DARE to believe

September 30, 2013

A little over a year ago I embarked on a project (called Hungry Food Love) that would forever change my life. I never imagined then, that one day, I would be called a “Top Bloguera” – Top (Latina) Blogger – much less that I would win a nationally recognized award for my work as a blogger. I have always joked with my friends that they should stick around as one day I will do something big, and while I do not want to get ahead of myself, I have to admit I am starting to believe it (believing is key to achieving… read more below)

Latism13-Awards ceremony-Melissa

You might not know this but when I was 12, a bullet accidentally impacted my chest. This bullet wounded and scarred my body, but I didn’t allow it to bring down my heart or soul, on the contrary, this incident helped me grow spiritually and made me a much more thankful person. Since then, my parents have proudly said that I am alive for a purpose, and I have jokingly said the same thing but, if I may be honest, deep down inside I’ve had my moments of doubt; not any longer!

This confidence I am exuding now, I have to say is thanks to my experience during the 2013 Latism conference and their Top Blogueras retreat. During this event I was able to share with so many extremely inspiring Latina bloggers that in one way or another charged me and gave me the strength to keep going and start thinking big.


The theme of this year’s retreat was focused on “What’s Next” which was perfect for me because it was then that I realized that in order to get where I want to be, I need to start thinking in terms of what I am doing now and how exactly it will impact not just the overall plan but my immediate next level.

The retreat was an all-expenses-paid opportunity, thanks to our sponsors Johnson & Johnson, Google, Suave, and Univision. It included a visit to the United Nations, which was a huge honor, as well as presentations from top female executives and leaders in the country. Everything from the speeches and the support from the Latism leadership, to meeting my fellow Latina bloggers, was just an enriching experience that helped me connect the dots and come to a very personal and powerful concept which I am calling: DARE to believe. It is personal because it was through analyzing my own path that I came to understand that the combination of our dreams, confidence and actions can lead to amazing results.


Dream + Act
During the Latism Top Bloguera retreat, the sweet Kathy Cano-Murillo from CraftyChica.com said something that explains it all. She made a comment about looking at our dreams as goals, and I have to agree. Normally, we put actions into our goals but most times our dreams stay up in the air just being that, dreams. Without actions there will be no direction towards obtaining results and most likely it will just be a road to nowhere. We must not only dream, but also act, moving forward step by step. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. couldn’t have said it better, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

Reflect + Excel
Today, thanks to a series of steps I have been taking, more and more I feel like my dreams are taking the direction that will lead me to the “Next Level”. So I encourage you to take that first step, as it will give you the confidence and fuel to keep moving forward. But as we grow and move on, our dreams may take a different shape and that is where I feel I am at. It is time for me to reflect and define why I started this project in the first place, what I want it to become and what I need to do to stay focused and determined in order to excel.

The last thought I want to leave you with is believe. Plan and define what you want to achieve but don’t ever doubt, believe in yourself. I AM a Top Bloguera, I have faithfully asked  for my dreams to come true and I believe in me. Mark 11:24 says “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Dream +Act +Reflect + Excel … I DARE to believe, will you?


26 Responses to “DARE to believe”

  • Candy

    Wow Meli not even I remembered your wound. Amazing how as younger ladies we lost our time trying to show more our differences than our similarities. Im immensely proud of you, and better know that I will keep dreaming and fighting for my goals. Keep it up and may God bless you and your family.

    • Roberto Castro

      You worked hard, you deserve it and you achieved it! We are happy to witness your success!
      Ayudate que dios te ayuda. Congratulations!

      • Así es Roberto, Dios está con nosotros pero nosotros tenemos que agarrarnos fuerte de él haciendo nuestra parte. I am so happy to have met you guys and I hope we stay in touch and grow this friendship further. Hugs

    • Gracias Candy por ser tan dulce como tu nombre. You are absolutely right there is no need to focus on our differences but in what makes us one, human, women, Latinas and beautiful. Thanks for your support and keep enjoying life while fighting for your dreams. Everything you set out to do is possible. Hugs!

