March Momentum


Napoleon said in Louis de Bourrienne, Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte “There are two levers for moving men: interest and fear.” We are weeks into the month of March and a perfect time to look back on goals made. Ask yourself, “Which lever was used to help you create your goal?” The understanding of that would assist in finding and maintaining momentum. 

We’ve all heard of the “carrot and the stick” theory, however, there are other factors that motivate individuals. For example: incentives, growth, social factors, and/or achievements. In my opinion, once the motive is identified it’s easier to create steps to ensure the goal is achieved. If your motivation is that your friend or family member has that goal, I strongly recommend taking time for yourself to identify why you said yes. 

“Individuality… lies at the root of all progress,” so said by Mohandas K. Gandhi and I couldn’t agree more! The journey to success is different for everyone and sometimes success comes in trial and error. Creating goals that follow the guidelines of Peter Drucker’s management by objectives concept ‘SMART’, increases the chance of being successful and assist in the creation of a defined plan. The letters in the word each represents the suggested criteria to use when creating goals. 

S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Relevant
T – Time – Bound

At this point, I am hoping that you’ve identified your motivation and thought or wrote your goal using the ‘SMART’ concept. Now we can delve into different ways to maintain momentum and get excited about the impact on your relationships. It’s time to march to your own beat! 

My goal, as a former pageant winner and model, was to be selected by a designer to showcase their line during Fashion Week in Rhode Island on the runway, after graduating with my master’s degree. My motivation, wanting to improve my runway walk and build my portfolio in the US. Here are some things that I’ve done or could have done to keep up with my goal set. 

1. Create a list of short and long-term goals that would aid in achieving the overall goal. 
2. Use a digital or hard copy calendar to track and note the progress and set reminders when actions are due. 
3. If you are more visual, create a ‘Vision Board’ that’s either hung in a central spot or somewhere that you have easy access too. There are lots of D.I.Y post on creating similar boards. 
4. Post it notes can be very useful as well. 

Admittedly, one tactic may work, or you might realize that you must incorporate a mixture of tactics to maintain momentum and ensure you are on track to accomplish your goal. That is okay! Remember, “Individuality… lies at the root of all progress,” - Mohandas K. Gandhi. Seeing that, what keeps you excited is also going to be individualized. 

Instead of belittling yourself for not achieving your goal or reaching as far as you should, I encourage you to think back on what motivated you in the first place. Take a few steps back and get excited again about what you want to achieve. There’s no rule that say you cannot use hindsight to redefine and reconnect with your motivation. Remember why and envision the outcome and the benefits. 

I mentioned individuality, but I refer to that of one’s motives. If you can find individuals that have the same or similar goals as you, create that support system. Connect and Inspire one another then Showcase the amazing things being done. Often we are quick to highlight our failures, what about highlighting the wins, as small as they may be. This is yet another tactic to maintain momentum and excitement. 

No doubt at this point, you are marching to your own beat. Be excited and bask in your excitement! Your goal may be work or personal related but your organizational skills, dedication, and excitement is going to impact all the relationships you have. Don’t be afraid to press the reset button and create a new beat for you to march too. 

All things considered, Napoleon may have referred to two levers that move men but there are several levers or combination of them that could work. Find what motivates you. Create goals that are SMART. Track your progress, get others involved, celebrate the small wins and know that you have control on how you react to changes in the beat.  

I got discouraged and had to hit the reset button as it related to my goal. Thanks to some of the tactics mentioned above, I did not quit and got asked to model for StyleWeek Northeast February 2018 and Fashion Week RI March 2018, for 7 days with 9 designers. 

March to your own beat! Or in my case, the Runway. 

