Category Archives: Ambitions & Dreams

Ambitious Girl Series #1

For all of you that know, Ambitious Girl World’s mission is to empower Ambitious Girls everywhere to live their best lives. You may have noticed that the site has gotten a new makeover! Courtesy of Brittany Melton, a fellow Ambitious Girl, and a Web Design Extraordinaire! I found Brittany in the twitter streets after she was tweeting dope design tips. One reason I love following Brittany besides her design knowledge is her, Today’s lessons tweets. Her tweets seem to pop up in a timely manner on my feed, indirectly inspiring me to never give up in chasing my dreams. Brittany has done a phenomenal job working on my site and designed my first logo for Ambitious Girl World, adding fuel to the fire in finally taking serious steps in the greatness of what Ambitious Girl World can be. Naturally, I wanted to shed the spotlight her as well as introduce the first installment of, #AmbitiousGirlSeries.

#AmbitiousGirlSeries with Brittany

What’s your name and where are you from?

Brittany from Alabama

What do you do? As in, what’s your day job? And what’s your passion project?

I’m a web and logo designer during the day, artist, and gamer at night. I’m hoping to be an artist and a character designer full-time someday.

What does ambition look like to you?

Ambition looks like making the impossible happen! You can make the impossible, possible with just one to-do list at a time…even when you don’t “feel” like it. Ambition isn’t the title or swagger we have on the outside, it’s for those times when life gets hard and you have to make the dreams happen.

What are your dreams and what steps are you taking to achieve them?

I want to be an artist and character designer. I’m slowly but surely taking painting and illustration classes, building a community around my art, and trying to create a new piece each day.

Life Mantra: Everything you need is already manifesting.

What advice would you give to your 8-year-old self?

You’re a great artist, even if someone else gets recognition for your hard work and you don’t. Keep drawing.

Words of wisdom for other ambitious girls like you?

Take a large dream goal and break it into smaller steps. You may not be able to do your dream job full-time now, but maybe you can spend this year gaining a useful skill related to that dream.

You can find Brittany online as a designer: twitter+instagram (@xobritdear) and xobritdear.com.

What I appreciate about Brittany’s work ethic is not just her willingness to offer quality customer service but her patience in helping explain the process to you. Brittany is very creative and accommodating. She knows her stuff and is happy to answer any questions you may have. This was my first time hiring a designer for my site, and it has definitely set the bar with anyone else I do business with in the future. She isn’t just a designer; she goes the extra mile by also acting as a design connoisseur with a willingness to provide explanations and expertise regarding web design. I’m extremely pleased with how things turned out and I hope to do business with Brittany again in the future!

What are you waiting for? Check out Brittany now!

#AmbitiousGirlSeries will be an on-going series devoted to dope women doing their thang and chasing their dreams and ambitions no matter how hard life gets. I think it’s important to start the conversation that we all deserve the life we want to live. We don’t have to give up on our dreams or ourselves. Seeing other women carrying out their goals should be a motivator that you can do it too! There’s enough space for us all to live out our dreams and continue to chase these checks. There’s true power in words and thoughts, so let’s start to hold each other accountable and actively work towards the lives we want to live. You just have to believe in yourself, find hope in your situation and imagine the possibilities. Anything is possible, you have what it takes and deserve whatever you want in this lifetime.

Interested in having the spotlight shine on you? Drop me a tweet or email and introduce yourself!

GLOW UP SZN: Why I Made a Vision Board

I made a vision board a couple years ago when Essence published an article with Slyvia High: 2015 Is Mine: How to Make the Most Out of Your Year With A Vision Board. Since then, I moved and my vision board ended up inside my closet for years until I eventually threw it out. After reflecting on my life in the last few years, to where I’ve been and where I’m headed and what I want…I made a new vision board in January 2017.  Inside the article, there are a few questions offering a refreshing activity to help shape your perspective when creating your vision boards. You can see my vision board my updated answers below.

vision board-January 2017

ANSWER YOUR CALLING
After making your vision board, be prepared to bring it to life. As the founder of Aiming High, Inc., Sylvia High has coached thousands to live in their purpose by asking themselves the hard questions. I also downloaded Sylvia’s book as a free download on kindle via Amazon:  “We upgrade our phones when they are outdated, but we don’t always upgrade our thinking,” says the author of The Little Book of Big Questions.

1. What is my vision for my life?
2. Am I ready to live my dreams?
3. Who do I need to be to achieve my dreams? High says, “New dreams will require you to let go of your old habits.”
4. What are the recurring patterns in my life?
5. What’s working and not working in my life?
6. What will I do differently?
7. What am I afraid of?
8. How much of my past is shaping the way I think and what I do?
9. What do I need to let go of to get what I want?
10. Am I willing to take responsibility for everything that happens in my life?

