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The Essential Life Inspired

Britten's Story

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The Essential Life Inspired

Britten's story

I've never been confident that the things I have to say & the experiences that I have had in my life are particularly important to anyone outside of myself.

I often wonder what it would be like to wake up every morning & know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you have something of value to add to the world. I wonder what it would be like to have the confidence & self-assuredness to believe that people need & want to hear what you have to say. I wonder what it be like to wake up as a lion, fierce & unabashed, rather than waking up every single day as a mouse, so timid, quiet & fearful.

I wonder what it be like to live a life that is something bigger than an existence eked out been the blurry lines of trying hard not to offend anyone & hoping that, someday, I might be able to raise my voice in order to help & support others.

Building Crowns & Taking Names

I grew up in a family of confident & verbose women. Our house was full of shrieked demands, enraged opinions shared through clenched jaws, & women flying off the handle with abandon & without apology. The women in my house were large & they were in charge & by the time I came around, there was no more room for lions & being heard above the clatter was impossible with a voice this small.

Lost in the din & drowned out by the cacophony of loud personalities & the thunderous sound of these personalities coming up against one another, I thought my silence might keep me safe, unscathed & unbroken.

I thought myself a duck & the noise to be little more than water on my back. I thought myself a lady is waiting - waiting not to service the queens, but waiting to escape, to feel the wind on my face & to finally have the opportunity to be me & to let my spirit abound in bigness & limitlessness.

Instead, what I waited to become was broken. Instead, what I learned is that even a lion will hunt a mouse. While not its usual pray, the mouse is a perfect play thing, to be chased as it scurries about, minding its own little mouse business. What I learned was that confidence can be built up out of the broken crowns of the smallest or creatures, & that in the breaking, the pariahs that surrounded me as I grew, built themselves a pedestal of superiority & righteousness which further fed their parasitic confidence.

But What About the Mouse?

The thing about building yourself up on a pedestal made of the broken bits of others is that, as you take, & you take some more, the mouse is left maimed & incomplete. No matter where it scurries for the rest of its little mousey life, the parts that you took are forever gone & the stench of the loss surrounds the scared & scarred little mouse like a perpetually raining, cartoon cloud, everywhere it goes.

Forever, the mouse wakes up, far too conscious of its own smallness. As beady little eyes open to the day, the mouse breathes a tiny breath & a sigh that shakes its body into wakefulness, yet a sigh so tiny, it affects nothing. The cumbersomeness of breathing & smallness is inescapable reality for the tiny mouse.

I am that mouse, but rather than being broken & being small, I want to share my story, my struggles & my experiences in order to lend a hand & a voice to the growing cacophony surrounding conversations of mental health & depression. It is my hope that, in sharing my story, it helps others know there there is hope & there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

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