“If I’m in a room full of 5 people and we all rap, you’re gonna say that I’m the best.”
I felt bad because inside I was thinking that a teenager from suburbia had zero chance of becoming a rapper. My face basically told my little brother that his dream was impossible.
“Didn’t you say that nothing is impossible?”
I did say that because I really believe it. I’ve met people that came from nothing to become everything. You see how dedicated people can work to achieve what others say is “impossible”.
I thought about his dedication and then reflected upon mine at his age. I became a bit guilty because who was I to tell him that he couldn’t become what he wanted to, I was like those people that told me that I couldn’t do something, except I listened to the naysayers and suffered the consequences of broken dreams.
I wish I had his amount of confidence and belief in myself when I was his age. I was talented at a lot of things, but the lack of self esteem and encouragement left me indifferent to developing any of them. Teachers would comment on my "wasted potential".
Why? Because I became dedicated to the wrong causes. I went from athletics and education to trying to achieve attention in other unhealthy ways since my dreams were unattainable. In hindsight, I wish I never listened to the negativity, but sometimes you have to take the long way home.
I struggled to gain meaning in difficult endeavors, so I went elsewhere and found it. Probably something a teenage shouldn’t be on a journey to find alone.
But sometimes it takes being dedicated to the wrong cause to figure out what the right one is for us. I’ve recently met recovering addicts that have dedicated themselves to helping younger recovering addicts to ensure that they don’t face and succumb to the same pitfalls as they once did.
I know the wrong roads to take when you're trying to find your way in life. It's my turn to dedicate myself to giving younger people direction so that their journey is easier than mine.
I don’t want my brother to give up on his dreams, it would be doing a disservice to not support his cause and to the teenager who needed someone to encourage him to follow his dreams.