Meet Ranita Williams
Meet Power Mom Ranita Williams
“There is no timeline in achieving your dream or passion. It is a pursuit, a chase, until the day you can say everything that I prayed, dreamed, desired, and wished for; I have achieved it and now it's time to share it unselfishly.”
Tierra Destiny Reid: Please give us a brief recap of your career.
Ranita Williams: My passion is working with people with developmental disabilities. My most recent job was the Medicaid Administrator for Montgomery County Maryland. I have been blessed to work jobs that I love, which is helping people. I have been working with people with disabilities for over 35 years. I am in the process of relocating to Atlanta, Georgia to begin a new chapter in my career. Although I have been in Management for 30 of my 35 year career, I am ready to be more of a hands on employee. I would like to get back to my roots and work in the group home settings and offer my expertise and knowledge to my co-workers. But most importantly I want to work directly with the individuals with disabilities living and working in the community.
TDR: Tell us about your children.
RW: I have two children ages 26 (girl) and 29 years old (boy). My children live together pursing their education. Both are graduates of Morgan State University in Maryland. Although I was married for 30 years, once my children became teenagers I felt like I was a single parent raising the children with little help. My children are very respectful, well-mannered and hard-working. On the other hand both are timid, vulnerable and easily persuaded. Therefore, I instilled in them that that there were only two leaders, God and themselves. Follow God and he will direct your paths. Follow your dreams as they are far better than following someone else’s dreams.
TDR: How are you juggling your passion with the responsibilities of parenthood?
RW: To ensure I was being a good parent, I incorporated my passion into my lifestyle and raising my children. I always wanted to help people accomplish the best for themselves. What better way than to start at home. My children saw me working long hours, sometimes 2-3 jobs in pursuit of my passion. Years later after my children moved here from Maryland, I asked my son "how is it that you have a 3.6 grade point average now and when you were at Morgan State University, you barely had a 2.0 grade point average?" He said, “It’s easy when you what you do is a passion then it's not considered work.” I guess what I thought was hard work has always been my passion and now I see it in my children.
TDR: What are some of your struggles and how do you work to overcome them?
RW: As most single parents, finances are my greatest struggle and obstacle. Once I realized that I was in an emotionally abusive marriage, I decided to sacrifice everything and move my children here to Atlanta so that they could pursue their dreams. I stopped paying my bills and picked up additional jobs so I could support them. It was truly a struggle with very little financial help from their father. I don't have any regrets. I knew that with any struggle it was temporary. As they say I had been in the "valley for a long time and getting out would be an upward battle.” But at the end of the day I would come out of the battle at some point and have the victory. I am not quite victorious but have overcome some battles and the war is not over yet. But one day I know that without the shadow of a doubt I shall win and be victorious. I see light at the end of the tunnel.
TDR: What are 2 resources you use to help you stay motivated?
RW: Attending church is my greatest resource. It keeps me motivated and grounded. I read scriptures of what Jesus went through and my issues seem so small compared to the Biblical characters in the Bible. I ask myself what is the worst that could happen and if it's that bad I don't have any control over it anyway.
My children are a resource for they remind me of how proud I am of them and not to brag I am proud of myself. I look and talk to my children to see how much they have matured and how much they have changed and improved. It is a wonderful thing to see and witness your offspring to do so well. My children motivate me. The encouraged me to leave my job and relocate to live with them.
TDR: What is your favorite way to pause?
RW: Reflection is my best pause. Quietly sitting in my car or apartment reflecting on the past, present, and what is about to come. They are all very positive. Even if it was something negative that occurred, in the end it has turned into something good. Quiet moments- no music, no television, and nature is my best pause.
TDR: What has been the scariest moment or crossroad in your journey?
RW: I am perhaps in my scariest moment now. I just resigned from my job in Montgomery County Maryland as a Senior Manager overseeing the Medicaid program. Good job, good salary, and a host of influential people who knew my work. I am relocating to Atlanta, Georgia with no job and I am moving in with my two children. After a bitter divorce, my credit is horrible and the likelihood of being able to get an apartment on my own is very slim. It’s scary but I am not afraid. I am not afraid because I am starting over. I cannot bring fear into the equation or else I will not succeed or triumph. I am making this move on pure faith and belief that God will work everything out. I know my strengths and my weaknesses. I thought leaving my husband of 30 years was a scary moment but I survived it and I will survive and conquer this new adventure in my life. I am beginning a new journey at 58 years old and I am looking forward to it with God's blessings.
TDR: What would be your greatest advice to other "Power Moms" wanting to pursue their dreams?
RW: As the Nike cliché says "Just Do It.” Remove the words, "What if, But, Can't, Won't, and Fear.” Replace the words with "I can, So What, and Try again.” You must know your dreams. Not the dreams that someone else tells you. An example. "Girl you are a good cook, you should open up your own catering company.” You must ask the question. “Is fulfilling my dream is to cook or own my own business?” You can have both but each dream or passion comes with a sacrifice and you must be willing to stand the test of the sacrifices. You must take ownership and responsibility if the challenges are too great. This is your dream therefore you can't have any doubts.
TDR: What word best describes the legacy you want to leave for your children and why?
RW: No dream or passion is worth pursuing without sacrifice. Sacrifice is not just going without buying new shoes or having extra money. Sacrifice is the desire to give up and walk away from your comfort zone to pursue your dream and chase your passion. You must want it enough for eternity. There is no timeline in achieving your dream or passion. It is a pursuit, a chase, until the day you can say everything that I prayed, dreamed, desired, and wished for; I have achieved it and now it's time to share it unselfishly.
TDR: How can others collaborate and support your mission?
RW: Partnering with others through support groups and workshops. Networking is key and unselfish sharing of resources.
Connect with Ranita
Facebook - Ranita Monica Pulliam Williams