impact you’ve made. Before you were even 25, you managed to touch more people than many of us will ever reach in a lifetime. For that we thank you. Enjoy this and every day, knowing you’ve made our lives better.
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