We all have heard the term girl power – especially if you grew up in the 90s and remember the Spice Girls at all. This pass weekend I attended a positive event titled “Girl Talk.” This was for aspiring and current business women in the metro Detroit area.

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I joined a little over 50 women listen to the stories and words of encouragement from some of the leading women in business in our area. Armed with my trusty journal and pen to take notes, I journeyed into downtown Detroit for an extra mental push to keep working toward my dreams. After looking at the panelist I realized I personally knew 3 of them and the host. Talk about a small town! Each woman presented her story to us and positive words for us to hold on to through our business. As we went to intermission I noticed I had NOT completed any of the major note taking I had anticipated on conducting. It seem as if the messages didn’t require physical presence in my life. I thought to myself “maybe the message for me is coming.”

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While sitting in on the second portion of the seminar, I placed my journal in my purse and decided to listen to what was being said. Just as I thought the message came from a complete stranger sharing my love of thrift! Her name was Daisy. She is co-partner of the “Style Dolls.” Her story resonated with me because she spoke on the one thing I battle with – juggling multiple dreams and making them successful. The excitement she felt about each one of her ventures was reminiscent of my own – charitable & commercial firms. In an excited voice she proclaimed “I can have it all. These are all the things I dreamed about!” Bit was at this moment that my two babies crossed my mind – HUGS (Helping Unforgettable Girls Succeed) & Sleeping Beauty Hair Garments.

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Yes, I’m always dabbling in different things in order to optimize my bottom line. However these are the entities I know that I hold close to my heart. I have to admit that I haven’t done everything possible to make them as successful as I can. The time is now for me to invest in myself. The overwhelming amount of change that has littered my life over the last couple months shouldn’t keep me from success. I believe in my dreams it’s just time for me to start working them harder. This was a great event and I can tell by the response some times all we need is a little extra push to take the leap! ūüôā

Dear Understood,

“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” Jim Rohn

I’m writing this letter to let you know that the journey continues.¬† I am not there, yet!¬† I don’t want you to feel that it has been aborted because some of my post topics range from the highlighted categories, random tags and inconsistent postings.¬† This is the virtual book/ snapshot of my life at this moment in time.¬† When I started this the goals were simple¬†¬†career, philanthropy, family, religion and love.¬† This is in no distinct order but I guess by¬†what jumped up in the line and subpoenaed my attention.¬† I’ll go into detail about what each has meant to the this¬†journey.¬† Two years ago, I began looking at my life through more discerning eyes.¬† Some might say it was because I was having a mid-life crisis or felt some extended pressure from my peers.¬† The TRUTH is I always knew that I wanted more and was capable of having it.¬† I just became set in my ways and the ways of society that keeps a person wishing instead of planning and doing!!!¬† I was coming to work miserable.¬† Every time I see that commercial where she says “You want more, you want more!!” I think of myself.¬† I had all the equipment to do it.¬† I just didn’t know how to get it or there to get it.

In my dreams, there are always important phone calls and decisions to be made.¬† I wasn’t doing anything at the time but making sure people didn’t sit in human waste, go without eating and become disengaged from their community (resident neighbors).¬† I had to formulate a plan and more importantly create the strength inside me to make a unregrettable move.¬† Through this past year, you have seen all that I have accomplished, worked toward and more importantly how I’ve began to live my life.¬† I have taken some of the control back and doing things MY WAY.

My career path looks more promising, as I make an adjustment to re-enter the school routine again.¬† Time to work on that post grad degree.¬† The position that I currently hold has an endless amount of opportunities as long as I stay focused.¬† HUGS (Helping Unforgettable Girls Succeed) was created and although we are experiencing some rocky patches, we’re still looking to grow to the next phase.¬† As I have expressed so many times to you.¬† This program has been a dream of mine for years and just to know that we are official is more than enough progress from where it was in my mind.¬† Of course you know, it doesn’t stop there.¬† The relationship that I have developed are even stronger with my family than ever before.¬† During my conventional work sabbatical, I realized that they are the most important thing to me.¬† I haven’t met a dollar amount or hourly wage that made me want to dismiss them the way I had when I worked all the time.¬† I started out strong back in my church and¬†although I’ve met my share of obstacles there,¬†my contribution can be seen far beyond the collection plate on Sunday mornings. (Look forward to new pics from the garden project coming soon.) As you can see, I made this last¬†goal last.¬† This is only because I have decided to be patient and allow what I need present itself to me.¬† I had to remove all of those negative ideas I had about this portion of my life from my mind.¬† The best part about all of this is I’m smiling more from a genuine place.¬† I don’t feel this force to smile when I don’t want to.¬† Smiling comes from the joy I feel on the inside about the decisions I’ve made, making and planning.

I thank you for taking interest in my story and allowing me to entertain you through my words.¬† It’s an honor and I am grateful.

