Letter's Week: Dear Young P by Anthony Peterson

Dear Young P...

Hey what's going on chief? Congrats are in order as you have just graduated from college. Can't believe we pulled that off! Oh you looking crazy cuz I said "we". Well "we" is correct, as I am you in 2017. While we bask in the glory of your accomplishment in 2005, I need to sit you down and talk to you about life and what you can do to prepare for it. 

You just getting out of College and have no idea that the real world does not care about any of that. Yeah you finished college after being kicked out a year, but guess who cares now? Nobody. You realize quickly the transition from "broke college student" to "broke ass dude trying to find a job" is different and unforgiving" Get out there and grind harder for a good job out of college better than I did. Even though you enjoyed the high school work environment at the county where the old ladies take care of you, you gotta want more. Be more proactive in your career. Network harder. Take work seriously, like get to work on time ready to work and not drink pepsi and read a newspaper until 9 when work starts at 830. We need this paper sooner than later cuz these dates ain't cheap. 

Dates you say? Oh yes my dude, we are gonna be dating. A lot. You went thru college as the dude who had jokes but secretly was a nervous wreck around the real cute women he liked (apologies and thanks to the not so cute women...you ensured that I DID enjoy college tho lol). You out of school and back in the city now, but you still not as confident as you should be. Let me tell you something: some of these women think yo funny looking ass is cute. Even more, realize that you a dope ass dude, no matter what background you think you come from. Many more women want to go to Applebee's with you than you realize. Don't you ever doubt that you are the man in your own world. And stop friendzoning yourself with these chicks damn! 

Oh one more thing about the ladies: Grow. A. Beard. Asap. 

Of course with the good comes the bad. This letter isn't written to change the course of history so you can avoid it, but to let you know it's coming and how to deal with it better than I did. 

There's nothing I can tell you to prepare for July 8, 2007. 

You suddenly lose your mother. The one who gave you life. You're gonna be shook to the core. You'll cry a couple times sure, but you tell yourself as the oldest and the man now, you need to hurry up and keep it moving, because "life don't stop and bills gotta be paid". But deep inside you are hurting. You are the first one of your friends to lose their parent. You don't know who to turn to. So you turn to no one. But you don't know quite how it affects you until....

June 3, 2011

You never thought you would feel worse than the day you lose your mother. Until the day you lose your child. 35 weeks. You were almost there. Named her Ava Joy. Baby shower planned. And just like that after you park your car at the hospital, she's gone. You're hurting but you don't know how to grieve. You secretly blame everything on yourself. You try the keep it moving tactic but it definitely doesn't seem genuine. You get into a funk because you see her mom laying in the hospital hurting and you're trying to be strong for her, but who is being strong for you? Don't be like me young P. Reach out and lean on friends and family even more. Don't let it fester inside you where it affects some of the most important relationships down the line in your life.  

With that being said, despite those tragedies, you still gonna do dope shit. You gonna start this BBQ originally because you had leftover money on your link card and your friend parents went out of town with 15 ppl. Let's just say this BBQ turns into such a big event that ppl lose they mind the one year you can't throw it (ungrateful bastards). You go from "Ant p" to "ANT P". You talk so much shit and people enjoy your point of view so much, you start doing a "podcast thing" with your boys that gets more recognition than you can even imagine. You go out and buy all the Jordan's your negro heart desires. You enjoy flaming hots with cheese and meat and peppers to your hearts content. 

Oh and how can I forget, you become a father, the dopest shit of all. It doesn't erase all your pain, but it creates a new found joy that you never even imagine. You're gonna love being a father. 

Other little tidbits you need to know:

Just cuz you think the world of Fantasia doesn't mean the rest of the world does. They late. They won't think she cute for another 10 years. 

You won't have all the same friends you have now. Some of this will hurt more than a breakup. You will survive. 

Social media is gonna be huge. Which means people will be tough behind a computer screen or a phone. They will try you. And you will put them in they place every time. They should try Jesus and not you. 

Bros before hoes is an old wives tale that you will see for yourself is not true all the time lol. 

Cash money records is still taking over for the 99 and the 2000 and Knuck if you buck will have risen to cultural iconic status. Your ratchet soul overfloweth with joy. 

And lastly...your idea of love and how it should look will change over time. The idea you have now is not wrong, it will just evolve into something more fulfilling that suits you. Don't let no one discourage you and tell you different. But also be thankful for those who were with you on that journey to discover this. 

Aight man I've talked too much. Go out and do your thing. And by do your thing I mean please find the condom aisle in each store you go in young P lol. 

*in memory of my angel Ava Joy*