Listen to Me…

Every Wednesday I’m On the Radio

You don’t want to miss it because you never know what I will say next as most of you know I speak my mind. Tune in this Wednesday from 4pm – 6pm. Feel free to call-in and ask questions, because it would be my greatest pleasure to answer them.

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The Chloe Xperience: Big Aha Moments with Marika

Often, we know what to do but we want validation. Aha Moments can come when you’re least expecting them.

Posted by Chloé Taylor Brown -The Chloé Xperience on Saturday, August 8, 2015


My Two Cents

Not a Quitter, Never a Hitter but Definitely a Helper

This year was better than last year but did not come without any obstacles I was forced to tackle.  My 30’s have been quite challenging but it has taught me that I was created with great strength and a mind, body and soul and that doesn’t give up.  I have been betrayed but that only pushes me to be more loyal to those who I love and connect with.  Recently, I was in a car accident that has completely changed my life.  Luckily, I have a great support system of people that care, some I didn’t even think would and other unfortunately I that would.  Before the accident I had plans to finish my quote book finally, work on getting my real estate license, and get some websites done since at the time I had a good bit of money saved up.  For a while, I found myself losing momentum due to being so engulfed in getting my health back.  Well, it’s been three months and my health is not back but I decided that I wasn’t going to use the effects of this accident to put my life on hold.  As soon, as I decided that a friend of mine told me about a site called At first, I didn’t want to do it but then I thought of some creative ideas that I envision will make a donations site successful.  If you are curious please visit:  Marika’s Two Cents Fund, but before you go check out the picture below that my friend, Chris Brown, created for me to showcase my back story as to why I feel I can help people with adversity for donations.

Special thanks to Christopher A. Brown at  for creating this image. 

Out with the Bad…

In with the Good

This year, which is finally coming to an end, was one of the toughest years I can remember.  There is always an obstacle I have to tackle every year it seems but this year marked the year of many.  For a moment, I lost the strength to fight which led me into downwards spiral I hope to never go down again.  I have never been thrilled about being in my 30’s, but being 32 was a struggle because I am not where I want to be in life which is a tough pill to swallow.  I had much higher expectations for myself but I also have only me to blame. 

Besides dealing with that though, a series of events happened that lead me on that spiral into a very dark place.  I think it was a build up of not only the troubles I faced this year but all the years previously that I never really dealt with properly.  I have just been kicking and screaming, fighting and fighting but by this year I lost the energy to win in the ring of life.  In short, even from the very start of the year the theme became “the year betrayals” which I care not to get too deep into. I will save that for a book I will write one day.  This year alone could probably be a best seller.

This year with all the betrayals and things coming to light put me deeper in the dark giving me no other option than to cut certain people out of my life.  It was the only way I knew I would eventually be able to escape the place I was in.  Though I now see light, I am still here contemplating ending yet another long term friendship because I don’t want the same things to repeat yet another year.  Those are always the hardest because you form a deep love and adoration for that person.  Just sometimes that is not good enough when you are in a position with them where you always feel that love is capable of being lost on their part.  I just can’t live yet another year with people in my life that simply are not good for me and make me feel like I have to constantly walk on eggshells hoping they won’t crack.  I advise anyone of you that has someone like that in your life to find the strength to let them go, please, because this type of person will never change and will only feel more and more entitlement in your life as time progresses. I have found it to be much easier and more rewarding to please people that display unconditional love and positivity.  To truly have a peaceful life, it starts with your surroundings and the people you choose to have around you.


On the bright side, two of my prayers got answered this year.  However, I did learn to fully be prepared for what you pray for. My blessings initially came with a price, but of course one with great purpose.  God surely wasn’t going to give me what I wanted without teaching me some lessons alone the way– that’s for sure. At the time, I didn’t see it; consequently, causing me become unpleasantly weak, allowing my life to shatter right in front of me.  My strength was definitely tested this year and once I decided to pick myself up I realized this all had to happen to really show me some things about myself I just was not seeing. 


