Since it’s too late to call my dad and confirm, we’re going to say I was 4 years old in this pic. So let’s say this is August 5th 1985.
Dear Little Trav, Baby Tee, Tee-Small,
This letter is coming to you from 30 years in your future. 8/5/2015, your 34th Birthday.
Right off the bat I want to tell you about an event that will happen in 4 months that will re-route the entire course of your life: you mother will lose her battle with cancer 4 days before Christmas, 1985. This will change you in ways you are still realizing even at 34. Where you live, your relationship with family, the type of women you find real interest in, your religion, your Spirituality, and how you parent your children and how your mind operates, will all be touched by this one singular event.
I hope you caught the last part of that sentence cause yep, you’ve got kids. 4 to be exact. Lailah, Maya, Tyler and Kayden. You’ll also date an amazing girl for a few years that has a daughter and also your best friend has a daughter… you’ll have love and be loved by both of those kids as well. Your kids are beautiful. Lailah lives in Indiana with her mother, her husband and their two kids. No matter what happens, NEVER stop trying with Lailah…..child support will come for you…handle your business..paperwork and all…and find a lawyer that believes you’re not a statistic.
Maya and Tyler will be such huge blessings in your life. Right now that will have just crossed about 16 months with you no longer living in the same home as them. It will be an adjustment but they will do fine. They will treat you as if you are still there….often times telling you more than you need to know about what goes on. Maya has your big persona with her mother’s heart. Tyler has his mothers persona with your mischievousness. They are two of the brightest, fun loving, well behaved kids anyone has ever met. They are best friends as well and crazy about their father too! As for their mother, be happy for her..she gave you 12 long years….recently she found someone that makes her happy and you should be her biggest supporter.
And then there is Kayden. There is nothing like this little girl. She is the perfect mesh of personas from you and her mother. She’s outgoing yet reserved, spontaneous yet calculated, funny and sweet, competitive and girly….and she’s only 4 !! She starts pre-k this morning too. Talk about a birthday gift! What’s tough is that when you are 26 you will be introduced to a gorgeous woman at a business event for entrepreneurs in downtown Huntsville. Sparks will fly instantly…damn near love at first sight.. but you should listen to her a couple weeks later when she gives you PERFECT reasoning why ya’ll should just be friends. Things would be too complicated, and you both are too stubborn to reason. Trust that she’s mature enough to see while you are blinded by infatuation. If you listen, she’ll probably become the best platonic friend you could ever have and ya’ll will open a successful business or two together. If you don’t listen, life will spiral pretty crazy over the next 8 years, affecting both of you tremendously until things finally calm down and you’ll walk away as co-parents. However this second option is the only one that brings Kayden into the world so on second thought….go for it!
Let’s talk about some fun stuff. When your 28, with the help of loved ones you’ll open a clothing boutique. This will swing open the doors of opportunity like you’ve never imagined. The people you will be connected to will go on to be some of the biggest names in the sneaker/clothing industry. You’ll build an awesome team with people that truly love you and want to grow the brand. Sadly while your marketing skills are undeniable, your leadership skills will be the death of you. You’ll lack the vision needed to blow up the way you and your team should. The feeling in your stomach the day you close the doors to Kreativ.Sole is something that will haunt you almost daily. Shortly after, someone in the industry will make you an offer to come into business with them, but fear of a second failure and you not having the desire to leave your kids will have you pass on that opportunity as well. Learn from these moments. Grow from these moments. Proudly, all of your team will go on focused on finding success in their own lanes. You’ll feel like a proud grandpa watching them rap, design clothing, create art and cultural events and even join the military. The growth in their lives will make you realize it was all worth it and all God’s divine plan.
Here’s another blessing, you’ll have an uncanny knack for finding jobs. Your first job will be at age 15 working at a carwash until you get fired for crashing a car! 19 years later you will be on your 28th and 29th jobs. Currently your working in HR/Recruiting for a great company, and you will also be working a night job as a stocker at Kroger’s to knock down that maxed out credit card. Try to stick it out at these two jobs, your resume is starting to have as many pages as the Bible!
Speaking of the Bible…..let’s talk Spirituality and Religion. Over the years you’ll be around a few different religions: SDA, Baptist, Church of Christ, Jehovah Witness and Non-Denom….there’s truth sprinkled through all so pay attention. However the biggest thing you’ll realize is that without your own personal relationship, the religion is hollow. Focus on building your own friendship with Christ, and then hit church to fellowship and celebrate God’s love with other believers. Lastly when one of your best friends ask you to help his growing church, your gonna say yes and it’s gonna jump almost immediately; remember why you are doing what you are doing. This is the one place where it should NOT turn into the Tee show. Stop doing the most, and help him lead some souls to Christ.
If the 4 kids didn’t give it away, you are a ladies man. You absolutely love the female species LOL! It’s your weakness…like Samson minus the muscles. You won’t have an issue with drugs, as a matter of fact you’ll never try anything…not even a cigarette. You’ll drink but you’ll be a pretty good judge on that as well. So no bad vices other than the ladies. Listen to your dad when he tells you not to worry about a woman, they will always be there. Focus on your education, and creating a life / building a brand for yourself before you try to find love. The crazy thing is, even though your not ready for them, you’ll always attract great women. No crazy ones, none too “hood”, none too “uppity”…most will have awesome professions, degrees, homes, cars etc…and they will LOVE you lots!! The biggest thing to remember is women like a man that has his own. It gives them a sense of stability. You’ll go thru an ugly time period where you want to be taken care of. This is stupid, immature and weak and will almost take your life. You will break 3 very loving hearts all by the same reason: taking advantage of a kind heart and generosity. One night at 4am you’ll find yourself watching a re-run of the movie “Baby Boy” and realize that you, like the main character, have a “mommy complex” where you attract women that treat you more like your their child than their boyfriend in the way they care for you and your every need. Immediately after you’ll enter counseling and the first thing the counselor will say was that your mother passed when you were 4 and NOBODY can fill that void so stop trying. You’ll spend the next 59 minutes pouring down tears onto the couch. Sidenote: You paid $150 for that hour. You probably should stop crying and talk.
This letter sounds a little depressing huh?? I’m really just trying to save you thru the tough times. You’ll have ALOT of awesome life experiences. You’ll go to concerts, out of town trips filled with randomness, be a huge sports fan and more. You’ll have some of the best friends you could ever ask for. It took you to age 34 but you finally have your priorities in order so that’s a great thing! You’ll start organizations, help out on committee’s, plan events, work with some really talented musicians and figures and more. Truly you will be apart of your community. You’ll have friends of all races and be comfortable with just about anyone. you have a highly creative mind, and an burning entrepreneurial desire that will eat at you daily. This will swing open even more opportunity but remember you can’t do it all. pace yourself.
Travis in closing just live your life. You’re not perfect, you will make mistakes but learn from them. That’s the biggest thing. Set goals for yourself, then go after them. Your a dreamer, but remember that it is equally important to wake up from the dream and go make that dream a reality! Continue to spread love, continue to treat people with respect, and continue giving it up to God, HE always replies!
34 year old Tee. 8/5/2015.