Happiness Is A Choice // International Day Of Happiness

Happiness is not out there, it’s in you.
— Anonymous

I, like many others, have been searching for happiness most of my life. Happiness has always been an abstract concept to me, something that was always just slightly out of my reach. I’ve lived a good portion of my life acting out the phrase: “if this, then happiness.” If I lose 20 lbs., then I’ll be happy; if I increase the number of friends I have, then I’ll be happy; if I train and complete a 5K, then I’ll be happy, etc. A vicious cycle of following the “ifs” in my life, going wherever they took me, but always walking away feeling hollow, frustrated, and sad. And the happiness target was always moving, and most of the time I was barely keeping up. I spent so long looking for happiness anywhere I thought I could find it: through school, from friends, having an ideal body, exercise, being busy, being available, saying yes all the time. Why was I doing what I thought was all the right things but still feeling empty? Like there was a hole inside me that just couldn’t be filled no matter what I put into it. 

Then, early last year, I started a small routine, insignificant almost. I started taking my contacts out when I got home from work. My eye doctor had advised me to give my eyes a break after being in front of a computer all day and so one night, when my eyes were particularly dry, I came home from work and took out my contacts. And from there I started slowly adding to this routine: washing and moisturizing my face, brushing and flossing my teeth, drinking a cup of tea, reading or listening to a podcast. When I think about this now, it’s almost as if I had been running away from myself. Previously, I had filled my time with anyone other than myself, desperately not wanting to be alone with just me. And I was doing anything to take up my time instead of just quietly being. 

Taking the time for self-care inadvertently forced me to spend a small amount of time with myself every day. And the more time I spent with myself, the more the answers for finding my happiness became clear. Happiness for me wasn’t about anything externally actionable but instead was a choice, a conscious decision, to see myself for who I really am when I put myself first.

Happiness is a decision.
— Michael J. Fox

My therapist told me that everyone carries around a “bucket” to be filled. Sometimes we put into others buckets, or sometimes they put into ours. But what I had forgotten to do, and what my therapist pointed out so plainly, was that I had forgotten to put into my own bucket. Happiness, for me, wasn’t about achieving goal after goal, or about saying yes to everything and everyone, but instead was taking time each day to put myself first and to get to know and love who I am.  

I’ve added a few more routines into my life, like picking out my clothes, shoes and accessories for the following day because I discovered in the alone time with myself that I really like fashion. I also prepare and pack a healthy lunch the night before a busy day at work. And I do so many more small things now: I drink a cup of tea every night, and always by candlelight; I listen to more music; I write; sometimes I color. And I’ve become ok with many things in my life that at one time or another felt like they would crush me. I don’t worry (too much!) anymore about how many friends I have, if I’m missing out on an event, or if my jeans will ever be anything other than a size 14. I’ve chosen happiness and it’s finally chosen me.

What has your journey to happiness looked like? I’d love to hear from you!

Keep Moving!


I know it can be difficult to find yourself feeling unmotivated, discouraged, or somehow lacking energy or drive… especially when you had so much of it at the beginning of the year. Don’t worry. You can get back on the momentum train and stay there… for as long as you want or need to. 

Momentum as defined by Merriam-Webster’s dictionary: strength or force gained by motion or by a series of events. The origin and etymology of momentum is New Latin, from Latin, movement.

I love that right in the definition of momentum and the origin are the keywords….MOTION and MOVEMENT.

So to be in momentum is to be in the energy of strength or force (power) that is gained by being in Motion or Movement. I love that. Don’t we all want to be gaining strength and power as we move throughout our days? Of course!! To be in momentum is not supposed to defeat or tire us. It is meant to enhance us. 

I also want to point out how amazing it is that the root word of Momentum is Moment. Interesting… no? Why moment? Why is the moment part of momentum? Because the present moment is the only place from which we can move, give, receive, and create from.

Here are my 7 tips for being and staying in Momentum so you can ultimately Keep Moving towards what you most desire. 

#1. You don’t HAVE to be in momentum.

You read correctly. You GET to be in it. You get to be in that amazing energy of movement, gaining strength and power as you live in your moment to moment, day to day, week to week. 

#2. Be aware of the present moment.

Once again I want to point out that when you decide to be in momentum you choose to create and live in the moment to moment. Being in the present, not the past or future, you are guaranteed the space to create from, to be, and to receive what you choose. No matter where you are right now… take a couple of deep breaths and bring your awareness to the present moment. Can you feel it? Can you feel yourself in the present moment, the only moment available for you? THIS my friends… is the space you can begin to move from. This is the space you can begin to create from. It begins with one step, and then the next, and so forth and so on. 