I know you are wondering what at least one of those prayers were. Well, I have been looking for my sister since I was at about the age of 18. In March, my sister decided to look for our dad and with the click of a mouse, she found him and then realized I existed as well.  It was a great connection from the start but as some of you might know, estranged relationships take work to develop especially if you grew up on different sides of the track, so to speak.  This definitely, for the both of us, was like opening “Pandoras Box” causing us to deal with so many things we both avoided.  Overall, it’s been the blessing that answered my prayers concerning bringing my father and I closer together with a better relationship that was becoming nonexistent.  It’s a process but with hard work I envision all us of being a strong unity as long as I keep the wheels on the family bus rolling. 


Professionally, I even had some hardships though I was blessed to be able to work on some very cool projects.  This blessing also taught me some lessons in dealing with unethical sharks in a more diplomatic fashion.  My biggest lesson was that though it is important to stand up for what you believe in and for others, you must allow people to stand up for themselves first.  Everything considered, I was blessed to work with some really amazing people this year that I have formed great relationships with.


Personally, I have had the most trying time with friends and men regarding romance.  I found out about some pretty scandalous acts that friends have pulled on me, a couple of which were very close to me and even long-term.  As far as men are concerned, I feel like many I involved myself with only were interested in me for professional gain or possible sexual gratification.  You find that out the moment you don’t give it up.  I finally ended it with someone that I had been involved with for several years on and off, though it hurt, it was necessary for me to really move on.  Following that, it was one screw up after and another full of interest and then sudden rejection, maybe because it was too soon; however, the experiences left me to constantly wonder what I am doing wrong.  The one positive was my first love finally reaching out to me with a sincere apology and much praise to the woman I was and the woman I am today. I will always appreciate that.  


So all of this said, I have decided not to do the whole cliché New Year’s Resolution checklist this year, but I have jotted down some things I refuse to repeat in 2014 because it is the only way I will successfully have a better year.  The wheels are already spinning in motion and I just gotta keep the momentum going– THAT is my promise for 2014!  In that event, despite having things thrown at me in EVERY aspect of my life this year and dwelling on it, I am choosing to look back on it as a huge lesson I must learn so that I improve myself and my life for years to come.

To my readers, I apologize for not writing for over a year.  I needed this time and wanted to thank all of you that have read this for continuing to support me even in my silence.

All Content © 2013 Marika Dye

5 Ways You Know He is Lying Online

Or in a Man’s Case, She is Lying Online.

The first time I signed up on online dating sites it was exciting because it was the first time I felt that accessing hot eligible men was actually going to be easy.  Well, so what most people would like to believe.  Where it gets difficult is when the other person lies about who they really are.  There have been a few times where I didn’t see the signs before meeting the guy in person and found out who he really was which wasn’t what his profile said, even from first glance.

So I had to come up with a checklist before deciding to meet the person offline.

  • Do your research. – There is so much information you find online, especially Google and Bing.  The first thing you want to do is find out his/her birth First and Last name.  Those things are not usually displayed on dating sites and people a lot of times will use an alias.  A guy that I liked and almost met was researched by a good friend of mine which saved me because she found court papers stating that he is on trial for embezzling money.  Things like that are online, but you have to be willing to search for those things and if you really like this person pay for some services too.  It will be worth your money especially if the person you like is a felon. 
  • Meet them on Skype. – If you don’t use skype then there are also services like “Gchat”, “G+” and “Yahoo” to name a few, that have video apps. If you don’t have a webcam they are only $10 at Walmart and I promise you it will be the best $10 you spend.  Too many times I have met someone without hopping on skype with them first and too many times found out they posted a pic of them from when they were 10-20lbs lighter.
  • Ask questions. – Most times since the answers are right there in front of us about the person, we fail to ask them about themselves.  Just because it’s written doesn’t mean it’s true.  It’s important to ask questions about what they have written in their about me to verify it is true.  Unless the person remembers everything he or she wrote at some point you will catch them in a lie if any of the info was inaccurate. 
  • Find them on social networks. – Once you get their first and last name, you can then search them on Facebook to see who their friends are (if they have any) and what they are saying.  This will be another indication on whether they are being honest too. Let’s say the first thing you might want to check is their relationship status.
  • Get a reference. – Don’t be afraid to find out who he or she knows that you might know.  If you found him or her on a social network and saw some mutual friends, it would be a great idea to talk to at least a couple of them about this person.  If you don’t have mutual friends, then check different network to see what people are saying about him.  Perhaps you can add him on Linkedin and read his recommendations.

