Letter # 8
A letter to my 10-year old self (click above for audio version)
Dear Black boy dreaming,
I know that you feel the love of the Black women close to you. They pour it into you daily. Be present with it. Cherish it. Embrace it. Sit with it. And Don’t take it for granted, Be grateful for it. You may not be aware of it yet, but right now you are learning what it means to love unconditionally. You are bearing witness to lessons on radical love. And these lessons will serve you well in the years to come. What I want to encourage you to do at this time, though it may prove difficult, is to remain fully present. This will challenge you because You’re a dreamer. Dreaming is very much a part of who you are. But don’t get so lost in your dreams that you miss out on the wonderful things and people surrounding you, holding you up and giving you life. For example, that love I spoke about earlier. That unconditional love. There will come times when you won’t feel it and it is in those moments it will be of extreme importance that you remember what now feels like. Those feelings will get you through moments that seem loveless. And so I repeat: stay present. You get so anxious sometimes. You start imagining all the things you want. All the things you will do. And You start running. And sometimes you leave behind those to whom you owe so much. Those who give you life. And if you venture too far from them, you will feel death. So, Calm down. The things that are for you will wait for you. And they will reveal themselves to you when you are ready.
Be kind to your sister. You won’t always have her. Losing her will hurt. But knowing that you once had her and felt her love will be all that you need to lead a life filled with joy, peace, and happiness. And of course, love. The same love you feel now when you are with her playing video games, watching wrestling, swimming, inventing recipes in the kitchen, and playing school. Don’t forget what that feels like. It will be a struggle but you will eventually learn how to not obsess over the future so much to where you leave those in the present, forcing them to become just things of the past.
Keep writing. Keep documenting. And make sure you don’t get separated from your writing, your photos, and your videos, especially those with your sister. You will want to share these things with her daughter, who will only get to know her mother through the stories you tell her. Those stories will be her connection to her mother and yours to your sister. And that connection will be immortal. It will not die as long as stories, memories of her, remain in the hearts and minds of someone. Hold those memories dear.
And lastly, I want you to meditate on the notion that you are enough. You Existing in your current state is enough. You do not have to do anything to be worthy. As surely as blood runs through your veins, you are worthy. As surely as you wake up each day, you are worthy. Worthy of joy. Worthy of peace and happiness. Worthy of breathing. Worthy of love. And Worthy of all the most beautiful things life has to offer. Wait for them, they will come. In fact, you already have them. Stop. Open your eyes. And feel what it’s like to just.be.with.them.