#3. Begin to create a habit of movement.

Do this by taking purposeful and intentional action towards your goals in your moment to moment, day to day, week to week. At first, the momentum you begin to create won’t be felt and that is ok because it is the awareness of being in the present moment that you want to focus on. As you continue to dedicate and commit to taking action towards the specific area(s) in your life that you want to be moving in… the momentum kicks in. 

#4. Know that you are not stuck.

You may feel stuck and the things around you may look the same but you are not stuck. I used to believe the same thing, that I was stuck. This quickly changed once I opened my ears, eyes, and mind after hearing the following… it is impossible to be stuck. Can you feel stuck? YES! But it is IMPOSSIBLE to be stuck. I will tell you why. We are always growing and moving, whether we are thinking, speaking, breathing, or simply walking. We are in fact, beings in and of movement. Do you have any idea of all the movement that is happening inside of your body as you are reading this? Exactly! Therefore, it is impossible for you to be stuck. If you are feeling stuck, all you have to do is REMEMBER the following. I am a being in and of movement and I can claim this truth at any given moment. The energy of my being is available to me at any moment. It is from this place is where you can get back on the momentum train. Yep, hop in! It is waiting for you! 

#5. Move your body.

This can look like running, walking, yoga, dance, tai chi or whatever appeals to you and your body. Moving will get your juices flowing and it will ultimately affect your attitude. Moving your body is another way to create a habit of movement (tip #3 above) and momentum in your life. 

#6. Check your attitude.

Attitude is everything they say! But when you are feeling out of sorts, in the dumps, or unmotivated, in turn, your attitude is not the best. Your attitude is how you see the world and how the world sees you. Laugh, joke, be with others that make you laugh. This will affect your attitude positively. With a positive attitude, it is so much easier to decide to be in movement in your life. In fact…you will be attracting more positivity and momentum in your life in no time.  

#7. Do something for someone else.

I truly believe doing for others is one of the best ways to get out of a rut and into movement. When you lose yourself doing something for another… a cause, a charity, a friend or stranger in need - positive energy is created within you. Doing for others not only gets you out of a stagnant energy but it creates the energy of love and joy in your body. This energy you created has nothing better to do than to move within and outside of you. Try it! I bet you will be sporting a radiant smile inside and out. Doing something for someone else creates movement and momentum in your life. 

Keep Moving my friends! 

Guisela Pinto Caballero is a bilingual psychotherapist and empowerment coach. Her mission is to empower women to live the lives they truly desire. 

Letter From The Editor // Momentum

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It’s funny that I chose Momentum as March’s topic because 1) it’s my word of the year and 2) I don’t have any right now. As you may recall from January’s Letter From The Editor, I questioned all the goals we were setting for ourselves. It felt like we were setting ourselves up for failure. Is it actually possible to keep up with everything we want to accomplish? My word for 2016 was Action. I’m not one for staying in my head. I want to work. I like actionable steps to get things done. But I noticed that I was busy but nothing important was actually getting done. So I made Start my word for 2017. I had all these grand ideas but I needed to actually just f’ing start on them! So I did. I launched a business with my best friends. That was huge. I also learned what I didn’t want to waste my time on. For years I said I wanted to write a book. Last year I realized that the subject matter did not resonate with me anymore and to hold space for this book I wanted to write in my heart was just an exercise in wasted energy.

