Arianna Huffington would tell her younger self to get more sleep. Maya Angelou would say to find a beautiful piece of art and relate, as much as possible, to the humanity in it. And in the May 2012 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, the 58-year-old media mogul reveals what advice she would give to her teenage self, a 19-year-old woman she addresses as "beautiful brown-skinned girl."
"You've spent too many days and years trying to please others and be what they wanted you to be," she writes. "You will have to learn that the wounds of your past -- rape, molestation, whippings for 'stepping out of place,' and not being allowed to show anger or cry afterward -- damaged your self-esteem," she says.
Oprah's self reflection and words of wisdom hearken back to her days as the youngest and the first black news anchor at Nashville's WLAC-TV, a moment she says would forever change the trajectory of her life, and one that she struggles to not be overshadowed by her relationship with a boyfriend named Bubba.
"Even then you understood that success was a process and that moving with the flow of life and not against it would be your greatest achievement," she says.
The musings are published alongside those of 17 other famous figures, including actress Octavia Spencer, who writes:
As you make your way along life's tumultuous highways, it's important to note that you should always carry a map, have plenty of fuel in the tank, and take frequent rest stops.
O, The Oprah Magazine's May 2012 issue hits newsstands on April 10.