Dear 10-year-old me,
Life sure is good.
Remember when all you wanted to do was play sports and go pro? Yeah, that didn’t happen and you never got close in basketball or football. What you did do was something far more spectacular than you could have ever imagined.
So, you’re probably wondering who this letter is from exactly. I am you only older and that thing you couldn’t wait to be when you were at the age you are currently at, an adult.
Before I start, I want you to grab a dictionary in case there are some words you don’t understand. This is simply a recap for me, but motivation for you. The choice is yours on whether you are willing to believe this and strive for greatness.
Let’s start with the big situation coming up for you which is middle school.
Middle school was not that bad. Ironically, it felt like elementary school only all of your friends were older. Some of them you got more acquainted with while others began to become a distant memory. You ended up getting a girlfriend and even your first kiss during those middle school years. Of course, you had your first “heartbreak” too, but you got over it.
High school snuck up on you by surprise as you ended up at Lawndale High. How could a place with so many memories on the football field in Pop Warner feel so brand new? Why didn’t you play football there as a freshman? Oh well. You knew a few people from those football days, but not enough that made you feel comfy in the new environment.
Want to know something funny, but embarrassing? On your first day of school, you were feeling yourself walking with your hands in your pocket at lunch until you tripped over your own shoe strings. Don’t worry you survived it without anyone noticing. I think.
Lawndale was fine and you made some friends, but it never felt like the right place. Luckily, mom moved you to another school with your favorite cousin.
Santa Monica High was nothing like Lawndale. It was more diverse, bigger, and a bit more intimidating. You could have hung with your cousin every day, but you had to carve out an identity of your own and not be reliant upon him. You did so badly, academically, at Lawndale that you had to do summer school for two years just to catch up to your class of 2012.
Samohi taught you a lot about yourself and growing comfortable in your own skin. You played football there and even though you weren’t the most talented you worked hard just like you did in the classroom. Oh, those braids that you had and hated got cut off in high school as well. It felt great to lose them.
Of course, you went to prom and graduated as well.
College? You never saw yourself going there honestly.
You kept that passion for sports after playing in high school. You even tried to play at that junior college, El Camino, you used to ignore whenever mom drove down Crenshaw. You soon realized those were some big guys, but that didn’t scare you. No, what scared you even more was wasting your time on a dream with no real tangible results in the end.
Without sports there was not much you ever envisioned yourself doing. However, a trip to the Career Center got you headed in the right direction.
Nursing? No. Music? No. General Studies? No. Communication Studies? That’s interesting. Psychology? Why not? Sociology? Ok. Journalism? Hm.
Those were just a few majors that you noticed while in the ever-so-packed Career Center at El Camino. Now, you were interested in learning about the way people interact with Coms. On the other hand, learning about why people do what they do intrigued you with Psych and Soc. Lastly, writing about sports was something that sounded fun as well. Journalism was interesting, but you wanted more options career wise.
Your first semester at ECC you took four classes: Spanish, Soc 101, Psych 101, and Coms 101. You saw your mom go back to school while you were finishing high school and get her Associate’s so that impacted you in more ways than you realized.
Spanish was a breeze. Soc 101 made you realize you did not want to follow through with that as a major because becoming a social worker was not what you saw yourself doing. Psych 101 was hard so you could only imagine how hard it would have been to finish out that major. However, Coms 101 was fun. It was fresh and it was new. You saw that as a ticket to staying in the sports world or branching off to do new things in life.
Not long after starting school you began to tap into an unknown skill. You began to blog on sports matters that intrigued you and you were a natural. With becoming a declared Communication Studies major and tapping into your writing skills, you knew what you wanted to do as a career. You wanted to become a Sports Broadcaster or pursue a career as a Sports Journalist.
You breezed your way through El Camino in a year and some change with no problem. You skipped graduation because it was just a junior college and you had bigger fish to fry. You ended up not getting into the schools of your choice and money was a problem.
As a result, you ended up working at Target for a year and a half before realizing you were wasting time as well as your potential. Oh, by the way, you joined a website that gave you an opportunity to grow as a writer and you were even sent to Super Bowl 51 with an old friend from Lawndale who you got close with after high school.
During Super Bowl week, you met Charles Tillman, future pros Patrick Mahomes, Leonard Fournette, and Myles Garrett, Chris Harris Jr., and your childhood favorite LaDainian Tomlinson. Yes, you met one of the greatest running backs to ever grace the NFL. The best part is you got to watch the Super Bowl live FOR FREE. You even watched it go into overtime for the first time ever and ended up right next to the towering presence of Shaquille O’Neal.
Breathe little me breathe. I know that’s pretty exciting.
You ended up starting your own website called Unfiltered Access with a new buddy you met at the Super Bowl along with an old friend. More importantly, you got back into school at CSUN.