I wanted Momentum to be my word for 2018 because I wanted to keep the energy I had in 2017 going. I wanted to still feel excited about the projects I had going on. It’s very easy to get worried about the day to day activities of running a business. Responding to emails, taxes (oh my god, the taxes), writing proposals, and more - that became the focus. By the time all that was done, I barely felt like I had the energy to spend on that actual enjoyable part of the business - working on client projects. I believe this is supposed to be the part of the post where I tell you the grand lesson. Well, I don’t really have one. The only thing I learned is to stop focusing on stuff that doesn’t matter and work on what’s most important. But I hear your concerns through this glowing screen! “Isn’t it rude to not answer emails?” Sometimes, but not really. I once heard that emails are someone else’s to-do list. Usually, it’s someone else requesting your time and energy. How about scheduling your productive hours of the day to the task at hand and then using a different time period to answer emails. “But I have to pay my taxes!” Sadly, yes, we all do. How about hiring an accountant so you don’t have to worry about trying to manage it yourself. “Proposals are what get me work!” Well, maybe. Writing proposals is a full-time job in itself. Maybe find a better way to pitch yourself to clients that is less time consuming.

I know personally that if I want to keep momentum, I need to cut out the extra stuff vying for my attention. Every morning (or even better, the night before) write down the top three most important things you need to get done. Spoiler alert: emails should not be on that list. Then write down three other things that would be nice to get done but it will be ok if it doesn’t. Then schedule yourself time to attend to emails and social media. Make sure it’s after you have allotted time to get all your work done (unless your prime working hours are later in the day, flip this and do emails and social media first thing and get it out of the way). You’ll start to feel way better and the momentum will build and build.

This month on The Lady Project Blog, we will be sharing our tips on how we keep the momentum going. I hope you learn something new along the way.

Brittanny Taylor

Lovin’ A “Roadie”


Although Valentine’s Day was weeks ago, my fiancé and I will be celebrating this weekend! When dating a roadie, you never know when a holiday or birthday will be on hold.

Wikipedia defines a "roadie" (road crew) as the technicians or support personnel who travel with a band on tour, usually in sleeper buses, and handle every part of the concert productions except actually performing the music with the musicians.

Falling in love with a roadie has been the most amazing and adventurous experience. Although we don’t have a typical relationship, it works for us! When I tell people that my fiancé is away at work for weeks or months at a time, they usually look at me like I’m nuts. Most likely they’ll ask me “how could I date someone that travels for work?”. I’ll smile and tell them that I absolutely love being in a long-distance relationship. Normally, most people will tell me that they could never date someone on the road. A few years ago, a friend met a roadie and wasn’t sure if she could handle the relationship. While encouraging her to give the relationship a chance, it made me realize that it takes a special person to make a long-distance relationship work.  That conversation inspired me to write this post.

Adam and I met on in January 2013. For the first six months, we emailed back and forth because he was in Australia and South Africa. I wasn’t exactly sure what he did for work; all I knew was that he is an audio engineer and he travels. At the end of his profile, it said, “If you’re lucky I’ll tell you who I work for”. Assuming that most girls would ask him, I decided not to. Which was definitely a good move on my part, because I probably wouldn’t have believed him and stop chatting with him, never mind attempting to meet a potential sociopath. Adam had a short break in June, and we were finally able to meet in person before he would have to take off again. When he revealed that his mystery employer is one of the biggest bands in Rock and Roll, I looked at him with disbelief. Truly, I didn’t believe him! At first, I thought he was another crazy guy from the online dating world. Not sure whether or not to get up and leave the date, I decided to stay and see what else this delusional guy had to say. He had a great vibe about him, and since I picked a restaurant where I knew the staff, I felt comfortable staying. We ended up having a great night and amazing conversations. I knew that night I found my best friend! After some investigating, I found out that this so-called crazy guy was actually telling the truth about his employer. Unfortunately, I’m unable to mention the name of the band in this post. For all of the trivia fans out there: this band made it into the 2015 Guinness Book of World Records for being the first musical act to perform a concert on every continent. Adam was on that iconic tour when we first met!