****My previous answers are from 2015, I have updated some but for the most part, my vision hasn’t changed.****

What is my vision for my life?
I see myself living in New York (although I’ve never been) At least living bi-coastal…Working in public relations or digital media at a network like VH1 or BET or Warner Bros or HBO,  while being a columnist for a magazine on the side and an author. Or being the VP of a PR firm or having my own consulting firm, I want all this by 35.  I want to have a beach house or a house in Lake Tahoe, I want to live comfortably, and happily, I want to invest. I want it all but not necessarily, that’s just how I see myself, I want to encourage and inspire others with my story. Update: I’ll be visiting NY for the first time this June, I’m going to properly assess and determine if I can see myself living there and as of now am actively developing a plan to move by July 2018. I would love to write for Essence or Teen Vogue one day. Since 2015 I’ve become a contributing writer, check out my work here.

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Am I ready to live my dreams?

YES. Update, HELL YES. TURNING CANT’S INTO PLANS & DREAMS INTO PLANS!

Who do I need to be to achieve my dreams? High says, “New dreams will require you to let go of your old habits.” I need to be better, I need to stop being lazy. I need to stay hungry. I need to show up & show out, EVERY SINGLE DAY. I need to pay better attention to detail, overachieve…I might need to relocate, be bolder, and put myself out there. I might need to get an MBA in business…(I do want an MBA in business)—Update: Still, however, I remain undecided on the MBA and in 2016 I was caught up in a relationship, 2017 is about getting back to me and finally making all my dreams a reality by stepping off into the unknown and experimenting through my journey of self-discovery.

What are the recurring patterns in my life? Waiting until I’m “comfortable” to shine, be myself…then getting TOO comfortable. BUT remaining ambitions, the last few years I’ve been pushing myself outside comfort zones (barely but pushing) making baby steps in what I feel is the right direction. Update: I was lying to myself here, I can do better, I’m doing it now, I’m done blocking my blessings and playing games. It’s GO TIME.

What’s working and not working in my life?
I don’t open up to people…in love, and I  think I do good maintaining relationships, professionally speaking but I should try harder, network more, again. BE BOLD. I have a positive outlook and I think that helps to shape my resilience. Update: In 2015 I, in fact, pushed myself into the dating scene and secured a relationship only to waste my own time and not make any real movement through my career or on my blog, so I’m making up for lost time right now!

What will I do differently? TRY HARDER, Check/edit things twice and check again, TAKE MY TIME, and overall try to be more open and receptive in all aspects of life and all possibilities of love, I have a bad habit of shutting down in all areas when I feel discouraged I’m my own worst critic, I’ll root for myself more often. Update: Sometimes, I still don’t feel worthy or deserving of my own accomplishments, but I’m acting giving myself more credit. I’m going to hold myself accountability, time manage and prioritize my goals. I’ve also started finding my voice and being more open. It feels good.

What am I afraid of?
Failure. Failing in my career and failing in love, to wake up one day and realize everything I ever wanted never happened, to realize I never loved again, to recognize no one ever saw the potential in me that I see in myself. Failure and ending up alone are my biggest fears.  Update: This has changed, if I don’t fail or make mistakes I won’t learn. I learn about myself more every day. Now, I see my fear is stagnancy. Staying stuck and not going for it! Instead of talking or fantasizing about my dreams and not ACTUALLY DOING ANYTHING, I’m going to FINALLY do it. Less talking, more ACTION. Like Nike, JUST DO IT.

How much of my past is shaping the way I think and what I do?
At least  80% if not more, my past experiences have instilled fear of reverting backward, ultimately shaping my work ethic, but everything is one sided. I’m ONLY focused on my career, what is love? I don’t know. I don’t care to know. I want my career and dreams to come first. I think it’s both good a bad. Good because in life & in love, I promised myself to never make the same mistakes twice, those lessons are learned. Bad becomes I’m less fearless, more cautious, insecure…constantly second guessing if I’m good enough, both career and in life. Update: 2017, I am acknowledging a lot of my trauma and healing myself, reading more, understanding my feelings and challenging myself to stop playing the victim and outgrow my old self and it’s working.

What do I need to let go of to get what I want? This, is a hard question, after all, we’re creatures of habit…I guess… that’s it just LET GO. Let go of any fears & trust my gut, trust God and trust the universe, trust that if I trust MYSELF to make IT HAPPEN…it will, as long as I try my best, promise myself to try my best to be better than yesterday (my 2015 resolution,) trust myself to just live life, my life, and accept everything that comes my way. Update: I need to get out of my way. I talk myself out of a lot of things, but I deserve the life I want, so I’m here to take what’s already mine. I really need to let go of never feeling good enough or the right time, the time is now.