CSUN isn’t what you thought life would be like when you made it to college. It’s a state-level school and you felt like no one in there right mind would hire someone that graduates from the school. You gave it a try anyway.
You started your junior year and the only thing on your mind was to get an internship in the sports world. That didn’t go as planned as you would struggle for the better part of a year to find an internship. Many times you wondered if you had picked the right major, if your resume sucked, or if there were truly more qualified candidates out there than yourself.
Slowly, but surely senior year rolled around and you began to doubt yourself even more. Trips to the Career Center at CSUN to fix your resume and getting advice on how to land an internship became more frequent. To no avail, you still struggled to find something until you realized there was an alumni system you could tap into with former Matadors in all walks of life.
You reached out to a bunch of former alumni, but only one person responded. It was a guy from FOX Sports that seemed more than willing to talk to you. You guys chatted for a few days and he even sent you a link to an application for an internship in San Diego.
San Diego was far and away from home, but you knew you had an aunt and uncle you could potentially stay with. So, you applied.
A week or two went by and you had completely forgotten about applying, but that same guy from FOX emailed you inquiring about when you could come to the office in San Diego to get interviewed. Without hesitation, you confirmed that you could go on a Friday and went down to San Diego.
You know how you get nervous when something big and exciting is about to happen? Well, you felt that way when you got to the FOX Sports San Diego office. You got there an hour early because that’s what you do when you’re an adult. You go above and beyond expectations.
While waiting patiently, you rehearsed all the generic interview questions in your head with responses that were fitting. Surprisingly, you got the chance to be interviewed earlier than expected only it was not the conventional way of doing an interview. No, instead he just told you about the job and what was expected.
Now, the same way you are breathing with excitement is the way I felt as he told me about the job only I had to calm down and not get ahead of myself. Finally, the formal stuff was over, but you didn’t get to leave just yet. He would show you around the studio and office so you could “get a feel” for things. In the end, he said he would contact you in a week with other candidates that needed to be interviewed.
And the waiting game began.
The following Friday was the worst. Why? Well, it’s because you waited patiently for a phone call or email saying you did or didn’t get it.
You got it!
What happened next? Ah, you had to do a bunch of adult paperwork. I know being an adult can be hard sometimes, but its also fun.
You ended up going to San Diego and had a good time with your aunt and uncle as well as the people at FOX Sports. They treated you like family and loaded you with a bunch of advice while building meaningful relationships.
This all happened less than a few weeks ago.
Oh, you are probably wondering what I am up to now. Well, I am finishing my final semester in college. College really isn’t that hard as, just like life, its only as hard as you make it. In addition, you just landed your second internship with a big sports show in all of the world called Undisputed with Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe. You probably don’t know who those guys are, but you can use Google.
How can you get to where I am now? That’s the question you are beginning to ponder.
Just be yourself and don’t try to be like anyone else. Your passion for sports from video games to reading sports articles to watching live sports to actually playing is more than ironic. Its something that is your calling card in life.
You really are not that bad at school either. In all honesty, the grade school system is one that just did not work for you. In college, school became a lot easier because you didn’t have to go everyday and take classes that might have been absolutely meaningless to you. Science and math might have been fun for some people, but to you it was a road block in life. And there is hardly any homework!
A few more things worth telling you.
You are at your absolute best when you do not second-guess yourself. You have a tendency to waiver at times, but when you hardly think about a task or something in life you end up surprising yourself.
You are a natural born leader. You have a way with words and can assess a situation with ease when you really focus.
Last and most importantly, you are a genius. You are like Albert Einstein. No you aren’t the smartest man in the world, but you are very much similar to him. You are really intelligent and create your best work when you are left alone. A lot of your great accomplishments will come from being alone and to yourself.
The downside to being a genius is that you can have a tendency to leave others in the dust. Sometimes those other people are your friends and family. I know that is surprising considering how happy, innocent, and talkative you are now at age 10.
The fact of the matter is you don’t do this on purpose. It kind of just happens. Its not a bad thing or something that shouldn’t happen. Just be aware of it. It happens because there is greatness brewing inside of you and it is necessary if you want to get where you want to go in life. They may not understand or like it, but there will always be time to fix anything that goes wrong.
I wish I could continue to write more, but I’m afraid I have some living to do so that I can check in with you in another 10 years. Continue being happy, innocent, and talkative and don’t be in a hurry to grow up.
Oh, a few more things little me.
Hovercrafts and hoverboards still don’t exist. Starbursts are still shaped as squares rather than stars. That still frustrates you. Lastly, your teeth are a lot straighter than they currently are. Ask mom about braces.
Alright, I have to go now.
The older, more adult version of you