How my friends gave me the confidence to fulfill my dreams
This blog is all about friends believing in each other. Without them, we wouldn’t have the confidence to chase our dreams.
When my son was born we discovered he needed to have surgery at The Hospital For Sick Children. So, I decided to leave my job to be at his side during his recovery. While off, I was inspired to start writing stories for my children and found I had a knack for storytelling.
Encouraged by my wife, I visited a local elementary school to read the books. After my initial performance, the school's librarian told me my books sounded like rap songs and she dared me to rap one of the stories for the next group of kindergarten students I was presenting to.
When I tell my ‘origin’ story in interviews, I often say that this moment, with the librarian, was the defining moment of becoming ‘Lexy The Rap Dad’. But really the defining moment came a few weeks before and it all started with my good friends, Steph, Jon and Chris.
When I told my friend Steph that I was writing children’s stories, she mentioned she knew a publisher and if I dropped off my stories she would be happy to pass them on. I was so excited that I printed all 50 stories and rushed over!
Steph met me on her driveway and I asked her if I could read her one of the stories. It was ‘Myrtle’s Big Race’ and she said she’d love to hear it. After I finished reading, Steph told me that the story gave her goosebumps and she really believed I had found my calling as a children’s author. That alone gave me a ton of confidence. But what happened next, when I wasn’t even there, changed everything.
One of my closest friends is Steph’s husband, Jon. In addition to being a thoughtful friend, Jon also introduced me to a lot of my favourite hip-hop artists growing up and was very influential in my musical tastes during highschool. I often looked to Jon to find my next favourite artist or hip-hop style. I highly respect Jon’s musical opinions.
Unbenounced to me, another best childhood friend named Chris (also very influential in my musical tastes), was visiting Jon on the same day I dropped off the stories.
Steph, Jon and Chris were sitting on the couch and my children’s book manuscripts were sitting in front of them on the coffee table. Steph picked up the stories and told the boys that I had started writing kids books. Instead of laughing at the notion, my two dear friends, Jon and Chris, picked up the stories and started reading them aloud to each other. After a few lines, I guess they realized my stories rhymed and they proceeded to rap them to each other complete with beatboxing! When I heard this days later my heart sang. I felt for the first time that I COULD REALLY DO THIS! If my friends liked them that much, I may be onto something.
Jon and Chris went on to tell me my kids' stories were ‘dope’ and I was utterly inspired. Their responses and confidence held so much weight for me mentally. It made me believe that if these two music lovers, Jon and Chris, (whom I hold in such high musical regard) liked my stories and thought they sounded like cool rap songs, I could make them into something special.
Here’s the point… believe in your friends. Without the confidence from my friends Jon, Chris and Steph that day, I may not have pursued my dreams of becoming a children’s entertainer with such vigor. But, because my friends believed in me, I started believing in myself. So, even though the first time I rapped my books was prompted by a librarian at a school, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to stand in front of all those kids and teachers that day and rap my books if it weren’t for my dear friends cheering me on in my mind.
The moral is, believe in your friends, you never know how far your belief will take them. Thanks Steph, Jon, Chris and everyone else who has believed in my journey.