Voicing Up for the Voiceless

What happens when we get angry? What happens when we speak up about the causes of that anger? Do we get shot down, shut in, and told to shut up? In recent weeks I have witnessed just that. I am referring to Ferguson. I am referring to Michael Brown the 18 year old man-child who was murdered for being, not in the wrong place at the wrong time, but for being a black male in a divided and racially charged environment. I’m referring to the United States of America. He had no criminal record. I remember sitting at the Diner table 2 days after the murder and hearing about it for the first time. You see I don’t watch the news, I let the news come to me, and for this reason I was late hearing about what happened to a young Black man-child in Ferguson, Missouri. I remember thinking to myself as I heard the news about Michael Brown: “Wow there goes another voice unheard; another voice unsung, yet, history had been made. I wonder why our young Black boys only make history when they have bullets shot into their torsos?” And I am angry.

I am angry that another man-child had to sacrifice his life in order to induce change. But I won’t ask why, Instead I’ll ask what now? The late Maya Angelou said that when we know better we do better. What now can I do to support the imminent change that is abreast? For me writing this blog post is a start. I don’t claim to be the voice of the people, what I’m coming here to say is that I am of the people. I still have a voice that can be heard. I have a song in my soul that can be shared, and it is my job to do so. For Michael Brown, for Trayvon Martin, and for every black man-child whose only crime is being born of color in a White patriarchal society. It would be foolish of me to think that if I just kept living my life and “let it go,” got back Facebook, and worked even harder to be a “good girl,” that this indecency wouldn’t happen again. We live in a modern day Hunger Game and the world is in a constant Quarter Quell. I want to wake up before another life is lost.

michael_brown

The thing is at least for me, I could go on living life with the motto that “only the docile survive,” but I can do better, and I certainly know better too. I don’t know that this blog post will do anymore than piss a few people off, but it has to be said that it’s a travesty to know what happened to Michael Brown and to not let it ignite the voices that can be helpful. I encourage everyone who has an offering to share it, be it your blog, through music, a Facebook status, or the Intentional way that you move in your life. Wake up. We all have to die but while we’re here let’s not let the demise of those before us be in vain. Thanks for stopping by and let’s talk again soon.

Tray

Advertisements

Taking Out The Trash

A few weeks ago I wrote a post called “Trash Cans Too.” In the post I talked about my connection to the following quote: “Even if you’re trash you can still do stuff. It’s called a trash can not cannot.”

Well, it’s time to take out the trash. As cute and sentimental as that quote reads it’s the real “trash.” Because the fact is if you’re here on this planet and you exist here you’re a divine and beautiful creature. You’re existence matters and your existence means everything!

So, here’s a new quote: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?

– Nelson Mandela

Who are you not to be? Who am I not to be? We are valuable, you are valuable, I am valuable.

Now, throw away the trash. Those thoughts and narratives that no longer serve you, and leave your unique fingerprint on the world.

– Love,

Brittaney Brooklyn Harden

When You’re Your Own Hero

A Literary Portrait By Brittaney Brooklyn Harden:

I was. I was. I was. I am. I am. I am. She often moved between the two States of being. I was. I was. I was. I am. I am. I am.

She thought her life over as she gazed into the mirror. She was about to step out onto the stage again. This experience had become as normal as breathing for her. She was born to do it. She thought back on those narratives of not being enough and not having enough. Those stories had prevented her from stepping into her greatness so many times. She thought of her mother who had raised her as a single parent during her childhood.

She thought of her father who had done the best he could. She thanked Divine that of all the people of all the conceptions possible she had been created. Then she took a deep breath. I was lost but now I’m found. I was blind but now I see that I am exactly who I’m supposed to be.

She gave her self a respectful bow into the mirror. “Namaste.” She stood and walked from her dressing area on to stage left. She listened as her introduction was being told to the crowd. Applause and then her entrance. She said the following:

Hello, my name is Brittaney Brooklyn Harden. I am grateful to be here. I am honored to be in you all’s presence, and I am here to tell you to be your own hero. I don’t want to seem malicious or curt. I’m here to give you the gift that I now understand more deeply. The gift of being the hero of your own story.

