I told myself I need to write more blogs… I heard it would “increase your brand”. That’s one thing as a business owner that I’m struggling with, finding my signature brand. There’s so many videos, masterclasses, blogs, seminars, webinars, etc. on branding and the “quickest and easiest” ways to do it. I feel more lost than I was when I first started. I think today I’m drawing a line in the sand. I’m going to create my own formula of “branding Marlie Love”. The first way I’m going to start that is by telling my story (edit: part of my story) in this blog post. So here we goooooooooooo!
I was born on July 13, 1987 in St. Charles, MO to Rudolph and Margaret Harper. I’m sure I was a huge blessing to my parents 😊. My mom didn’t think she was going to have children because she was 35 when she got pregnant and 36 when she had me. Supposedly I was conceived in the beautiful state of Hawaii. I feel like the circumstances of my arrival was very symbolic. It’s like God said, I had to be on this earth no matter what, and he’ll make sure I’m made in one of the most beautiful places in the world!
My parents didn’t stay married for very long and my brother and I grew up in a single-parent household. We were poor. I didn’t like to think of ourselves as poor growing up, but when I look at it as an adult… we DEFINITELY were. However, my brother and I grew up with our grandparents who were well off. Also, some of our friends were middle class to upper middle class. I guess that's why I didn't see myself as that poor.... it takes a village!!
Growing up, I was one of the few black children in my school. 99% of my friends were white, and at that time, I didn’t see anything wrong with it. Shoot, 99% of my friends now are white, ha! As a child, I sort of shut out the racist tendencies of others. It’s hard to explain… for a lack of better words, I just ignored it and tried to be friends with everybody. Did that work all the time, heck no – but it worked for me then. What was weird though, is that I was friends with the white kids, but a lot of the black kids didn’t want much to do with me. Even bullying me for much of elementary and middle school. It wasn’t the type of bullying that would make me want to hurt myself and others, but it was the type of bullying that made me self-conscious about myself. They would say that I would “talk white”, I’m not “black”, I’m too “skinny”. As an adult, I look back and see that those taunts were from the enemy. I say they were from the devil because my voice is strong, and to live my purpose, I needed to use my voice for good (KEY to finding an aspect of your purpose, look at what you were made fun of as a child). Those taunts held me back from speaking publically. I wouldn’t speak around people because I didn’t want them to judge me because I didn’t “sound black” or because I sounded too “proper”.
In turn, I was called “shy” and ran with that. I used the shyness to hide and not be who I truly was for a long time. Literally until a year ago… and I’m still fighting it. It’s crazy when you think about it, but those little taunts can really hold people back. However, I can’t blame those children that bullied me – they were going through their issues too. Overall, I grew and triumphed through it and I’m stronger for it. The best part is I forgave every one of those people. When I forgave them, that’s when I broke free from it.
I'm going to stop here. I thought I would be able to tell my story through one blog post, but boy was I wrong. This is a little piece of me. I'll be telling more later. If you take anything from this post, I would say, don’t let your fears hold you back from your purpose and forgive those that hurt you. God Bless you all!