Finding My Freedom
I am a story teller. I craft narratives and write stories, painting pictures with my words; writing has always been healing and restorative to me. Born in Brooklyn and raised in the deep south of Savannah Georgia, telling stories gave me an outlet, a safe haven to create. Being a Black girl in a world that aims to diminish our spirit, it was the stories in my poetry that gave me purpose. I felt compelled to use my voice and the talents God had gifted me. I refused to be silent, when the world told me I wasn’t enough. I grew up, Black, fat, and female, three identities that society deemed undesirable. Finding my voice was a battle. I struggled with depression, suicidal thoughts, and self-harm. My only outlet was writing poetry. Poetry helped me establish who I was in this world. I had something to say and I refused to be silenced. At sixteen, I was rocking mics, stages, and slams with seasoned professionals in the Spoken Word world. I was telling stories and writing histories, being the modern day griot I was made to be. A mentoring educator wrote me a poem for my birthday that year and in it wrote this line, “Your wisely wheeled words make me more brave… you’re Harriet Returned. Moses of the 21st century runaway slave”
I took that name “Harriet Returned” to heart; it was a calling as well as a challenge to be compared to Harriet Tubman. She was the prolific, larger than life, breaker of chains, freer of the enslaved. I was a high school senior, using words as my outlet and lifeline. To be compared to someone who freed hundreds, who traveled over and over again across the Mason-Dixon line into the belly of the Deep South to save others like she managed to save herself, was such a powerful comparison to me. I felt a new sense of purpose in that moment; I would use my words and my stories to free myself and others.
Life has a way of giving us complicated situations and lessons that can enslave us with fear, self-doubt, and anxiety. We begin to lose belief in ourselves, feel undeserving, and trapped. Oftentimes we lose faith that our situations will improve or that we can have the life we envision for ourselves. We become chained to our doubt and unable to step out of our comfort zones. We repeat the same mistakes and poor choices that lead to the same unfortunate outcomes. We operate in our lesser self, never striving to reach our Godly potentials.
I use the word “we” intentionally because I have been there, enslaved by fear. I have lived in doubt and with a limited mindset. I had to fight my way to freedom, free thinking and free being. I have had to travel back again and again to learn lessons in order to find my freedom. When I was 30 years old I was at the lowest point in my life. I was struggling from complications of being obese, I was in a toxic relationship, I lost my grandmother, and even ended up homeless after a house fire. I had to fight my way out of my chains; I had to restore my faith. It was during this period in my life that my lessons led me to learn how to motivate myself and trust in God to see me through when I needed it most. My company Harriet Returned was born through this struggle season.
It’s now time for me to help YOU find your own freedom. Harriet Returned will be the conductor and provide the space for you to find, claim, and thrive in your freedom. We will support, guide, and protect you through a process of self-exploration and expansion in order for you to live in the best version of yourself. We will embark on faith-based practices and motivational supports to coach you into breaking your chains and leaving your comfort-zones. The cost of freedom is faith! Let free ourselves family!