Breast Cancer Awareness Month // An Expectations Vignette

The more I just release and let go, the more I get to feel, heal and experience....

I did not expect that taking my shirt off at Afropunk would yield in any attention beyond a couple of days following. Now, almost two months later my email inbox fills with request from blogs, photographers and newspapers. I have met people that expect less, such that they are not terribly let down by what the future will hold. Others that are free spirits, expecting the most, but apathetically open to whatever the outcome. I think I arrive somewhere in the middle. I try to control my circumstances; the outcome rarely in my controlled favor. 

In May 2014, I was standing in the middle of Wall Street about to walk into a Sephora when my doctor called and shared with me that I had breast cancer. I didn’t make it into the Sephora. I was 28 years old when I was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer, certainly beyond all expectation. 

Expectations didn't matter (do they ever?). 

Ericka Hart is a black, queer, Sex Educator, cancer-warrior, performer, and writer.  She has her Masters in Human Sexuality from Widener University and has taught sex education from elementary aged youth to adults; across New York City for the past six years. The catalyst of her work in sex education was her service as a Peace Corps HIV/AIDs volunteer in Ethiopia (Dec 08- July 10). In 2014, she was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer and has used her experience to educate others through performance and writing. Currently, she works as the Director of Adolescent Sexual Health at a community-based organization in New York City. Pronouns: She/The

Photos by Brittanny Taylor