Senior year of high school, I wanted to leave home severely. I wasn’t having major issues at home, but I needed to be independent. Of what? Who the hell knows but that’s what being a teenager is all about: rebelling against forces you aren’t quite sure of. During the third semester of the school year, I got accepted to a couple of schools, but I choose West Virginia University to become a computer engineer. And, just like being a teenager, things never truly played out quite as expected.
My first two years of school were very hard. I lost my brother during autumn of 2004, I was on academic probation while holding a D average and loneliness began to set it, even though I was constantly meeting different people. But, I stuck with it. I graduated with a Master’s in Secondary Education, I met people that I would eventually love, be in love with and, in between, learned to become a man.
After almost 13 years living in West-By God-Virginia, my time in Morgantown is up. I’ll be moving back to Prince George’s County, Maryland to be back with my family and to see where life takes me next.
If my time at WVU and in Morgantown has taught me anything, it’s to always be yourself. My late teens and early twenties were trail by fire, just like everyone else. I’ve failed plenty of times but I’ve learned that staying true to myself is the only thing I have absolutely control over. During the summer of 2009, while hanging out with my best friends Norly, Julian, and his little sister Katie, I came up with the nickname “ShowinmadLov” while creating a avatar character for the mega ultra super fun XBox 360 game “Rock Band”. When people ask me about my nickname, I say I created it because I always show mad love to everyone. While that’s true, it’s more to let people know that it’s ok to tell someone that you love them. So, I want to take some time out to show love to a few people here that I met on my journey:
Shoutout to Kalil (the first friend I ever made up here), Norly, Olu, the SAY’s & their cousin Chris, KG, Cindy (who I’ve loved like a big sister), Festus & Steph, Kim (WVU’s greatest soccer player), Tesia (my partner in crime), Ebonèe, Nikita & Nate, Julian (my brother from another mother) & the entire Spraggins clan, Billy, Dave & Josh, the whole Strimer family, Chris M., Katie R. (who gave me the nickname “Marc Rob”), Kelen (aka B-Hyphen; thanks for the support, brother), Ed Brown, Taron, Rheadrea, Robert Wells, Courtney (aka Smoov Elder, D-Town’s finest), Greg & Chris Flynn, Jason (aka Jell-O pudding) & Carl, Fahad, Josh M., Jason Staples, CJ, Dr. Krystal Frasier, Dr. Tyler Boulware. Shoutout to the class of 2011 Benedum Collaborative but especially, Molly, Renee, Jocelyn, all the secondary/history grads (congrats to Matt Kelly on the engagement), Baldy, Tommy, Sean, JJS, Sarah Steele and Kaye. Shoutout to Ashely B., Ki-Ki, Frank (Baltimore’s finest), Melissa, Brent (the most reckless person I’ve ever met), Jas, JP, Megan G., Tessie & Tyeast Farmer. Shoutout to the young Jedi’s Kyle, Ben & Tim. Most importantly, shoutout to my family that still held me down even though I was a million miles away: Mommy (love you), pop, my brother Mike (r.i.p.), Grace, Granny Helen, (my crazy) Aunt Jackie & Bonnie, Uncle Byron, my cousins Mike, Tone, BJ, Ty & Hank, Ce-Ce, Javon, Chris, Pooh, Sharnetta, Precious, Emmanuel, Aunt Joan & Catherine. Without you guys, I would be nothing. If you’re name isn’t up here, it doesn’t mean anything; I just felt like being a rapper and giving massive shoutouts. If I ever showed you love, it was genuine and that’ll never change.
It’s time for a new start but I’ll never forget that path. Thank you for the ride, Morgantown. “Take me home, country roads…”