A Letter To My Younger Self


It’s crazy how my life has changed since I was 10 years old. My nickname at age 10 was Tank. It started because of my ability on the football field. I had a saying then that: “YOU EITHER ROLL WITH ME OR I ROLL OVER YOU!!” As I sit here and ponder, it is time I wrote the little me a letter to let him know what is ahead of him in life. Little Joe Simmons needs to know what to expect in his future.

What’s up little man? I bet you didn’t expect to be hearing from me right about now. Next year is going to be big for you. You will be eleven years old and headed to middle school. You are going to get a couple of girls to remain nameless to start sweating your swag. One will even stick her tongue in your mouth when she kisses you, but don’t worry my friend its natural. She will be doing a lot more with her tongue when you guys hook back up in high school.

You’re really going to love middle school because you will meet this teacher who will change the way you think and inspire you to do more. She is the first person at school to accept you for who you are. Turns out you are pretty good at sports too. You end up the all time leading rusher in your middle schools history and you average 19 points per game on the hardwood. You might want to work on your field goal percentage on the hardwood though because you were jacking up a lot of shots.

Middle school is great but your home life just got upgraded by a lot. Your mom no longer has to work 2 jobs to make ends meet and you get to spend more time playing and being social. You were always the best athlete and fastest kid in the neighborhood but a new kid will move into the hood and he will steal some of your thunder. At first, it’s natural to be a little jealous but then you realize it was the best thing that ever happened to you. His name is Jamie and he is a muscle maniac. He’s as fast as you if not faster and his football game is the only one in the city on your level. He’s the real reason you got as good as you did, because you guys will push each other to be great.

Two years later you move on to high school. High school is where it’s at. You are going to encounter a lot of different things. Oh by the way don’t forget to go to Kelly’s 14th birthday party. Yeah I know you are just 12 but trust me your life will never be the same. Turns out the coaches in high school aren’t going to respect your football hustle. Your freshman year they are going to ask you to play on the offensive line. Good thing is you don’t want to do that so they allow you to play linebacker and you are good enough to make the all state team as a freshman.

Sophomore year it’s all about the hoops for you. Yeah you took a year off from football because the powers that be would not approve a transfer to play with your homeboy Jamie. The state wasn’t ready for two big fast guys in the same backfield, so they kept you at bay with some technicalities. No worries though, eventually they will all come around.
The last two years of high school are the best. You start experiencing life with different girls about every other week and you are second in your graduating class. Schools from everywhere are sweating you and you can pretty much pick anywhere you want to go. You are the best football player the school has ever seen and people from everywhere will start to recognize you are special.

High school was cool and everything but it had nothing on college. You arrive on campus and everyone knows who you are. Things don’t work out on your first stop but when you transfer to NCCU, everyone is trying to figure out how a black college lands a 4 star recruit. They would have known though if they would have bothered to ask. Your first year at Central will be a breeze. You and your homeboy Kevin Hairston take NCCU by storm.

From the women to the field, your life will be complete. Just remember to spend some time with the books as well. Don’t forget to holla at Dr. Aicker and Dr. Robinson. They will be the reason you graduate on time.

The rest of your college years will be a blast. Oh by the way you are going to meet a girl in your English class. She will seem sweet and she is getting over a long lost boyfriend. When you meet her, she will be crying and looking sad. Don’t fall for the trap and don’t look into her eyes; she is crazy, a stalker, and obsessive. Trust me when I say stay away, but if you do fall for the okie doke I will understand because the big butt and smile is a killer.

Junior year is a tough one because your best friend Jamie dies in a car crash during your football season. You end up missing a few games and it becomes a major setback for you. He is the only person from home that you really kept up with and when he died, a piece of you will die with him. Hang in there though because his mother will give you the words that will help you cope and return to school stronger than ever before. Also your head coach decides to bolt for the NFL and you will be left in limbo wondering if you were going to get the shaft as the only senior returning on a team the next season.

It turns out that your senior year is the best, you will finally find a steady girlfriend and you are looking to the future. Larry Little shows up and promises you that he will give you a chance to be great. He seems to understand what you need and has the ability to push your buttons without trying to break you. That’s big because you didn’t really know what you needed to hear until he did it. When it’s all said and done, you break all of the school records and you have met people that will be forever ingrained in your life. Especially your new partners Greg and Sean, who are like your brothers by the time you graduate.

Graduation leads to several failed stints in the NFL and finally you start to give up and look to build a future for yourself that doesn’t include football. Needless to say you will end up back at NCCU but this time as an assistant football coach. You have to be grateful because Larry Little takes good care of his former players and you just happen to be in need of a job. It’s all good though as you and a sexy young coed that you pursued from a summer job on campus turns up and you guys begin to rekindle some memories until she finds a list of women that you have been with. So don’t hide that list anywhere near the stereo.

While working that second summer you will also meet a beautiful volleyball player. The way you two stare at each other lets you know that maybe she is the one for you. The only problem is that you are in a relationship with another woman right now and she is still in college. That doesn’t stop you from giving her your number though. You will know she is interested because she tells you she has a boyfriend, but she still gives you her number anyway.

A little more time will pass and the new millennium will be on the horizon. You decide that there is no way you can marry that woman so you begin to explore your options. Funny thing is you end up with a preacher’s daughter. She is probably the one for you but you let her get away. It probably was a good thing that you did though because your lifestyles would have probably clashed. Luckily for you though when she left, that volleyball player that you met five years earlier didn’t throw away your number and decided to call you to see how things were going.

She calls you over and even though you are sulking from the last loss you are ready to make your moves on this one. I mean she is a volleyball player; the body has to be tight right? After being together for seven years she hits you with the four words that no man ever wants to hear. “I Think I’m Pregnant.” Turns out that you end up the father of a beautiful baby girl named Taylor. She will change your life as you will cut down on your social networking time and start spending quality time with her. Your happiest day on earth will be when she points at you and says those two magic words…”Da Da”..

Now your life has taken a few extra steps. You go through a fat phase. Yeah. Believe it or not you get to be a little over 300lbs and life isn’t great for you. You lose the weight and start to make changes that will be beneficial for  you over the long haul. You meet new people through social media. You get in a few crazy situations as well that have you wondering if you really need certain people in your life. In the process of all of this you learn to cope.

Twitter is going to become your best and worst idea. It’s going to bring some people into your life that will be life changing for the good and the bad. Try not to spend too much time on there because BLACK TWITTER is addictive.

Watching your daughter grow older is the focal point of your life so far. She’s become the sun of your days and the moon to your nights. You’re a good dad and you never forget that the princess comes before everyone regardless of the situation. As she grows older she loves you more and that makes it all worth while. When you see her, and she tells you that she loves you, is when you can look at this letter and say I told you so!.


2 thoughts on “A Letter To My Younger Self

  1. Judy July 18, 2016 / 12:39 am

    Wow Joe. I was truly touched by this!!! Love!!

    • Joe Simmons July 25, 2016 / 1:37 pm

      Thanks. I appreciate you taking the time to read it

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