I have a confession to make (to myself).
Dear Self: I used to not believe in you. I wanted to. I did not even realize my own lack of belief. I thought I believed.
But now I look back and realize, I sold you way too short back then.
Back then? When? Well, most of your life.
Now, I analyze everything you’ve ever been. I see the perfection and strength that’s been inherent in you all along.
The reason I did not believe in you before is pretty ridiculous. The reason was, that the people in the world around you didn’t see how amazing you were. Some of them did, but mostly, the world around you ignored your ambitions. They didn’t buy your records, or even listen to them for free. They didn’t see the potential in your writing, or at least very few did. Maybe more did too, but they didn’t say anything.
The world didn’t celebrate you the way you deserved. The world didn’t see you for the incredible bad ass that you were. People got hung up on what they didn’t agree with about you, and focused on those things. The drugs, the stigma, the lack of money, the shifty employment history.
We took a lot of their criticisms to heart, didn’t we? Even more than that, we took their indifference to heart. We took their selfishness as a personal attack. We took their inability to see us for what we were as a degradation of our confidence and capacity.
We just wanted people to like us.
But we didn’t want to be fake to make that happen.
And that’s the best part of this, Andrew L. Hicks: Your refusal to be fake and your commitment to openness and authenticity makes you a legend to me.
And now, I realize what I wish I’d known all along: You have every right to be confident. You have every right to love yourself. You have every right to be proud of who you are and what you have accomplished. Be proud of standing your ground when no one else believed in you. Be proud of how tough and resilient you are.
The era of you folding to the opinions others have about you is history.
You know who you are and what you’re capable of. And that’s why nothing can stop you.
I fucking love you, Drew. And I will never cut you off from my love and faith again. Everything you have ever hurt for now comprises the fortitude of your soul. You are protected, looked out for, and adored. I’ve got your back, and so do many others. So does everyone (even the ones who don’t know it yet).
Also published on Medium.