Iona’s booth at the 2019 Capital Pride Festival on June 9th was a big hit thanks to all the people who visited us! Pennsylvania Avenue of DC was full of people singing, dancing, connecting, and most importantly just being themselves. A safe space for all, this year’s Pride Festival was once again a day of rainbow colors, music, and fun. Iona’s booth, which Iona hosts annually at the festival, quickly became full, and remained full with visitors drawn in by our most popular activity.
They were asked in the form of a writing prompt: “What advice would you give to your younger self?” Although many older adults participated in the activity, it was surprising to see how many teenagers participated–giving advice to their even younger selves. There was even a heartwarming moment between a mother and daughter when they read each other’s cards, which resulted in tears and embrace.
In the end, our booth echoed with the wisdom from the notes that were hung for others to see.
Of the 360+ notes we received, we began to see themes. Commonalities among the language seemed to center around ‘self’ (i.e., learning about self, and both getting comfortable with and remaining true to self).
Here are some of the comments that stood out, as well as some staff favorites.
- Stay true to yourself
- Believe in yourself
- You will be ok
- Surround yourself with positive individuals
- You are accepted
- Live, love, and laugh often
- Listen to your kids with an open heart, and an open mind
- You’re supported
- Be fearless
Of all the advice given from visitors, it’s clear that everyone’s personal journeys of self-awareness and self-acceptance both start and end with themselves!
Take a look at the pictures and comment below what your favorite or most inspiring advice is. Or you can share with us advice you’d give to your younger self.