Letter to my 17-year-old self.

Sup Chazmen,

Life’s been rough since day one but at age 17, you start to see a silver lining. That’s not it though. You learn that the silver lining doesn’t exist. Well, at least not in your world. There is no escaping the darkness. Yet in those solemn times, you’ve always remained optimistic. Never lose that. That six figure silver lining doesn’t pan out. Yet, you do find your way out of Florida. It won’t be to an Ivy League school up North but niglet you do make it out of Hell.

You’ll learn to surprise yourself. By stepping out of your comfort zone and expressing yourself the way you see fit. You’ll find your voice to speak up about your troubles. You’ll learn to be vulnerable.

You’ll eventually learn to embrace your blackness.

You won’t always be called an Oreo.

You won’t always be the only black gay male in the room.

You won’t always feel alone.

My God, you’ll disappoint yourself over and over again. You’ll be disappointed in others. Cry & move on.

You’ll continue to live life backstage in Florida. But remember, a stage is a stage and you can shine from anywhere. Your moment will come.

Also, magic IS real, not like the Harry Potter stuff. You create magic every time you smile. Never stop smiling. It’ll continue to bring you justice in complicated situation. So, smile on!

There’s magic in your creativity. Trust yourself and the abilities you have earned. Use them wisely. To create art, community and self love.

Call Granny more.

Never stop dreaming. Those dreams becomes foundations for artwork. Pain is an emotion meant to be felt and expressed. You’ll learn to express your pain. You’ll learn to share it with the world. They’ll even understand. There is power in being vulnerable.

So keep smiling. Keep dreaming. And be patient.

Your time to take center stage will come.

-Big Chaz

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2 comments

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