All Content © 2012 Marika Dye

Target Market Dating

A Hit or a Miss?

While at an event, I met a guy that I ended up getting into a deep conversation with about relationships.  His ideals on the subject were very interesting as he took a very esoteric theory of dating and made it seem like “shooting fish in a barrel.”  Okay, I know you are probably thinking, “When is dating ever that easy?” At any rate, we really don’t have to make it that agonizing.  Sometimes we just have to listen to others that are wiser than we are in order to get a clear picture on things. 

So “Mr. Benton’s Approach” on dating is called “Target Market Dating”.  If we treated dating like we do business maybe we would be more successful, considering we do business correctly too.  Every business, as we know, thrives off good marketing.  Well, in his theory, it should be the same way in the dating world.  He suggested that most times we do not pursue people within our “target market”.  Now, that does not include our preference, because we all have a certain type of male or female we typically date.  Most times when someone asks “What is your preference?” it is referring to male or female, a model chick or the cliché “tall, dark and handsome” saying.  However, when speaking in terms of “What is your dating target market?” that would have to go much deeper.

Here’s 5 Target Market Dating Guidelines…

He said we must look for the following things:

  • Status – Anyone who is married or in a relationship should not be in your target market.  Actually they are not in anyone’s target market because they are off the market. It’s common sense that people don’t seem to get. 
  • Finance – It’s wise to find someone in the “class” you are comfortable with and stick to it.  I mean let’s  get real; are you going to see most people deviate from this?  Like do you expect someone like Kim Kardashian to ever marry a middle class man?  Not everyone is like that but my point is you need to determine this so you know where to start seeking these types of people. 
  • Family – Does this person have kids?  Do you have kids?  Mr. Benton doesn’t believe things just happen.  If you know you don’t want your mate to have children then don’t fall in love with someone that has children.  That means don’t even think about pursuing someone with them.  From his experience, he has seen people work out better in relationships when both have children.  There is an understanding there.  Someone who doesn’t have children will have a hard time understanding the lack of time they have to spend with their new mate even knowing it is because of the children.  A person with children, if you don’t have any, essentially should not be in your target market unless you wish to have a ready-made family. 
  • Occupation – If you work in the church, you really should have no business dating someone that works in the club.  That’s the best example I could give that I have actually witnessed.  It’s in a sense, a conflict of interest.  When finding a date, you should really at least have certain occupations eliminated that are not within your target market.  Trust me, I have dated outside of my occupational dating target market twice and it just was a MESS that I don’t wish to repeat and hope that no one else around me does, for that matter.
  • Education – If education is important to you, then don’t date someone that doesn’t even have an undergrad if you have or are obtaining your masters. And especially don’t date someone that is just getting their GED.  There are plenty of very successful people that didn’t even finish college but if schooling is considerably important to you, being with someone that doesn’t feel the same might cause some resentment.  For example, the only reason I set out to finish college was because my fiancée was not going to make a wedding date until I did.  Well, it was nice motivation, but we are no longer together so basically I did something for him because he was so passionate about education.  But it was very conditional which was quite frustrating because I don’t share that same passion.

Mr. Benton graciously shared all this information on his theory and then recommended that I go on a dating site and answer the questions as an exercise.  It was then, I realized he told me this to really grasp the idea of “target market dating”.  In a sense, these sites don’t just help you find people within your desired preference but people fundamentally in your dating “target market.”