By November we were a couple, and I was officially dating a roadie. Adam’s schedule was insane!!! He would come home for two days then leave for a few weeks, then come home for a week, and then leave again. At least we had phone calls, texts, and FaceTime! At the beginning of our relationship in our “honeymoon stage” when all we wanted to do is spend time together, he had to leave for the land of no service - Antarctica! It took Adam three days to get down there once he departed from “The End of the Earth” Ushuaia, Argentina. He traveled there by an old Russian icebreaker vessel. The journey took him through the Drake Passage. It is one of the deadliest bodies of water in the world. It is where the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean meet on the southern tip of Argentina. We had ZERO communication for three days. I was worried and terrified! Never had I been in a situation like this before, where my boyfriend’s work would push him to overcome obstacles on his commute to the job site! He was able to contact me on his second day in Antarctica. It was the only, very short, and expensive phone call that trip, but worth every cent! I knew he was alive. He told me the travel to get there was crazy. They hit a storm on the way down. Ever see the film, “The Perfect Storm”? It was very much like that. I was glad to know he was safe. Once I heard his voice, I knew everything would be OK! I was so happy for him that he was able to visit a continent that most haven’t traveled to before, but was also flooded with emotions about this newfound romance. Could I actually handle dating a roadie? Was this going to be our norm? This was the ultimate test to see if I could date a roadie.

Thankfully I passed!

The last five years of being in a long distance relationship have been an amazing learning experience for both of us. While every relationship needs a solid foundation of trust, communication, and respect; independence also plays a huge role in dating a roadie! When trying to reassure my friend that dating a roadie is worth the time and effort, I emphasized the importance of independence. If I weren't running a business, taking classes, involving myself with charities, and having my own hobbies---I would probably drive myself crazy while Adam was away. Also, I love having my alone time! Does it get lonely when he’s away at work? Absolutely! But the excitement of when Adam comes home out weights the feeling of loneliness when he’s gone.

Being in a relationship with a roadie is definitely a lifestyle change! While most couples get to talk or see their significant other on a daily basis, I’m lucky if I get to talk to Adam every day. If I was to add up all the days in the year that I get to fall asleep and wake up next to my roadie, I’m lucky if it’s three or four months out of the year!

He is normally in other countries and has a significant time difference. Most days we are only able to talk to each other for a few minutes, and that is usually after a show and he’s getting ready to get on the bus or plane to head off to the next city, country, or continent. Sometimes we get lucky and he’s in the hotel and we are able to FaceTime when I’m free. This all depends on how good the Wi-Fi is in the country he’s working in. Any avid FaceTimers know how frustrating it can be when the Wi-Fi is lousy! 

Since our daily communication is limited, trust is huge! There is absolutely no way I could be in this roadie relationship if I didn’t trust him 100%! When we first started dating, there were so many Negative Nellies’ that constantly told me that a roadie couldn’t be trusted, and I didn’t know what he was doing on the road. While some people tried to break my faith I had in the relationship, I knew in my heart that he loved me and I could trust him.

We have the utmost respect for each other, while at home and on the road. After experiencing the production of the show from load-in to load-out, I was fascinated by all of the work and detailing that goes into putting on a concert! That experience made me respect Adam’s career more than I could have ever imagined! With the organized chaos behind the scenes, I’ve learned to not add any more stress than he’s already having with work. For example, when everyday homeowner issues may arise, I’ve learned it’s best to handle what I can at home and not overwhelm him with additional stress that I am perfectly capable of handling myself. I know everyone has some sort of stress at work, no matter what it is you do. Imagine your average workday - what is it like for you to get to work, do your job, what’s for lunch, what’s for dinner, what roads should I take home, not to mention adding children into this (we don’t have any, but a lot of people who work with Adam do have kids). Here is an average journey/work day for Adam: after a 20-hour day of flying to another continent, he has one night (hopefully) in a hotel, the next morning, usually early, he is at work waiting for his truck to unload. His truck is just one of 24 trucks of gear that will be unloaded. Once the truck is unloaded he has to set up his “world”, as he calls it. It can take anywhere from 2 to 16 hours to be “show ready” (the time differential depends on the scale of the show.) Now, by that time most of us have eaten breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Once it is all set up, everything is tested, and everyone is show ready, it is time for the show. At this point, Adam finally gets to do his job! He has to mix all the instruments together and make it sound “musical” for the artist who is performing in front of tens of thousands of fans, if not hundreds of thousands so that the musician is able to do his job as a performer. The way Adam sees his job is that if he has a bad night, the artist can also have a bad night. Therefore, the fans don’t get as great of a performance as they paid for and, more importantly, deserve to see. Don’t worry; the day is not over yet. Hoping the show is successful, as they usually are, there is no time to worry about that because now it is time to go on to the next city. The “load out” begins! All the gear that was brought in on those 24 trucks now has to get put back into those trucks in a timely manner because the crew has to get to the next destination. That is a long day and only a gist of it.

