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It took me quite a long time to develop a voice. .

Would you believe once upon a time I was quite, timid, and very shy? Contrary to popular belief I am actually still very soft spoken. There was once a time I was brutally picked on and would cry daily because all the kids made fun of me. As a kid I was that awkward black girl. Lets just say I was taller then all the kids, skinny, and a total target. Not to mention growing up I was the only child for seven years so I spent a lot of time alone, my social kids were a bit non existent, and I didn't care to play in the sand box with the other kids.

For so long I suppressed my voice, my thoughts, my inner peace. I went along with what was told of me. "Speak when spoken to. Dont talk too loud. Dont talk too white. Dont talk too black. Use your inside voice. Dont say that out loud." I spent so much time in silence because I was afraid I would say something wrong.

As a kid poetry was my outlet, I'd write and write until I felt better. Writing all the things I never said, things I was too afraid to say. As I got older poetry turned into journaling, journaling turned into writing letters and affirmations to myself. As silly as it sounds I talk to me often. Self forgiveness has become my super power. Affirmations gave me courage. I once wrote a list of things I never said:

"Adreeahna, I am proud of you."

"Just because you took longer than others doesn't mean you failed"

"You are deserving of healthy relationships and friendships STOP settling"

"A man who apologies for things he'll never stop doing doesnt deserve you"

"Choose yourself"

"Letting go is easier said than done but you are capable and powerful enough to break away from anyone who doesn't deserve a portion of your energy"

"Dont stay because of time served"

"Sleep he is not worth it"

This list was the first step in discovering my peace.

Affirmations and letters were the start of "Actually, I Can." I began sharing my journey as first a reflection, a memoir, a healing process. In the mist of growing others found healing in my wounds. My voice became a voice for other women, subscribers, and listeners.

When I first started my podcast I remember hating the sound of my own voice. It was a sound I was not too familiar with. Listening to the first episode and now 13 episodes later I can hear the growth, the confidence, I am no longer afraid.

I am no longer going to be silent.

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