For some people, they aren't given a chance to succeed from the day they were born. It could be the neighborhood their family is from or the fact that from birth you aren't blessed with a supportive family.
There are countless ways to measure misfortune, it's an epidemic that has harmed so many beautiful souls along the way. Whether it's poverty or drugs, growing up misfortuned has taken away the chance for many to be great.
In my 22 years on this earth, I've encountered misfortune. Over time I've learned to not compare my struggle to someone else's, regardless if they are better or worst off. Acknowledging that what I am experiencing is traumatizing and heavy has helped me rise from my struggles, rather than continue to dwell on them.
Rising from the ashes is extremely difficult since falling to the ground in tears is so easy. Motivating myself to overcome the struggle has been a challenge because I've had to grow up quick, work harder than most, and pursue my wildest dreams without fear. Being independent and young is painful, taking a chance on yourself during tough times can sometimes feel impossible.
It was this point in my life, where I felt motionless and vulnerable, that I found Chance the Rapper.
"Coloring Book" was newly released, and I had found someone who understood what was going on around me better than I did.
I didn't know music could help me as much as it did. I became hooked on "Coloring Book," and it became the only motivating force in my life. The album showed struggle but it was upbeat. The songs made it possible to believe in triumph without a label, which gave me confidence that I could do anything without anyone's help but my own.
Chance put his whole heart into Coloring Book because I think he knew there was a part of the world that needed his honesty and story.
His words hit me where it hurt but man did it inspire me. "Coloring Book" got me out of bed in the morning and helped me sleep at night. Even though all I had was myself and my dreams, Chance reassured me that the path I was on was okay.
'Same Drugs' was the song that I could sing with a smile. The song that made me feel happy, for no reason at all. This song gave me a chance to reflect on the 'happy thoughts,' thoughts that were so hard to find at times. Thoughts I needed to move on from my dark thoughts and to lighter ones.
I was able to find peace in losing the friends I needed to in order to grow thanks to 'Summer Friends.'
'All We Got' was the song I blasted after my late night shifts when I felt my loneliest. "Music is all we got" may have been the lyrics but those lyrics became the anthem to my life.
'Angels' the song I blasted on my good days. The first Chance song I knew all the words too.
'No Problem' became the song that brought me my new best friend. Through Chance, we were able to connect and dream big. He was bold and able to make it without a label so we modeled our own behavior after his. 'No Problem' was the song that made us feel like we could do anything, and that no one could stop us if we had each other.
'Blessings,' the one featuring Ty Dolla $ign, was the song that really pushed me to be a better person. I was so scared I wasn't following the right path because it was the one less traveled. The path that gave me a purpose, even if others didn't understand it. 'Blessings' calmed me down when I feared failure. I didn't know music could do that, and I am so thankful I found Chance the Rapper when I did.
The most important lesson I've learned from listening to Chance is that not everything is planned, but that doesn't mean it's not great. Life is so precious, we have to harness the energy we have and use it for ourselves and for good. If we aren't chasing a crazy dream in our small, beat downtown what are we doing? If we aren't taking risks to change ourselves and the world what are we doing?
Chance has taught me that the path less traveled may be your path, and it's okay. It's more important to chase your dream and stick to your roots than to fit in. Be positive, laugh more. Be with the people who make you feel alive. I don't know if I'd be as successful and full of happiness without Chance the Rapper.
I think Chance knows that "Coloring Book" changed some lives for the better, and I'm so grateful it changed mine. Without this album, I doubt I'd be where I am. I'd be missing out on a lot if it weren't for Chance the Rapper.