I was 8 years old when I realized my imaginary friend was my real life writing utensil. Sitting on the porch, waiting for my sister to get home from school because her bus was running late, I opened my little green bible and flipped to the blank pages. After rummaging around my grey Jansport book bag, I found a #2 pencil and wrote the first thing that came to mind. Oddly enough, it came from the depths of my heart.
It was a poem to my dad. Subconciously I missed him dearly which was only worsened by the curiosity of what he must be like. From that point on, I didn't have to hold in dismiss my feelings. I could always be 100% honest with my friend, which was whatever vessel convenient enough to carry my thoughts to paper. I didn't have to be strong, or masculine, or the most intelligent, or fair, or logical, or politically correct. I needed no rules nor accepted any restraints. Writing was the idea of freedom perfected.
15 years later, I accepted a big fancy job in corporate America. I'd since distant from my imaginary friend of my childhood but not so far that the two of us were complete strangers. Now, without the ongoing buzz of college campus life, parties, and other social investments, I found myself reaching out to my estranged friend. Just to stay busy. Nothing serious, so I thought.
Now, in a different space, I decided to take my friend in public. Social media made the transition smooth and the response was phenomenal. Emails about the way my thoughts were impacting lives, massive amounts of attention, and even "fans" began to come my way. I didn't know how serious it was until CNN contacted me for a live interview on my thoughts about recent happenings in the black community dealing with police brutality.
Although I'd long since taken my gift seriously before this interview, this was a turning point that not only did my gift matter, my gift could potentially change the world. Whether in dealings with relationships, pop culture, or even against social injustice. From that point on, I've been determined to realize the full potential of my gift. With blogs, poems, spoken word, fiction novels, self help books, etc. Whatever it takes to get my message out and allow it to be heard, felt, and internalized by the masses, I will do.