Photo: Pemberton Music Festival (Sidewalk Hustle)

The reason why we dream is because we’re not content with reality… when we’re so attached to the idea of the dream, I think that’s when, like, misery comes, like suffering. My dream is to have this car, my dream is to have this girl, my dream is to have this success and once you don’t have it, that shit brings stress and that’s what I was going through.
J.Cole, 2014 Forrest Hills Drive: Homecoming HBO Documentary

Dear J. Cole,

How are YOU doing? It seems like you spend so much time checking on others, that I wonder if people ever check up on you. I watched your 4 Your Eyez Only documentary today (Apr. 16) and listened to the album three times straight and cried. It was my first time listening to the album this time around because I wanted to wait until the fake fans and journalists finished giving their reviews about it after one listen. Looking at your face and listening to your music, I’m sure you’re no stranger to depression. I stared at your face while watching your documentary and your facial expressions were all too familiar; I saw pain and sorrow.

So I ask, are you okay? I know how it feels to have no one to turn to. It’s lonesome and you can’t help but feel like you’re going insane sometimes with your mind continuously racing and there’s no one around to listen except an invisible God. Luckily for us, we have a pen and a notebook to tell our thoughts to.

You’ve taught me to love my own life instead of craving to live someone else’s. Someone will always have it better than me and I just have to accept that. God and I aren’t as close as we used to be, but we’re working on it. So, what gets you through your day? How do you keep going? How do you have a such a private life and limited fan engagement online and yet still go platinum? Can bloggers do that? Because sometimes I literally want to shut the world out and hide for a while, but what if people forget about me and what I’ve done?

How do I learn to appreciate life more?

Ball player, star player, I’m just watchin’ from the side. On the bench, cause my lack of confidence won’t let me fly

Did you ever get that confidence? Cause I still struggle, so I stay behind the scenes as I watch other people turn into social butterflies using my ideas. They say patience is a virtue so I’m sure I’ll appreciate the struggle once I get put on, but I can’t say it isn’t hard. Watching from the sidelines is hard; especially when you’ve been on the sidelines since high school. I wish people understood how crucial mental health is during a time where you’re supposed to get to know yourself and who you are. So, what do you do when people start telling you who you are? How do you stop thinking about past mistakes and move forward in your life?

Though you may not answer my questions, J. Cole, thank you for being you. I know I don’t have to wake up every morning feeling like the best version of myself, but the least I can do is try.

Best wishes,