Over the last two years, completing my autobiography remained an unfinished goal. Thankfully, 2014 intensified my motivation to finish this project and I am happy to announce that my first book, “The Coronation,” will be released in 2016! I chose to write this book because after years of sharing my story, I realized how important it is for people to have hope. I began writing this book to inspire people to be strong minded, to not allow their current circumstances define their future potential. This week, I decided to share something intimate with my readers. What lies below is an excerpt of a story that is ultimately one of perseverance and hope; it’s a snippet of my story…Enjoy!
I was 10 years old when my brother was born. I still remember that night like it was yesterday. My father was passed out on the couch in the front room of our shotgun house; his routine spot after a night of drinking and smoking. My mother came out of the bathroom in the middle of the night saying that her water broke and that it was time for the baby to come. My dad woke up and alarmed with the news, jumped up only to trip and fall over the living room table. They both seemed flustered and slightly panicked, and as usual, I felt like the adult.
We made it to the hospital and my mother was screaming at the top of her lungs for her mother. I was so confused because her mother was no longer living. I thought that either having babies hurts so bad that you forget people are dead or she’s super high and has no idea what’s going on. Confused, and deep in thought as I often was during my youth, I sat there waiting to see him. I was anxious to see my baby brother, but more than anything, I hoped that he was normal. I hoped that their decision to use drugs hadn’t affected him physically or mentally. Luckily he was fine, a normal baby, but boy could he cry! I missed my first day of school that day; I didn’t want to leave him alone with anyone, including my parents. He was, as I often treated him, my real-life baby doll.
I used to sit at home thinking about the situation that I was in. I sometimes wondered how I could be so angry and upset about what was going on. After all, I at least had both of my parents in my life. Who cares that they were functional addicts? Some of my classmates only had one parent. I should feel lucky right?
I went to the best schools in Louisville, which allowed me to rub elbows with some of the most influential and financially stable people in the city. This allowed me to see that not everyone lived the way I did. Although this realization made me uncomfortable and embarrassed, it also showed me that there was more to life. I wanted more. I never wanted my children to go through any of what I had been through. I didn’t want my children to feel about me the way I felt about my parents at that time. More than anything, I worried about my little brother’s future. I knew that I would be OK, but I didn’t want him to grow up without a significant role model. At that moment, at 11 years old, I made it my mission to be successful at everything I did, to follow my dreams and to show him that you can be anything you want to be if you just try. In my mind, you could become more than your circumstances and where you came from … in my eyes you could change your stars. During these years, I did a good job of hiding where I was from and what I was going through. I was able to put on a smile and act like the model student and athlete. I needed to play those roles so that I could get what I needed. I never felt like I needed to be rich. I never had the desire to really be famous. I just wanted to be comfortable. I wanted to be able to smile. I wanted to give my brother something better than what we were given. I wanted for us to have HOPE! I knew that most of the guys in our neighborhood were drawn into the fast life of selling drugs, gangs and drinking and smoking their lives away. I didn’t want that life for him. Soon after I realized that, he became my motivation to get out.