Once the workday has ended for him, he now gets to share a 240 square foot bus with 11 other people! Not to mention, language barriers, poor sanitary conditions in other countries, and I hate to say it, but it’s a reality, the safety in these foreign places can be scary at times. That is just a glimpse into his day. So, if I can take some weight off of his shoulders and I am able to do so, why wouldn’t I? I am always able to go to him with issues, but if I’m capable of handling the situation on my own, I’ve found it works best to grab the bull by the horns.

Adam and I have learned many lessons of dating long distance and found that communication is key! I can’t stress this enough! We are not talking about the day-to-day chitchat, but the needs and wants of your partner when they are home or on the road. The roadie lifestyle is fast-paced and stressful! It’s important for your roadie to come home and decompress for a day or two in order to rest up from the 16-hour workdays, shake off the jet lag, and adjust to the time change. It took me a long time to understand how important this decompression period truly is. Even though he tried telling me about the time he needed to have to himself, we both wanted to see each other and let the loving emotions get the best of us. Of course when your loved one is away for an extended amount of time you want to see them as soon as they land! Over the past five years, we realized that the decompression period is a must! The quality time we spend together when he is rested and clear-minded is far greater than when he is not.

If you’ve ever considered dating someone that travels for work… DO IT! I was quite skeptical at first, but it has changed my life in so many positive ways! That’s a whole other story of traveling, learning about other cultures, and introducing me to a world I knew nothing about. The world is MASSIVE. You don’t realize how big it is until you get out there and see it for yourself. Go see it!

We realized how valuable time is in a relationship like this. At the end of the day, a relationship is all based on an emotional bond or spiritual connection you have with someone. What the other person does for work, or what continent he is on doesn’t matter. Love is what matters. We have that! We have a LOVE story like no other!

Airplanes are the hallways to my office.
— Adam Correia

Loren Mendozzi is the owner of L. Marie's Wellness, your destination in Providence for holistic treatments & workshops that feed your spirit and repair your body.

12 Black Women You Should Know // Audre Lorde

Audre Lorde was a writer, feminist, womanist, librarian, and civil rights activist. As a poet, she is best known for technical mastery and emotional expression, as well as her poems that express anger and outrage at civil and social injustices she observed throughout her life. Her poems and prose largely deal with issues related to civil rights, feminism, and the exploration of black female identity.

In 1977, Lorde became an associate of the Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press. Lorde taught in the Education Department at Lehman College from 1969 to 1970, then as a professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (part of the City University of New York) from 1970 to 1981. There, she fought for the creation of a black studies department. In 1981, she went on to teach at her alma mater, Hunter College (also CUNY), as the distinguished Thomas Hunter chair.

In 1980, together with Barbara Smith and Cherríe Moraga, she co-founded Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, the first U.S. publisher for women of color. In 1981, Lorde was among the founders of the Women’s Coalition of St. Croix, an organization dedicated to assisting women who have survived sexual abuse and intimate partner violence (IPV). In the late 1980s, she also helped establish Sisterhood in Support of Sisters (SISA) in South Africa to benefit black women who were affected by apartheid and other forms of injustice. Lorde was State Poet of New York from 1991 to 1992.

12 Black Women You Should Know // Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai was an internationally renowned Kenyan environmental political activist and Nobel laureate. She was educated in the United States at Mount St. Scholastica (Benedictine College) and the University of Pittsburgh, as well as the University of Nairobi in Kenya.