Sincerely,

Marlea Z. Wilson, your friend

Drumroll please!!!!! The event that stole the show this year was the fruition of HUGS (Helping Unforgettable Girls Succeed).¬† But you already knew that, right?! This is by far the greatest accomplishment thus far for a dream I kept dreaming.¬† To become impactful in the lives of girls who need guidance, positivity and women to take the time to give them the encouragement for success.¬† I wasn’t in it alone.¬† I’d like to thank Mercedies Harris especially for lighting the match to ignite the fire I held within me to do this.¬† There have been sleepless nights and longer days as we attempt to move this thing forward.¬† The vision I have for this program is so grand that it keeps some windmills¬†of my mind moving constantly.¬† Humanitarianism is a part of my being that I’ve always wanted to tap in to but I knew it would have to be on my terms.¬† As you have read and notice within the media image¬†of this¬†post the “official” birthdate of HUGS is September 11.¬† A phoenix in my life and Detroit.¬† Sure, there are other dreams I’d like to accomplish.¬† This one just happens to be one of the sweetest ones because it’s NOT only about me.¬† It’s about sharing the knowledge I have¬†with those that come up behind me to help them move farther than they ever thought they could.¬† Currently we’re accepting girls ages 7-12 and mentors to become a part of our vision.¬† There have been some trials but we have continued to move forward.¬† We will be launching our website the 1st of the year.¬† Our first meet and greet will take place as well.¬† In the meantime, if Facebook isn’t to antiquated for you, lol.¬† Log on and visit our page to learn a little more about us.¬† If that ‘s not your speed¬†follow us on Twitter @HugSucceed, to find out what we’re doing and how we’re feeling.

In November the mentoring program was gifted a photo shoot and the girls loved it.¬† These are some of the images.¬† The new year holds great promise for this endeavor.¬† We’re looking to have fundraising events, metro Detroit excursions and hopefully our own selection of HUGS flava. (I dare NOT call it swag ;)) I’m elated with the possibilities of this program and bubbling over with excitement as we prepare for the next phase.¬† I’m sure it will make the list again for years to come.¬† But let’s see if something can dethrone HUGS or has a legacy begun.¬† ūüôā

Historically, September 11th was changed in our minds over a decade ago, forever. Over the years, we’ve been in annual vigilance for those who lost their lives in the tragedy of the WTC airplane bombing. I respect all of those that protect our freedom and the solidarity of the Red, White & Blue. However, this journey I’m on is about positive change and moving forward toward HAPPINESS. On this 9/11 I did something to strengthen our community.

So, I decided to check on a few things that have been on my To-Do list. I walked into the City County Building to ask a few questions and get some clarification. Before I knew it I was in line and going through the process. Right there in Room 201 HUGS (Helping Unforgettable Girls Succeed) for the next 5 years. It wasn’t what I had planned to do, but it must have been time. I talked with the Deputy Clerk about the program and she was excited to hear about it. I walked out into the sunny sidewalk of Detroit and :). Why, might you ask? Because through it all, helping these girls is paramount to me. while leaving I read the inscription on the wall behind the Spirit of Detroit (in the caption below). It propelled me into the next phase of execution.

“NOW THE LORD IS THAT SPIRIT AND WHERE THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS, THERE IS LIBERTY.”

With the completion of this component. My partner, Mercedies Harris and our volunteer mentors will look into planning some events that will help us generate a fund for the program. More than that, we want to become a fixture in the lives of as many girls as we can and encourage them toward awesomeness. There’s still a long way to go but I feel very positive about what’s happening.

I was so excited I had to share it with you… ūüôā

Every month, I will be giving my Beautifully Misunderstood family a quote that resonates in me.¬† As we work to bring our dream of HUGS to the community.¬† I wanted to share this quote with you.¬†¬†I’d like to give this lesson to¬†all the girls around me as they grow into¬†women.¬† The passage is appropriate for anyone who needs that push to become their authentic self.¬† Pass these familiar words along.¬† “If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” Audre¬†Lorde ¬†

Audre Lorde

Now, I know some of you remember this from the 1999 movie “The Best Man” staring Taye¬†Diggs, Nia Long and other great performers.¬† I never could quite get the quote right when I tried to remember it from the movie.¬† Forgetting would be impossible, now!¬† Don’t¬†be eaten alive.¬† Make a move for the SELF you want the world to recognize.¬† Be proud of your decision and do it with a SMILE :)….

Well, after some comparative ideas and stubborn software, the logo is final. The girls mentoring program H.U.G.S. has been a joy for me to work on. We’re meeting again with the principal¬†this Thursday. This is in an effort to have the proposal in top form before being presented to the board…

Hopefully, I’ll have more good news to report back. Stay tuned and keep SMILING.