Our past traumas, trials and tribulations don’t have to define who we currently are. We evolve. We mature. We grow. But most importantly, we heal. While some consider it to be resiliency, others consider it to be transformative. We all deserve a second chance or a do-over in life. Some discover that option after a divorce, retirement or even incarceration. Outsiders view the barrier such as incarceration but don’t see how the individual could have been a victim of their circumstance. Those circumstances may be violence, crime, addiction, racism and much more; that all lead to some feeling as if they had no other choice in the world than to commit a certain act.
We first heard of Ayana Bean on the BET series known as American Gangsters: Trap Queens. Narrated by the trap sound of Young Jeezy, Ayana’s story was shared in front of the world. Her story of survival, crime, triumph and transformation was shown right before our eyes. Despite her criminal acts she served her time. Ayana made the decision to overcome her past and to find her purpose by empowering other young women to not follow in her footsteps. Through mentoring, motivational tours and more; Ayana helps young girls and women learn to make positive choices and informed decisions.
She is determined to guide the next generation by sharing her story. Her healing also includes sharing her story through her new book release. “A Year and a Day” is her new tell-all release that shares her journey from childhood to adulthood. She outlines her story of survival and her decision making that led to her incarceration. She bares all to share how domestic violence, addiction and her environment led to her choices in life. “Doing the show American Gangster Trap Queens series inspired me to write my story in my own words. While filming the show I wasn’t so comfortable talking about incidents that were still painful for me.” she explains. “I was not healed of my past or accepting of my circumstances at the time. Talking about it began with healing and writing it was pure therapy. I’m stronger and I want to share that strength with others,” Ayanna continues.
Her current sense of remorse has evolved her through her transformation. Her writing, mentorship and re-entrance into society have all helped in her healing. So you see it’s not what you have been through but how you overcome it. Your past does not have to dictate your future. Today, Ayana is living on her own terms and each new day brings a new sense of purpose that she fulfills through her advocacy. Grab your copy of her new book or follow her story on Instagram. Visit her website to learn more or to schedule an appearance.
Writer, C. Scott, is a mompreneur, literacy advocate, social worker and more. Connect with her on Instagram and Clubhouse as @curls_coils.
(Photo Credit @mrsrobinv)