In 1977, Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement, an environmental non-governmental organization focused on the planting of trees, environmental conservation, and women’s rights. In 1984, she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, and in 2004, she became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for “her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.” Maathai was an elected member of Parliament and served as assistant minister for Environment and Natural resources in the government of President Mwai Kibaki between January 2003 and November 2005. She was an Honorary Councillor of the World Future Council. In 2011, Maathai died of complications from ovarian cancer.

12 Black Women You Should Know // Harriet A. Washington

Harriet A. Washington is an American writer. She is the author of the book Medical Apartheid, which won the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. Washington was Health and Science editor of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. In 1990, she was awarded the New Horizons Traveling Fellowship by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. subsequently worked as a Page One editor at USA Today newspaper, before winning a fellowship from the Harvard School of Public Health. In 1997, she won a John S. Knight Fellowship at Stanford University, and in 2002 was named a Research Fellow in Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School.

12 Black Women You Should Know // Morgan DeBaun

Morgan DeBaun is an African American entrepreneur. She is the cofounder and CEO of Blavity, a web site created by and for black millennials. DeBaun cofounded Blavity with Aaron Samuels in 2014. The site features content created by and for young black Americans, including subjects such as the Black Lives Matter movement and protests of the National Anthem.

In 2016, DeBaun launched a Blavity conference specifically for black women, EmpowerHer. Her company Blavity also launched AfroTech, the largest tech conference in Silicon Valley for African American startup founders, designers, engineers and operators. DeBaun is one of few African-American female founders that have raised more than $1 million in venture capital.

You Should Look For Love Everywhere


Six years ago, I packed up my life in New York and moved to Providence. Some might say it was for love...

I told myself, and everyone else, it was to start my career. After applying to dozens of jobs at the tail-end of the recession, with a pen in hand and dreams of writing on my mind, I was taking a job at a small tech startup doing “SEO writing.” I had no idea, at the time, what SEO stood for.

It sure was for love alright - the love I had for chasing dreams. But of course, as all these stories go, there was a boy.

We had met in our junior year of college, and seven years later, I am happy to say we are still together. But I had to find love in other places along the way. Sometimes it was with myself. Sometimes my girlfriends, my family, my job, my dog, a bottle of wine…. Even my bathtub.

I believe that the idea that you can get everything you want in one person is a bit destructive. We’re all out there looking for “the one.” That perfect person who fulfills 100% of what we need in life. But we need to accept that the number is closer to 70 or 80-percent. And that’s OK! I believe we need to seek out and embrace love in all kinds of people, places, and things so we can be whole, happy, and fulfilled… that’s how we’re 100% fulfilled with love.

Moving my life to Providence was for me, but it left me at a crossroads. I left everything I knew in New York. And that hit me hard. As someone who suffers with often crippling anxiety, I spent more time than I choose to admit making my entire life about my significant other. I knew nothing, and no one, else. And I needed something stable to latch onto.

But that wasn’t going to work. His life was always here. I needed to find a way to build my own life, too.

So before “self-love” and “self-care” were buzzwords, I threw myself into it. What would make me happy? I started looking for love everywhere. I focused on my friends - and built traditions with some of the ladies who would become my closest girlfriends. I focused on myself - and rekindled my love affair with running. I focused on my new home - and fell in love with decorating. I focused on my alma mater - and became a mentor and leader, a love affair that never really ended. I joined organizations like The Lady Project. I found places and secret paths in my new home.

I learned that by looking for love everywhere, I was in control of my own happiness. I was more content, and I was a better partner. And I am steadfast in those beliefs. It’s not uncommon to find me seeing a movie alone, wandering the mall on a Saturday, or booking a spa day with my girlfriends.

My partner supports this completely. And he lives the same lifestyle. Whether you’re in a long-term relationship, married, or just newly dating, I truly believe that the fastest route to unhappiness is to forget that you are two individuals sharing a life together.

Accept that the perfect partner won’t give you 100% of the love you need. They’ll give you 70% and you’ll fill the other 30% with self-love, girlfriends that are soulmates, puppy snuggles, a long bubble baths. And that’s a hell of a life.