Am I willing to take responsibility for everything that happens in my life? YES.
Update: I now understand that “signs” and aligning with my highest good means actively working on reevaluating and evolving. I look at my new vision board made this past January and notice the strong emphasis on inner strength, healing, and aspirations. I’ve also found Tracy G, she has a podcast called Beauty & the Beast with audio vision boards, my favorite is Bloomsville. I’m actually holding myself accountable and taking responsibility for my life, and my dreams and of my healing.Moving forward, I have the power, I’m in charge and I’m ready for my blessings.

Have you ever made a vision board? Drop a comment below and let me know how you’re chasing your dreams!

So I Quit: What’s Next? Finding Hope in Uncertainty

It’s the first of the month:

Time to set new intentions and chase these coins!

The beginning of a new month, May, doesn’t just come with timely bills but it comes with a promise. This month comes with new blessings, new days, and new opportunities to get things right.

ICYMI: I quit my job roughly two weeks ago. Here’s what’s been going on since April 14:

I made peace with my past and my present. My last day at my job was full of goodbyes, I moved back in with my mom and when she asked me how I felt I busted out in tears. It was an emotional release because everything I set out to do, that seemed so impossible in 2010, I accomplished. So now what?

Not sure if you guys know this or not, but this is the second time I moved back home. When I was 18 fresh out of high school I set my eyes and heart’s desire on moving to San Francisco. Young & dumb, at the brink of the 2008 recession, a year and student loans later; I couldn’t afford to live there anymore. Despite the fact that I had a job and exhausted my resources, my mom also lost her job and I had to sacrifice my own desires to move back home, to help her out. We’re a team after all and it just wasn’t the right time, it wasn’t my time.

I spent the remainder of 2009 dedicated to realigning, creating a plan of attack and decided that if I was going to live at home I would go to community college and see if I’d get into a college later. From 2010 to 2017, I chased my academic goals and career dreams. Who knew 7 years would go by so fast? I transferred from a community college with three associate degrees, to San Jose State in 2012, and in two short years graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations with an academic focus in Radio-TV-Film, all by the age 24 having already secured a job upon graduation. Naturally, I stuck to my guns over the last three years in San Jose, navigating through the corporate structures as I worked at different companies and figuring out what I wanted to do, or who I wanted to be. 7 years later, I find myself back at home, in a similar situation, wondering to myself what’s next?

I ask myself: How do I feel? What have I learned? Where do I want to go from here? It was a self-audit. I find myself still learning who I am.

These first two weeks back at home were an emotional rollercoaster except instead of going through motions fast and intense, the days dragged. I was exhausted and I needed rest. I slept a lot. I was emotionally drained but felt guilty for taking such a much-needed break. Since 2010 I didn’t rest, I chased my goals, I was disciplined academically working nonstop, taking winter session classes and summer internships to ensure I would graduate from a State University in 2 years and start my life. I couldn’t waste any more time, I thought.

Now, after having the time to be still, to be alone, to sit with me, it felt foreign. I couldn’t remember the last time I had a moment to just breathe like this.

I am powerful and I am capable, and it’s okay to DECOMPRESS. I noticed that my moods would go up and down; I began questioning if I made the right choice or if something was wrong with me and I felt guilty. I’m not sure exactly why I felt what I did, but what I’ve realized is, what I’m doing today, won’t be what I’m doing in 10 years from now unless I want it to be. Meaning, I am powerful and in charge of my life. Who do I want to be and what do I want to be known for? I ask myself at least twice a day. With that in mind, I’ve learned 3 important guidelines to help me redirect my path:

Finding Hope in Uncertainty
I am a worrywart and a stressor; to the point, I will make myself sick. I’ve been trying to reprogram myself.  With this opportunity to be still, I found time to change my thoughts and practice clarity through meditation. I’ve mentioned before that the guided meditations from Oprah & Deepak’s 21-day experience help immensely. The last 21 day’s theme was finding hope in uncertainty. A major theme of my life currently (shout outs to the universe for the alignment.) Through clarity, I’ve learned that I am a beacon of hope, that I find hope in every situation and that I can help others be more hopeful as well by spreading love, light, and positivity.

If you get tired, it’s okay to rest, just don’t quit. Don’t give up.

You see, I can’t freak out because I don’t know what’s next. There’s beauty in not knowing what’s next or not having everything completely figured out all the time. I can reinvent myself by taking this plunge into hopeful uncertainty. This is exactly what my soul needs, the best opportunity to redefine myself, reprogram and realign with my heart’s desires.

Acknowledging My Worth and My Desires
I’ve had some interviews, I have some leads, but I’m not willing to settle for just any check just for some coins. *Kanye shrug* What I know for sure is this; I only want to live with my mom for a year or 1.5 years, not any longer. I plan on working as much as possible and saving and paying down debt to financially be in a better situation, as I set up towards future success. BUT that doesn’t mean I want to just take ANY job. I want to be content and secure with my decision in where I work next. I know that what’s for me, will never miss me. I’m exactly where I need to be and the rest will fall into place. I’m not worried about finding a job or about the money, of course, I need the coins but I’m trusting that I made the right decision and moving forward no matter what happens next, I’m going to own it!

