I never wanted to be labelled. Until now.

[I was asked to write a letter to myself when I finished my training in Toronto. Here it is. It will be sent to me while I’m living in Ghana.]

Dear Brianna,

Remember this time. Remember this feeling of lightness. Of warmth. Of joy. Of security. Of love. Of alive-ness.

You’ve come so incredibly far. You are amazing, girl. You’ve bounced back like a fox. (Go listen to Scream & Shout, Gagnam Style, Can’t Keep Your Mind Off, Lose Yourself and Clair De Lune to really shake it out Toronto-stylz.)

You have just completed an intensive month of intro and outro-spection. You have unpacked some serious baggage. There is wide open space for creatively incubating ideas on how you want to interact with communities around the world, with those in Africa. You’ve come to a better understanding of the path of development and how you can intervene without fear. Without assumptions. Keep asking yourself what can you change? What gift can you give? Be humble. Be a compassionate listener. Tell your story. Live in the now. Don’t look back and don’t look ahead. All that really matters is this very moment.

Remember how you existed and thrived in a tight, small community, moving and shifting with everyone as you tried to find space for yourself? You even used your voice. Keep using it. It soars.

Remember how you cared selflessly and connected with each person around you in the way that you do? Stay open. You are brave. You create community. Someone even said to you, “Thank you for your heart.”

Thank yourself now. Be grateful for who you are. You are perfectly human. You will make mistakes despite accumulated wisdom. But don’t judge yourself. It’s okay. It will all be okay.

Finally, remember the touching tribute: “To the girl who not only believes in love, but has it written on her wrist.”

Yeah, that’s me. That’s how I want to be labelled. As love.

To the sky in Ghana,



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