Dakota Travis, 23
Stylist + Future CEO of HMM
Slaying yet another Female Featured Friday is my girl Dakota on the topic of change. I believe wisdom as nothing to do with age but everything to do with self awareness and for 23, she’s pretty aware of who she is, what she wants & how the hell she’s going to get it !
“People look at you strange and say you’ve changed like you worked that hard to stay the same Moving to Columbus to start my career has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life, and not for the reasons you’d think. Yeah, I worked my ass off to get here. Blood sweat & sanity went into it. I drove an hour and a half both ways to Cincinnati to go to school for 11 hours a day. If I wasn’t in school I was working a serving job, & anyone that has worked in the service industry knows how soul sucking that can be. I was trying to pay the bills, save money, deal with my mom being diagnosed with breast cancer, & going through a breakup. I was a walking zombie. I felt like a shit show. But I kept putting one foot in front of the other & eventually I graduated. Looking back on that period of my life, I’m grateful that I had to struggle & hustle because it made me appreciate the sweetness of the fruit of my labor in a way that so many people can’t. I remember the days I prayed for what I have now. The hustle wasn’t the part that hurt me. What hurt was feeling myself lose connections with people I thought I was close with. I’ve always been a dreamer. I had big plans to move to a big city to make big city moves. But when those dreams became a reality, I met the guy, & we made the move & got the jobs & I started my career, people dropped off my radar like flies. Because we didn’t have anything in common anymore. Because I talked the talk & I walked. I went from having all these "friends" to feeling like I had no one. Distance wasn’t the thing that made me feel alone, it was the people that were supposed to be backing me up & cheering me on that were missing. Calls went unanswered. Shit was talked. Eyes were rolled. I didn’t understand it for a long time. I had my mentors encouraging me & helping me figure out how to announce that I was getting back behind the chair, but that moment didn’t feel right for me. I was embarrassed by my own success. Of finally getting to do what I love and becoming a part of my dream team & doing all the fucking incredible things we were doing, because I was afraid of making the people in my life “feel bad.” It took me months of being depressed and feeling like a misfit to realize what was happening, & that it was complete bullshit. I think anybody that sees any ounce of their own self worth, also sees the value in others having their own success. I realized that MY kind of people are the ones that choose to build others up instead of tearing them down. They celebrate other’s victories because it genuinely makes them happy to see others succeed. The kind of people that can give you a shoulder to cry on and a congratulations all in one. We don’t have to do or think or want or feel the same things to be good to each other. I worked so fucking hard for this life. I deserve it. I have everything to be proud of. Yeah there are some assholes from my past that look at me like I’m an alien because I’m getting shit done, but that’s not my problem. And I DO have the most amazing support system cheering me on, and they’re the ones who’s opinions matter to me. They’re the ones that keep me going. They’re the ones that get to stay in my life. Y’all are the realest. I’ve finally realized I’m not the one with the problem, & that I’m HAPPY & PROUD to be rolling in another direction. I also realized I do NOT need anyone’s approval to be who I am, but damn does it feel good to have the most incredible friends, family & love of my life that I do, in my corner cheering me on every step of the way 😘 I want to thank you guys for all of the congrats. Thanks to my friends that listened to me freak the hell out for months & told me it would be okay. Thanks to everyone that stuck around when my life was chaos. Thanks to @molly.hmm & @marcyharrisortiz for being incredible role models, & showing me the way. Thanks to my love for being the only unwavering consistency in my life. And thanks to the shit heads that eventually taught me a little bit about my own self worth, the hard way. I’m changing guys, & I’m gonna keep growing & making big moves. And I’m doing it for me from now on. ✌🏼”