Finding Hope in Uncertainty

Chasing my Dreams
We all know, I have dreams, and I hope you do too. This world has a way of making us feel crazy or alienated and misunderstood for not wanting to give up on the lives we know we deserve. I had more free time being home and felt guilty because I wasn’t using my free time to write, or blog or even develop a plan. So now that my resting period is over, I’m energized. Last week I submitted two articles to Her Agenda, which I encourage all ambitious women to join as it’s a great network of smart like-minded women who collectively come together to encourage one another and create opportunities. I want to write more. I want to inspire more. I want to blog more. I want to create the life I want. Whatever that looks like, we’ll just have to find out together, won’t we?

Do Work Dreamer and maybe, Listen to Some Podcasts too?

As you know (or may not know), I’ve been trying different things this year, and as I’ve mentioned before career goals and relationship goals are almost one in the same. (strictly my own opinion, a theory I’m working on proving)

One of my “different things” on my to-do list for 2015 was “dating” = or whatever that means.

Recently, I found myself on a first date. The first date feels just like an in-person interview with a potential employer. Both parties are on their best behaviors, inquisitive and extremely well-mannered as the goal is to get the “call back,” a.k.a the second date. (I think I just found inspiration for another blog post here.)

Anyways, here I was on this first date, learning more about myself than this 6’5” stud of a software engineer sitting across the table from me. As our conversation flowed, we covered many topics, yet one of his questions stood out to me.

He asked me, “What are some podcasts you listen to?”

I found myself drawing a blank. The only podcast I had ever really gotten into that I could recollect in that moment was NPR’s Serial, which hasn’t been on since January (from what I could remember) and here it was end of September…*PAUSE! ICYMI SEASON 2 is on the way!*

I wasn’t listening to current podcasts because I was too busy implementing new found strategies from Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance. (Totally worth reading…hence why I was on a date in the first place…and there was eventually a third date, but no it didn’t work out with this guy—long story short.) Although this majestic eloquent software engineer was in-fact extremely good looking (zoolander reference), I wondered, Was he judging me as the girl who doesn’t listen to podcasts? Was that a good thing or bad thing? Not sure…but in 2015 I’ve committed myself to trying new sh*t so…I began to worry for my “well-being” and continue my journey of self-discovery because, who knows, maybe I could learn something from a podcast?

*Internal Struggling*

Why don’t I listen to any podcasts? Do people actually listen to podcasts? Is that honestly a worthy question one asks when learning new things about others? And if so, what podcasts are people actually listening to? Should I try to listen to podcasts? – Yes.

What I really learned about myself from this date was this; I pretend to be “interesting” but am I actually all that interesting? Just like a first interview, we try to sell ourselves in efforts to make a lasting impression on our potential employers or on our dates, we want that call back, but I couldn’t help but wonder…

If I’m not interesting enough, how can I expect anybody to be interested in me? Although this probably sounds like an insecurity, I took it upon myself to subscribe and listen to a ridiculous amount of random a** podcasts about every-and-anything that sounded interesting…to figure out what I actually like to listen to.

Here’s what I’ve found and what I love so far:

Here’s what I’ve learned: I like listening to these podcasts (actually like podcasts) these above in particular because lately I’ve been very curious about starting my own business or should I say what it’s like to potentially go off and enter the risky dark side of entrepreneurialism.  The reason behind this? It’s simple, thankfully I have a great job with great coworkers, but as a “Millennial” (you too probably reading this, we…) have this indefinite need for more or doing more and being our own “#GirlBoss”, so for now, I’m just flirting with different ideas, learning and reading as much as possible about how others are “doing what they love;” to hopefully realize what my niche is,  find out what it is I love to do and how can I do it every day (one day, eventually = ultimate DREAM).

design

So I’ll leave you with this, #1 Do the Work from –Being Boss. What separates us from just “wanting” our dream jobs and “doing” our dream jobs, is simply DOING the WORK. We have to be Dreamers AND Doers…wanting it bad enough to actually follow through and do the work to get the job done instead of opting to binge on an entire season of The Walking Dead or Orange is the New Black. In Being Boss, episode 1, Emily and Kathleen bring up a great point, no one is truly an overnight success, we don’t see the hours of blood, sweat and tears it takes, we just see the SUCCESSES. We have to remember it takes YEARS HARD WORK to BE whatever it is YOU wish to be…”want” to be…so BE YOU, and let’s both be the greatest to ever do “it” whatever that “it” is…Still figuring my why and find my it, still finding myself.

As my favorite saying goes, Dream’s don’t work unless you do.

♥ T