Well, well, well, it is that time of the year again. We each have that one day of the year where we celebrate the day in which we were born into this world and this week is my turn. Yes, I celebrate my birthday and every year that we live to see is indeed a celebration.

However, there are certain birthdays that are considered monumental and certainly deserve some celebration. Your 1st birthday is the celebration of your first year on this earth, your 16th birthday you get your license and an amazing sweet 16, your 18th birthday you are now an “adult” and “grown”, your 21st birthday you can legally drink and you’re excited to go out to the club with your new over 21 Identification Card, your 25th birthday you’re a quarter centurion and then you have the 30th birthday.

Which do you think I am turning this week?

You guessed it, the lovely 30.

What can I say about the 30th birthday? For some reason, I feel that society tells me that I should have it all together by now. I should be the millionaire that I set out to be, I should be married with 1.5 children and a have house in the suburbs with a white picket fence and a dog to match. I should have some safe and stable job that pays benefits while planning my annual 2-week vacation.

I can say that NONE of that is my reality just yet and I am perfectly fine with that. See a few years ago, for my 27th birthday, I decided to take the biggest leap of faith in my life. I boldly chose to resign from my “good, safe, high profile job” in the music business to pursue what I knew God was calling me to do. To empower you, yes you. Women and girls all over this world to give birth to your dreams, to conquer fears, doubt and low-self worth, to live a life with no limits, lead purpose-driven lives and to essentially live according to the legacy you desire to leave.

Hands down the best decision I have ever made for myself was quitting my job to pursue purpose and courage instead of comfort and practicality. I am beyond proud of myself, my accomplishments and how far I have come. This journey is not for the faint of heart and not to toot my own horn, but by the grace of God, I have achieved some pretty spectacular achievements and I’m JUST getting started!

But, like many of us do, I put a lot of pressure on myself. There is this pressure for us women to have it all together all of the time, but what human being does? Isn’t vulnerability, facing challenges, failing and learning a part of every human beings existence? So why do we continue to put so much pressure on ourselves?

We live in a world where we allow others to measure our success. The world tells us that success is money, power and fame. If you ask me, success is the accomplishment of worthy goals. The key to dealing with the pressures of society is to define and measure your own success.

Honestly, I have failed several times in the last three years, but I have received such priceless rewards in return. Every time I get a check written out to Embrace Her Legacy or a contract that I am signing or an email from a young girl who I have inspired or a message from a woman who is manifesting her dream, it only justifies that every challenge I have faced on this journey of success was more than worth it.

Oftentimes we may believe that we are not qualified to birth our dreams. But here is something that I have learned in the last few years, God does not call the qualified. He regularly calls the unqualified so that He will get the glory and you have to believe that. If you continue to look at your surroundings and telling yourself every reason as to why you cannot fulfill the desires of your heart then you are going to be letting year after year pass by feeling unfulfilled and unsatisfied.

I know that feeling all too well. I was MISERABLE in my job for YEARS before I decided to get my butt up and do something about my frustration with my life. Nevertheless, it took years for me to finally get the guts to do so. I went on vacations, I bought more shoes and bags, and I indulged in nights of fabulous 5-star dinners and countless bottles of wine – all to fill that void.

In all transparency, nothing was ever enough to fill the void, no matter how much I shopped, how much I drank or how much I wished things were different. Eventually I had to make the choice to change even though I was really scared and I knew others would not understand. I had to put me and my dreams first, I had to put God first and stand on His promises for me.

I started this message telling myself that I would share the top 10 things that I’ve learned in my 20’s but I guess God wants me to share these specific words for someone reading this.

I may not know you or where you are or the challenges that you have faced, but I do know a God who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than you can ask or think. I know that living in your purpose and achieving your dreams is not about you, it is about all the lives that you will impact, serve and inspire while you are doing so. Someone needs you, yes you, to manifest that dream that is inside of your heart. They need you to start that business, to write that book, to design those clothes, to open that school, to start that non-profit organization, to finish that degree, to take that leadership position in your church, to create that talk show – I do not know what it is, but someone needs you because you are going to be using your unique gifts, abilities and talents to serve their needs. You NEVER know how you will impact the life of someone else.

Will it be easy? Absolutely not. Will it be worth it? I stand here as living proof that it will surely be worth it! Just get started.



Maria I. Melendez