FUTW: Revenge Tour '17
If you’re reading this…congratulations…you made it through another year in full health, I hope. I don’t really have to go into deep detail in regards to 2016, we all lived it in our own way but I’m fairly certain this year has been quite tough on all of us. As the conclusion of every calendar year often is, 2016 was a major reminder of how short life is; for ourselves and for those around us. Some of us lost heroes, some of us lost idols; some of us lost friends, some of us lost family members; some of us lost faith, and some of us, regrettably, lost hope. Now that I’m thinking about it, this year was a fucking mess but that’s not what is to be discussed right now.
If it were up to me, this type of exchange would be the extent of my communication with most people. I often don’t like to be seen, very seldom is it that I like to be heard or even noticed. It’s not that I’m a recluse, though some may argue that sentiment. No, it’s not that at all, I just don’t like to be the center of attention. I understand that’s a hard ideology for some people to grasp, especially when we live in an era dominated by “views” and exposure. Some of my friends often joke that “I am The Batman,” and even though it’s often said in jest in regards to my ability to completely disappear from time to time, I suppose that’s how I want my actions to be seen. When you see change taking place, I want you to think of me, I don’t need you to see me. When you see action being taken, I want you to know that I had something to do with it, but, again, I don’t need you to see me. Think of me simply as, life’s spotlight operator.
None of you need this e-mail to be sent to you to motivate you or inspire you for the New Year. If you receive this e-mail it’s because I already see the fire burning inside of you, you just need someone to turn up the heat a little bit. Trust me, that’s solely what I intend to do in 2017.
My main man Al Patron said it best the other day, “2016 was the off-season after a game seven loss in the finals. Now, it’s game-time.” Al Patron is known to say many things, most of which are followed by, “Think about it,” but they have yet to be proven inaccurate and that trend doesn’t stop here. He’s right. This year was an off-year for humans. Albeit, a quite terrible off-year, but an off-year nonetheless. It’s time to get back on track. All of us.
I spent a lot of time this year watching old clips of Tupac Shakur. So much, in fact, that I probably could’ve written a biography about him and it would’ve been better than any single one that’s ever been written. But, I wasn’t searching to write a book about him. I was searching for answers. I said I was as happy as I had ever been in last year’s e-mail. Like most feelings, though, that didn’t last long. I felt lost for a good portion of this past year, a feeling I was extremely unfamiliar with and it took some time for me to find the answers I was looking for. I found those very answers in a 1997 interview with Tupac Shakur. From thereon, I watched the 22-minute interview every morning when I woke up. Some start their mornings with meditation or coffee; I started mine with a Tupac interview.
I know how easy it is for many of us to be discouraged after the events that unfolded in 2016. Trust me, you would be hard-pressed to find many people that felt emptier than I did on November 9th, 2016. The very evil I spent the majority of the year fighting, won. "Why feel empty?," you ask? I’m a 26-year-old, three-time self-published, white male author. Why should I be upset about something that most people would argue doesn’t impact me? I’ll tell you why.
None of this is about me. It never has been and it never will be. I won’t even be on this planet in 70+ years, I would have to be a special type of insane to think this mission I’m on is entirely about Cole Frayer as a sole entity. Fuck that. I am but a mere blip on the radar. So, no, this is not about me. This is about you. This is about them. This is about us.
My brother and best friend passed away in 2014 but I’ve never felt too far from him because he occasionally drops in on some of my dreams. One night, he said something didn’t make sense when I initially heard it, but it eventually clicked after some time. “It’s all up to you now.” Those were his exact words and I will never forget them because he’s right. I reached my breaking point this year. A breaking point I had been dying to reach. A “point of no return,” if you may. I’ve seen the way the way things are supposed to be. I’ve seen the way things can be. There’s no going back for me now. This is my plight and I challenge all of you to join me. You don’t have to, obviously, but I will make this promise with all of you right now: things are about to change.
I get that some of you may think I’m figuratively, and literally, crazy but that’s something I’ve been hearing since middle school so, if I’m being brutally honest, that shit doesn’t phase me anymore. I’m crazy for wanting more for everybody? I’m crazy for wanting better for everybody? I’m crazy for thinking I can change the world? Then, by all means, call me crazy every day of the week but I’m telling you now…it won’t stop me. At the end of the day, I can’t inspire any of you. That’s something you have to be able to do for yourself and I don’t want to cheat you out of finding out how to do that. What I can do, however, is an attempt to motivate you in the direction to find the answers for yourself.
Find out how to be the truest, most honest version of yourself that you can be. Life is entirely too short to focus on all of life’s “could have, should have, would have” moments. If you want something, if you believe in something so much that it keeps you up for countless nights in a row, go get that shit and fight for it with every inch of your being and never let anybody tell you differently. Never be afraid to unapologetically be yourself 1000% of the time. This world will never hesitate in showing us who they are, so why should we ever be afraid to show them who we are. In fact, it’s long overdue for us to do so. None of this is as it seems, never let anybody fool you into thinking otherwise. Trust yourself and trust your process. Everything of great value takes time but none of these people can stop you. The only person that’s ever truly standing in your way is, you.
Don’t accept your reality if you are not truly satisfied with it. Things are the way they are but that doesn’t mean that’s how they are supposed to be, nor does it mean that’s they how they should. Don’t be afraid to believe in the magic that still exists in this world. There’s plenty of it left, it’s just hiding right now. Don’t run from the enigma of life, always push yourself to the beauty of the unknown because your comfort zone does not exist. Never be afraid to express your independence of thought. Amplify your mind so the whole world can hear who you are. Never be afraid to express yourself. Push yourself to greatness and allow yourself to get a little lost on that journey along the way. Don’t ever let the hatred consume or overrule your ability love. We all need to take more time to be more kind to one another and help each other a little more, myself included. At the end of it all, we’re all humans in this stupid rat race together. More life and more love in 2017.
I want nothing but the best for all of you reading this right now. Sometimes, I even want better for you than I might even want for myself. Like I said, none of this is about me. This is about us. I believe in you all just as much as I believe in myself and you must always know that’s a hell of a fucking lot. We are all in this fight together & we don't need anyone's permission to open any doors that may be locked along the way. The only thing we have ever needed is each other. Ourselves is the only approval we need.
I pray that I never lose this chip on my shoulder. I pray that I never lose this edge. I pray that I never lose this feeling that I have right now. I want all of you to find who it is you are supposed to be in 2017. Become the person you need yourself to be in 2017. If there is ever anything that any of you ever need to help you get there, all you have to do is name it. I’m serious. You all know how to get ahold of me, all you have to do is ask. What is one thing you need from me to help you get there? If you had one thing today that you didn’t have yesterday that would help you reach a higher level, what is it? I'll keep my promise if you keep yours to never stop until you get there. It’s going to be difficult and it’s going to be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do because it’s not supposed to be easy. It’s hard, but it’s fair. I promise, though, I will always be there to fight for you as long as you never quit on yourself. That’s a promise I will take to the grave.
It’s game time.
“I want them to know that every day that I’m breathing, it’s for us to go farther. Every time that I speak, I want the truth to come out…I’m not saying that I’m going to rule the world, or I’m going to change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world. That’s our job.”
- Tupac Shakur