To sum it up, we can all agree that dating is not easy; nevertheless, if we have some sort of system in place perhaps it would be at least feasible.  Remember, a business is not successful without a plan or system in place and the same goes for everything we do in life and that includes dating, especially in this day and age. 

 All Content © 2012 Marika Dye


Wikipedia: hen definition: a female chicken especially over a year old; ”’broadly”’.

When a Young Hustler is Born

Smart Parents Help Create Them

A part of me feels that certain children are “born hustlers” but from experience I know that to be a good one my parents helped tremendously. Part of being a hustler is knowing how to manage your money when you get a job.  These days most people are working more than one job and that is when managing your money gets a bit difficult.  The biggest challenge for me when I worked multiple jobs at a time was keeping track of what money was owed to me.  Luckily, I had parents that helped me learn how to manage that because when I first started working at the age of 14, the first thing they told me was to keep track of my money.  Well, when I worked that one job, it was easy to keep track of my money and calculate if  companies were paying me the right thing.  It did take some getting used to because getting a pay check was a bit different than getting cash in hand for babysitting or mowing a lawn.  Even then, my parents trained me to always count my money. 

I think it’s really awesome to see parents be active in their child’s finances especially when they get their first job.  It is why I am writing this article.  A couple days ago, I saw my friend Matt Sapaula post and article on this very subject because his son just got his first job.  He shared some great advice on what parents should tell their children once they get their first paycheck.  He is the “Smart Money Guy” so I knew the info was going to be helpful and in that article there were things my parents didn’t tell me; however, there were also things he didn’t post that my parents did tell me.  Well, once I responded to his post and told him that, he challenged me to share the knowledge that my parents passed on to me. 

So here it goes…

Aside from what I shared earlier, “keep track of your money”, here are a couple more things my parents told me:

  • Do not get weak to credit cards– Mostly my dad preached this.  I think he would have been happy if I had none, but my mother taught me that it is good to have credit.  No credit is just as reckless as bad credit.  Had I not been so darn hardheaded and went card happy, I would have much more money right now.  Needless to say, I started getting store credit cards at the places I worked.  They get you when they offer a percentage off items purchased when you open one.  Nonetheless, it was great advice that I hope someone takes heed to.
  • Put money in a savings account– My parents wanted to make sure that with some of the jobs I worked, I had money left to pay my taxes.  If your first job is contract work, or waiting tables you will need to anticipate some of that money going to the government. When you get cash in hand, it’s so easy to spend; therefore, my parents would make sure I went to the bank immediately and put some in checking and some in savings.

Now that I have shared my top 3 things my parents told me, here are Matt’s:

  1. Set Goals – define clearly what you are working towards. Whether it is to one day buy your first car, help pay way through college, or simply get an iPhone or new set of clothes, put it on paper.  Then decide how much of your paycheck you want to help reach towards these goals.  Either establish different envelopes or bank accounts which are labeled/earmarked for these goals.  These are the habits you’ll need to develop in your beginning steps towards a lifelong financial journey.  Now, if you’re not happy with how fast you can reach towards these goals, you just have to simply make more money.  (I saw his mind begin to expand…)
  2. Meet Your Uncle FICA –  “Pop, I got ripped off! My check says I made this at the top of my paycheck but they paid me only this amount at the bottom!”, as he pointed out.  “Son, meet your Uncle FICA! You probably have another ‘F-word’ in mind right now but you should be thinking of another word that begins with ‘T’”, I said. Hello TAXES!  There “gross pay” and then there’s “net pay”.  As an employee, the first thing that gets taken from your paycheck is federal/state income taxes.  That will never change for the rest of your life.  However, as a business owner, the LAST thing that gets taken from your income is taxes.  Decide what situation you’d rather be in later on in your life. (Again, his mind continuing to expand…actually hearing a hamster wheel begin turning…)
  3. Align with a Mentor – If you want to get to the next level and make the most of what you have, you need to earn the time with someone who has been there, done that.  It will greatly shorten your learning curve into a success curve.  They’ll get you to see things that aren’t quite obvious to you yet and save your a lot of time, money and grief.  If you don’t like learning the hard way, a mentor will definitely guide towards the easy way.  But don’t waste their time by not DOING what they share with you, or else, you’ll have to find another mentor.


