"If it wasn’t for him, I would still be looking at everything the way I used to."

I am Dre.

12.08.2014

Hey whats up? I got your 2nd letter today. I’m kinda confused, I don’t remember which letter your responding to, but its all good.

Don’t worry about your basketball skills. I’ll get you right. I can’t teach you all my moves though. I can’t have you using my moves against me. Lol.

I THINK YOU WERE 100% RIGHT WHEN YOU SAID THAT PEOPLE MAY THINK, “IF THIS IS ALL I SEE, WHAT MAKES ME ANY DIFFERENT.” SO MANY PEOPLE THINK LIKE THAT. I’VE SEEN IT PERSONALLY. BUT I ALSO SEE A LOT OF OTHERS WHO PUT THESE THOUGHTS IN THEIR HEADS. I’VE SEEN PEOPLE TRYING TO BE DIFFERENT AND SEPARATE THEIR SELF, AND OTHER PEOPLE WOULD PULL THEM BACK IN BY DISCOURAGING THEM, AND TELLING THEM EXACTLY WHAT YOU SAID, “WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOUR ANY DIFFERENT.”

Kids & older people, for some reason feel like they have to compare their self to people outside their neighborhood or on T.V. that are more fortunate than they are and they feel like they aren’t good enough. They feel like they have to talk a certain way or look a certain way to be “good enough.” I also think people in the minority community and the neighborhood I came from choose to stay in their neighborhood because they think they wont be viewed as “good enough” or fit in with the people who are more fortunate. I don’t know why but that’s what I’ve seen. So its not always that people can’t make it out, its because they choose to stay because they feel like its where they belong. But I’m the opposite, I feel like me & mine can go where ever we want. I always tell people that the world is bigger than the town or city that you grow up in. Know what I mean?

I THINK IT WOULD REALLY HELP IF I WERE TO GET OUT AND ACTUALLY BE ABLE TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE: BY GOING TO COLLEGE, STARTING A CAREER & BEING A MENTOR TO YOUNGER KIDS. ALL IT TAKES IS FOR SOMEONE TO INSPIRE THEM, THATs IT.  LIKE D-ROSE INSPIRED ME. IF IT WASN’T FOR HIM, I WOULD STILL BE LOOKING AT EVERYTHING THE WAY I USED TO. STILL LOOKING AT THE WRONG PEOPLE AS MY IDOL. AND EVEN THOUGH I CAN’T GO TO THE NBA, IT OPENED MY EYES TO SO MANY OTHER THINGS AND IM LEARNING A LOT OF NEW THINGS ABOUT MYSELF AND WHO I AM AND WHAT I LIKE.

I know Im like you; I love people. I love meeting people and I love being able to create bonds & connect with all kinds of people. But the only problem I have is that Im really shy. Like real shy, and that makes it hard to interact sometimes. I know it doesn’t seem like it in my letters, but I think that’s because I really don’t speak much & Im always thinking. Writing is really easy for me, and things I say in my letter, I would probably be to shy to say them in person. But I love interacting with people & building friendships. I wasn’t like that much when I was out because of the people that I was dealing with, but I had friends that I could be myself around in school, but eventually I changed so much because of the streets, that I didn’t see those friends at all anymore. And its even harder in here because of the people that Im dealing with.

I think the idea of being a doctor, lawyer, a CEO or an Entrepreneur is exciting. Being a politician, not so much though. Lol. I think so many of them are just as bad as anyone else that our society in America calls “thugs” or “criminals.” I think that having mentors that are successful that could guide the younger kids/teenagers could be something special for them, and really help.

I had a girl in my neighborhood tell me that she was gonna be a doctor, and meant every word of it. That was the first time I heard that from anyone in my neighborhood. She told me this when I was 14. She was 15. I ended up getting locked up and she ended up getting a scholarship to go to school in New Orleans, and she went down there to start her freshman year, but found out that she was pregnant & ended up leaving school and coming back home. Now I think shes pregnant again & isn’t doing much. I kept telling her that a baby doesn’t mean that she has to drop out. But nobody listens to me. Lol.

I haven’t heard from her in almost 2 years. We were really close. But I’ve lost everyone that I was close to, besides my mom & sister & one other person. Everyone that I was close to disappeared. Some stayed longer than others, and some never was here at all. Everyone stopped returning my letters, and they stopped picking up my calls. Sometimes they write & tell me that they’re having some type of problem & ask for advice, but when I respond, they never write back. And some people write me just to go on facebook and say that they got a letter from me, because they think they could get attention from it, because they see a lot of people talking about me online.  But once that goes away, they do too. So now I just stop responding to them.

I said my family was “playing games” because I didn’t hear from them for 2 months. No mail & no money on the phone. I was in my feelings & I didn’t appreciate it that much. Lol. So I wrote a brief letter that I probably shouldn’t have. I have to stop doing that. But we’re all good now. I spoke to them last week. They’re barely making it. I spoke to my little sister. Her name is [name removed]. Did I ever tell you that? Well we spoke and she asked when I was coming home, and all I could say was that I’ll be home soon, even though I don’t know for sure. She was so happy, she started yelling & screaming, it’s hard man. That’s my heart right there. She’s turning 5 this month, and my older sis will be 23.

YOU ASKED WHAT I WOULD SAY TO GUY/GIRLS IN MY SITUATION THAT DON’T KNOW IF THEY SHOULD JOIN & PARTICIPATE IN ‘THE ONE.’ THE FIRST THING I WOULD SAY, IS THAT THEY SHOULD GIVE YOU & ‘THE ONE’ A CHANCE. I WOULD TELL THEM THAT AT FIRST I DIDN’T TRUST YOU AND I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW IF THIS PROJECT WAS LEGIT, BUT I GAVE YOU A CHANCE AND I’M GLAD THAT I DID. I WOULD ALSO TELL THEM THAT ITS IMPORTANT FOR OUR VOICES AND OUR STORIES TO BE HEARD, NOT ONLY FOR US, BUT FOR THE YOUNG KIDS OUT THERE WHO LOOKED UP TO A LOT OF US. I WOULD TELL THEM THAT BEING APART OF “THE ONE” GIVES US A CHANCE TO BE APART OF SOMETHING SPECIAL AND WE COULD HELP MAKE A DIFFERENCE. I WOULD ALSO TELL THEM TO NOT BE SCARED TO SHARE THEIR STORY WITH YOU. I’LL TELL THEM THAT YOU’RE AN AMAZING PERSON & WHAT YOUR DOING IS SPECIAL. TO GIVE YOU A CHANCE TO KNOW THEM & VISE VERSA. THAT’S WHAT I WOULD TELL OTHER YOUNG PEOPLE LIKE ME.

I’m glad your feeling better though. I know it gets really cold in Canada. I hate being sick. But Im glad your all good. And I hope you enjoy the holidays. I look forward to your next letter.

Take care,

Until next time.

Dre.