  • Congrats on the win! It was great meeting you during the retreat and conference DO NOT STOP!

  • Carolyn G

    Great recap. Congrats on winning your award. I am going to be visiting more often!

  • Meli – first of all, CONGRATULATIONS! What an awesome achievement, receiving Top Food Bloguera! I am excited for what is coming next. I had the privilege of both meeting you and conducting training during the retreat. I hope to keep up with you in this coming year. Felicidades otra vez, paisana!

    • Compatriota el gusto es mío. I immediately felt a connection with your vibe and spirit online and I wish we had shared more during the conference, but we will definitely stay in touch. Thanks for the support and wise advice during training.

  • What an inspiring story, Melissa. When I met you, I felt..this thing. I even told you, “you have that look”. But I guess I meant to say, you really have all that it takes, because YOU set out to do it. You are an amazing, hard working and just great person. Believe that. A great energy around you. So glad to have met you. Can’t wait to see what comes next, amiga! xoxo

    • Amiga! Yes!…that is how I want to call you because you are more than just “myfreindbetty”… I too felt a connection meeting you. like if we had been friends from a long time and I was able to feel at ease with a sense of trust with you. Thanks for having that aura and for the warm welcome. I hope we stay in touch and can work together as we both keep moving forward. Un abrazoote! Y thanks for the support.

  • Me encanto esta entrada. Muy inspiradora, gracias!
    Suerte en tus nuevos proyectos (aunque creo que no la necesitarás ;))

    • Hola Pilar! Siii la suerte nos la creamos nosotros mismos, todos tenemos la capacidad de ir tras ella con nuestro trabajo y dedicación. Me encanto compartir contigo y espero nos mantengamos en contacto. Un abrazo!

  • Congrats Melissa!! That is such a huge honor! What an amazing experience you must have had! Thanks for sharing!!


    • Becky thank you soooo sooo much, you have been a great supporter from day one and I am in debt. I am glad to be back in Rochester with ample time to plan my next projects and hopefully to meet you soon. Hugs!

  • Couldn’t be happier for you and you definitely have the passion, drive and commitment to succeed. It’s undeniable!

    • Ana, I know you hear this all the time but I want to thank you por ser un ente de positivismo, por ser una enabler y por conectar, motivar y dar fuerzas a otras mujeres como yo. Gracias por tu confianza y apoyo! Aquí estoy para ti!

  • Great recap, Melissa! And I so loved meeting you. In fact, you are on my list of new favorite people. Wishing you much success with your site and congrats again on your award! Well deserved! xo


    • Monica you are soooo one of my favorite people ever too! I loved meeting you and seeing how are personalities blend really well together. Thanks for the guidance, the support and warm welcome. Let’s stay in touch and please count on me for anything you may need.

  • “I came to understand that the combination of our dreams, confidence and actions can lead to amazing results.” Yes, and you are the walking incarnation of it (and dancing as was the case when you danced to pick up your much deserved award). This is a powerful trifecta and w/ your dreams, confidence, and hard work, you will achieve. You will achieve!

    • Viviana how special is to hear this from you and know that you read my post. Thanks for taking the time to do so and for being so supportive and trusting in me. I loved being your roommate and seeing you in action was very inspiring. Un abrazo!

  • Hi Melissa!
    First of all, I love your post, it is truly inspiring. I’m glad we met and even though we did not have a lot of time to connect, I know we’ll be seeing more of each other from now on. The most important thing of the journey is to be willing to work hard for what we want and in time, we are rewarded. Congrats on your win, very well-deserved! Un abrazo!

    • Thank you sooo much for your kind words. yes we will stay connected and share more in the future. So glad to have met una compatriota. Agree 100% with you … hard work pays off!

  • pat stricklin

    Melissa, I haven’t been to your blog for awhile and thought I’d check on it. It is amazing. I’m hoping to create my own blog soon. You’re an inspiration to ‘hang on’.

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