When you’re your own hero the stakes are higher, the adventures are more daring and the rewards are greater! Most importantly, when you’re your own hero you get to take responsibility for your life!

I became my own hero at 31 years of age. I haven’t looked back since. In this time I decided that I would do what it took to step into my greatness. This involved doing things as small as eating a healthier meal plan. And as big as letting myself love again.

I have since spoken in countries all over the world, married my beautiful partner and given birth to our wonderful children. I am of service to the world. I believe that recognizing my unique fingerprints’ importance to this planet made me believe in how much I matter.

It may seem ordinary but it’s an extraordinary feat. Before every talk I look in the mirror. I say I was. I was. I was. I am. I am. I am. Well, I’m here to affirm that I am my own hero. I am so grateful to have been the rescue I needed for my life.

Thank you to everyone who believed in me until I could believe in myself. And I believe in all of you. Be your own hero because the world needs to feel your unique fingerprint on the planet!

Thank you!

She said goodbye to the crowd, took in the applause, and walked away thanking God for a life well lived!

Literary Portrait

– By Brittaney Brooklyn Harden

An Unconventional Life

A Letter To My Social Media

***

Hello,

My name is Brittaney and I would like to live an unconventional life! What’s that? Well, who’s woken up, went to work, and returned home to a place they could barely afford?

Most people are one paycheck away from homelessness. I refer to this as a “conventional” existence. But that’s not humility. Real humility is knowing what one’s good at and using it to make their lives better.

I am a great writer! Who’s going to make her life better.

For me, it has come down to one word. Determination! I am determined to live in my greatness. We all deserve to share our greatness with the world. I believe that each of us are the leaders we seek.

The world needs us all!

So, here’s what I propose…

For $20.00 I will send to either you or a loved one a framed picture of poetry.

For $50.00 I will write a tailored short story for either you or a loved one on a topic of your choice.

For $75.00 or more I am offering either of the two alongside a personalized appreciation letter from me!

I am asking for a deposit of half your payment. Payments can be sent to venmo (Brittaney-Harden), or cash app ($BrittaneyHarden). Please specify what the payment is for and feel free to share with your network.

I have waited for someone to give me permission to try new things. I finally understand that the trying is in the doing.

I’ll close with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “If you can’t run walk. If you can’t walk crawl! I’d like to add, if you can’t crawl speak! But you must do something!”

That’s how an unconventional life begins!!!!

Thank you for letting me share,

Brittaney Harden

Trash ‘Cans’ Too

I read a quote the other day that said “even if you are trash you can still do stuff. It’s called a trash can not can not.” This quote changed my perspectives by epic proportions. You see sometimes I feel like trash. There are moments that I feel my life has gone to waste. I often waste my time, and I spend a lot of time wasting energy. I often treat my body like a waste dump.

It gets heavy. I often feel the weight of people responding to my apathetic moments. They pull back. They push off. They walk away. This sometimes makes me want to walk away from myself. I feel lonely and it hurts. Then, there are moments like the moment I saw this quote. It reminds me that “trash” ain’t so bad.

(my before picture of my health and wellness journey)

Trash can be fertilizer. Trash can be recycled. Trash can be precious. After all one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. It’s truly about perspective.

So, I have made a conscious decision to stop being hard on myself. I have turned my Instagram page into a health and wellness page and I am working to be cast on Khloe Kardashian’s Revenge Body. I’m doing something with myself!

Today I’d like to remind others to stay true to team you! Don’t give up on yourselves. Besides, even if you’re trash you can still do stuff. It’s called a trash can not can not, and trash ‘cans’ too!

Thanks for stopping by and let’s talk again soon!

Find A Reason to Get Out Of Bed Each Morning

https://youtu.be/5PB2YzNddI8

I recently decided to turn my Instagram page into a health and wellness journey (@Britt4point0). It has become my reason to get out of bed in the morning!

Everyday I hear people say live your best life. What I’ve come to realize is that I’ve been holding myself back. I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment. Sadly, there is no “right time.” The time is now. And I’m petrified!

It never occurred to me that I didn’t try new things out of fear. Well, Tomorrow

is a brand new day! The fear won’t leave, but the opportunity to live anyway is here!

