Sixteen-year-old Hamilton Hobbs walked briskly to the bathroom, burped, pulled up the toilet seat and cried into the toilet bowl. She was so good at hiding her depression that she had begun to count the tears as she sobbed in the bathroom.
Hamilton felt alone. She was tired. She had few friends. Her life sucked. At least that was how she saw it.
She wanted a way out of all this pain. Her cell phone beeped. It was Dakota Nittolo, her 16-year-old neighbor, asking her, “Had she started reading, ‘How to Get Out of Your Own Way’ by Tyrese Gibson.”
Hamilton was angry that she had told Dakota that she was depressed. She would not stop sending her cheery texts.
The texts were now about reading a book. How could a book by Tyrese from “Fast & Furious” movies help her with her depression?
Dakota was a girl who needed to mind her own business. At least that was how Hamilton saw it. She was such a busy body.
But Hamilton had promised Dakota that she would read one chapter. She opened the book. It was divided into sections.
The first section was childhood. It was written in the first person.
She immediately connected to Tyrese’s voice. She didn’t know that Tyrese had grown up in a tough Los Angeles neighborhood, and that he had lived through a challenging childhood.
She found it riveting as she read about how Tyrese found his way into Hollywood out of an impoverished childhood. She felt as if she was right there sitting on the couch listening to Tyrese tell his life story to her chapter by chapter.
Four hours later, Hamilton had read the entire book.
She felt something she had not felt in a long time. She felt hopeful. Perhaps a rainbow could come to her after all.
“How to Get Out of Your Own Way” is not a regular self-help book.
It is about finding yourself in the midst of pain, suffering, chaos and finding the will to move on when everything in you tells you that it is not possible.
Hamilton picked up her iPhone to call her neighbor.
“Hey Dakota,” Hamilton said. “Come over. Bring your Black Rose cd by Tyrese. I want to listen to it.”