“I will come in, and leave, as power.” -JBHarris, 2019
Dear Mrs. Harris:
Oracle. Teacher. Voice. Author. Blogger.
I am proud of you, Sis!
Look at you! Writing, and schmoozing, building something that your daughters can inherit. Look at you! Becoming a mogul and shit! Look at you! Got a network, Black girl!
Chile, you are doing the thing that you only dreamt of as an angsty 13-year-old girl!
Remember when you were making magazines, and watching the Oscars as a middle schooler? You knew then that being a writer was who you were! You knew.
And now? You are making content. Paying people. Hustling. Being a voice and not an echo. You are making space, and keeping space. You indeed are The Ideal Firestarter!
But what about what they don’t see, right? They don’t see the hustle, only the polish. They—these beautiful, faceless people that follow you, seek you out, and ask for your expertise on a matters—don’t know how hard you work. They don’t know the crippling doubt; the minimal support; the agonizing over all the words; the pushing only to fall back.
The point of this, the reason you are so good at this, is because you let these great people, see the polish. And for that, the passion, you give? That’s why these platforms grow like they are. There are people that follow you, because they believe in you.
You have been asked to be apart of projects, most dope has been The Awakenings Project, run by your femme soul mate, Marissa. You have started mantras, hashtags, platforms and companies. Three, to be exact. You started a podcast. You teach. You travel. You write books. You mentor scary, novice, unsure writers.
You did that, Sis!
You did that.
I want you to be proud of yourself. I want you to count up the wins. I want you to count the wins, mija! I want you to be able to look at what you have done, and smile for once instead of ticking off a To-Do List. I want you to now that there are people who want you to fail. They watch you. They follow you. They won’t buy a book, share a post, or even congratulate you. They will just keep loving you in secret–or hating you openly.
You need to be okay with being Nehemiah.
You need to be okay if no one you love ever tells you how dope you are.
You need to be okay being a visionary, a trailblazer and an all around unorthodox, peculiar woman.
You need to be okay being outside the box!
You have given up so much, fought so hard to become whom you are. Don’t let the opinions of other people stop you.
You found your purpose. You fought to become all that you are. And now, on the brink of 40, you have so much more in you. You have found your living heroes, flesh and blood and tangible. You decided your nickname is Shonda Rimes. You decided that if she can do it, why can’t you?
Why can’t you?
I want you to learn to rest. I want you to learn to be. To breathe. And keep sowing into the vision.
Keep going, Jenn. Keep going. Remember God is for you. He has quipped you. Hell, even get the New York Yankee cap and put Esther 4:14 on that bad boy! I want you to know your author signature is a thing now! You are working the vision. Even right now!
Nurture those that come to you. Keep loving liberally, sweetly and lavishly! Make the spaces, do the workshops and keep the fires lit. The world needs you, Jenn.
It needs all of you.
In the fight, and still fighting with you–and for you–and the US–
You (age 38)