If you’ve been struggling with fear. Find a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Living your best life starts where you’re at.

Wish me luck on this new journey! I hope that my actions inspire someone to live through the fear too!

(2018 Never Give Up!)

Thanks for stopping by and let’s talk again soon! 💓

Living Single

A few days ago my roommate and I decided that our household was a lot like the characters from Living Single.

In the show there are three women who live together as roommates. Synclaire, Regine, and Khadijah. They also have friends who frequently visit by the name of Maxine, Kyle, and Overton.

In her assessment I was a lot like the Synclaire of our home. Fun, bubbly, corky, and kind.

I took it in jest and proceeded to move on with the week.

As the week progressed I started to notice more how people responded to my personality. I began to hear the pet names that people placed on me; sweetheart, baby, and dear. The latter of which I most dislike being called.

By the fourth night of the week I came home and said to my roommate, “people take advantage of my kindness.”

Her response saved my personality. She said: ” Yes you might have a Synclaire personality, but Synclaire was no punk. It’s not you to walk around being hard and aggressive. Don’t let people change who you are, because most times it’s them. They’re unhappy, and they try to make you feel the same.”

I was so grateful for her feedback! As I move forward I’ll know one thing to be true. My name is Brittaney, and though I’m living “single” in the city of New York, I am never alone.

As Maya Angelou used to say. I come as one, but I stand as many. Synclaire personality traits and all!

No Longer In A Space of Chase

I live in New York City. Tonight through a series of events I found myself sitting in a McDonalds near Broadway and 181st street. As I surveyed the environment deciding where to sit I was drawn to a table that already had someone’s belongings on it. It was near the back of the restaurant where there would be no draft from the wind. I walked towards the front of the restaurant and I couldn’t find anywhere to sit there either.

I decided to try my luck at the table I was drawn towards. I turned around and headed back towards the rear of the store. Luckily the person had come back. She was a woman whose name I would later come to learn was Suanna.

We exchanged small pleasantries. Hi how are you? We each asked.

Afterwards there was a pregnant pause. In the silence I looked her over. She had on a hoodie and a knitted hat. She was wearing one earring. She seemed tired without looking aged.

Finally the silence was broken. I’m playing a game she beamed. I need to know the capital of the UK in order to move to the next stage. We figured out the answer (London) and our conversation commenced.

“Do you come here everyday?” After I asked the question I could sense the shame washing over her. I listened as she explained that she was there to meet a friend. She never knew when he’d arrive but he was always there between 5-7 pm.

As she spoke I wondered about her life? What had landed her in a McDonalds in New York City? How many heartbreaks had she endured. And when had she decided that she wouldn’t endure anymore?

I began to feel compassion for all women. I reflected back on how just 20 minutes ago I myself had written a farewell email to a person whom I’d loved but never dated.

The irony wasn’t lost on me that I myself was one severe heartbreak away from passing my time away in a McDonalds too.

Ten minutes after the start of our conversation I said goodbye to Suanna. I left her with the remaining of my large fry and a well wish to have a better night.

As much as I wanted to, I knew that I couldn’t save her.

So many of us women are like that. We let go of ourselves. We start to wear the hoodies and the knitted hats that are meer coverings for the deep pains that we harbor inside.

We don’t talk about it enough. Quite frankly there are too many Suannas in the world.

There are too many Suannas in the world

Once I was back on the train heading to Brooklyn I thought of myself.

I’m not perfect and I tend to seek solace in the wrong places. I thought of Suanna. I thought of how many metaphorical friends I sat in my spritual McDonalds waiting to show up for me. I thought of the ways in which they had not.

I made a decision in that moment to leave the space of chase before like Suanna I left myself behind in search of what the world won’t provide.

I won’t pretend to know what that looks like. But I know that I deserve a chance. We all do.

If you’re a woman and you’re reading this I invite you to choose yourself. Make the tough choices that bring you healing.

As the saying goes joy comes in the mourning. We have to feel to heal. Let’s do the work.

As always do what brings you joy. Live your best life and thanks for stopping by.

Previous Older Entries