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If I could only go back...

The other day I got a message from a woman that I spent many years in a toxic relationship with. It was a random picture of me from 2000 when I was in Logan Correctional Center. It stopped me in my tracks: I felt as if I was looking at a stranger. There was no sense of nostalgia, no moment of fondness. I stared at this picture and I wanted to cry. Who was that kid, and why the fuck was he so broken?

I sent this picture to a friend of mine and she asked me if I could write a letter to him. What would I say? We talked about how that would make a great blog post. I was all ready to start writing and assured her that I would be getting on it the next day. Well, that was not the case; when the time came to write that letter, I didn't have any idea where to begin. I was talking to a stranger, and I wasn't exactly sure how I felt about that. So time was needed because even though this letter wasn't ever going to be sent, the boy in the picture would be reading it. Even though he is a stranger to me, he is a huge part of my story.

What's up, King? There is so much that I want to say to you, however, I know you don't want to hear shit, so what options do you leave me? I know I can't save you, at least not now; however, what I can do is tell you it's not your fault. Now don't get me wrong, you are exactly where you put yourself. That part is all you lil homie! But you ain't no dummy, you never have been. You are an arrogant asshole and you hurt a lot of people. That you also know. But what I know you don't know is that it's okay not to be. Everything you believe, everything that you think you know, will betray you. Those "Brothers"? Not all of them even know what the fuck that even means. There's a reason why you always end up alone; you know you can't trust these fools. You will have to learn that part on your own.

I can tell you that you remain kind, only now you allow yourself to show it. You have a huge heart under all that you have built to protect it. You get clean!! Stop laughing fucker, I'm serious; this Christmas you just celebrated 4 and 1/2 years. Life is real man, it is going to take you to the brink of death. You lose everything that ever made sense to you. I know that sounds terrible bro, but freedom isn't making parole, it's real, man, and you find it. There's so much more I can tell you; however, we both know yo ass is going to do what you want because that is exactly the path HP (higher power) sent you on. You need these lessons, the rock bottoms, all the hurt. You must embrace all that shit, and love it because it's what frees you in the end. You are a WARRIOR, you just have no idea what that means yet. See you soon!

I am not about to deter him from his journey; there is a reason he walked out of hell and took back his life. There is a reason that boy has now become a man and walks a life of integrity. That reason is Mi Corazon (my heart) and Mi Vida (my life) and all the things that have given me the tools to give back. Today that boy makes a difference in the lives of others. Today, that boy is a man and his name is GUERRERO!

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