Dear Daniel aka Dee3,
There’s always going be that stigma, especially with people with “locs”. The perceptions people attribute with that hairstyle come with it; a ruffian, marijuana affiliated, violent, promiscuous, and so on. So I’ve always known what this hairstyle meant to outsiders. However, for those who also had dreadlocks, we knew what it truly symbolised.
Despite this, my advice to you my younger self is to dress how you want to be addressed. There’s no getting away from ill-conceived perceptions and judgements, I wasn’t afforded the luxury of walking into a room and being accepted. Not until they spoke to me, they would find out that I wasn’t a criminal, or a brute. Don’t fault those who have you wrong, judgement is a human trait. We all fall short as humans, but let your personality wash away the negative connotations.
Young man, looks are not the be-all-end-all. One thing I’ve come to understand: moral, respect, patience and tolerance are so greatly important in life, not just in relationships. However, if you find these traits in a woman you’ll be fine. Along the way, you’ll meet women that don’t always have these traits, but with each connection you make you’ll take away from it experience and wisdom.
Especially at your age now, the exterior look of a woman is what is attracting you, but you’ll soon know that it is the personality that will set your soul alight. So the sooner you awaken from your superficial reverie, the better. During your search of female companion, I leave with you this, “never sacrifice your morals for anyone”. You were brought up well; so don’t shed away your teachings for the sake to please someone else.
You’ll grow up to have your first son, sooner than you’d think, and it’ll change your life dramatically. Life never goes according to plan, but its how you adapt. You’ll have to wise up, fast, as you can no longer think selfishly. Since the birth of your son, every decision herein will be thought of with him at the forefront. You like those trainers? Forget about it, your son needs nappies. Do you want to dine at the finest restaurants? Haha, your son needs baby formula. Your son has been a blessing in more ways than you could imagine. At the time you read this letter, your son will be 9 months old. 9 months old, and he doesn’t even know that he is inspiring me to achieve my dreams and aspirations even more. He’s my beacon of light.
Speaking of dreams, you’re going to attract a lot of naysayers, but those people won’t see the intricacies of your dream, the way you do. They won’t have the privilege to dissect and inspect the dream you have every night the way you do. It’s not going to be smooth sailing all the time. There will be rough times ahead, but in those moments of adversity is where you grind most. The most important work comes from those rough times. I’ve always had this theory, “Even if someone seems crazy about what they’re talking about, always listen to them, because at least 5% will be true.
Finally, there comes a time in life when you know “enough is enough”, and I experienced this when my days of playing American football came to an end. At the age you are now you’ll have this burning passion for the sport, in which you’ll learn so many indelible life lessons about. But when you’ll get to the age I am now, you’ll understand why I had to walk away. It’s a sport that drains you mentally, physically and emotionally. It’s one of the biggest achievements for me. Nothing is done in this world alone, and in American football, I learned this to be true.
You are not alone younger me, you have an amazing family, a beautiful son, and loved ones that’ll provide you the steady foundation to succeed.
The older you
Contributed by Daniel Gyimah