Number 3 is my favorite one.  My parents pretty much explained the other two, but they didn’t tell me to find a mentor.  I think because my father felt he was the mentor.  However, someone outside of the family would have been much more helpful.  It’s what I had to realize I needed in my older age.  To this day, I have yet to have the kind of mentor that he explained to his son and would love one.  Sometimes, it takes guidance from someone wise and experienced to stay on the right track to success.  Even at 31, with much experience and gained wisdom,  I need someone to keep me in line as I still haven’t made it to the success I imagine.  I know I would be much more successful today if I had a mentor from my teens to my 20’s. 

So now I am going to pass the challenge on…

What 3 things do you remember your parents teaching you when you got your first paycheck?

Click the title to see Matt’s full story: 3 Things I Taught My Teenage Son When He Got His First Paycheck


Is She Pretty Dumb?

Or Actually Pretty Smart?

Two movies come to mind while writing this article, Clueless and Legally Blonde.   They both were a great depiction of how beautiful women that are seemingly ditsy or “bimboish” actually end up proving to be pretty smart chicks.  However, I am writing this article because  I was watching the bio of Marilyn Monroe with my mother one day only to realize that she is actually really smart.  It’s something I always felt from reading her quotes but after watching the bio I now have a new outlook on her.  I am actually now intrigued by women who build an empire off of being a bimbo.  Well, our assumption of them being a bimbo.  Though, we have to keep in mind that Marilyn was an actress.  She also knew how to work people physiologically.  She was going to be who she needed to be, at any given time, to survive.   Today, she is an icon for a reason and people share her quotes because they are profound.  People who are unintelligent do not have worthwhile things to say.  Heck, I have a few of her quotes on my Facebook profile right now.  She possessed not only a beautiful smile, face and body but she definitely had a beautiful brain to match her aesthetics too. 

In my world, people are shocked that I am actually quite intelligent.  It blows people away when they find out I work on computers.  I have had people actually say “You mean to tell me that YOU can actually fix a computer?”  But I know women prettier than me that have even graduated from Havard. It seems as though society has made it almost like a known fact that if a woman is pretty, especially in a sensual way, she is automatically dumb.   To top it off, if we say or do anything clumsy or flighty we might as well just be a rock with lips. 

Just in case Marilyn Monroe wasn’t a good enough example, I have a couple more…

So Snooki is Stupid?

Well, that’s what everyone thinks.  Or maybe it’s what she wants people to think as a profitable personality.  Most people don’t see a woman that seemingly spends most of their time being the “party girl” getting drunk, starting bar brawls, as the model scholar.  Let’s be real here, while watching the show I didn’t think she was that smart nor a woman of much substance either.  She plays her “Snooki” character quite well.  However, in her real life as opposed to her reality life, I believe “Nicole” is quite intelligent.  She, like Marilyn Monroe, has profited off of her bimbo portrayal.  Not only that, she has taken her Jersey Girl stereotype and created a trend with the hairstyles, a tanning lotion for the over exaggerated Jersey tan look, and now has a book out about her life.  She is smart enough to realize that being a reality star is very short lived; therefore, she must build her empire outside of her entertainment life.  There are a lot of reality stars  that most people don’t know, but if someone mentions “Snooki” there are a lot of people that even if they haven’t seen the show know exactly who she is and what she is known for.  I had never seen not even one episode but I definitely knew who she was before being forced to watch it one day.  Needless to say, though I think she looks like her name should be “Cookie” that she is a “smart cookie”. 

Now on to my next example…

Jessica Simpson is either “Legally Blonde” or “Clueless”

I think it’s now safe to say that Jessica is simply just legally blonde that had a clueless moment on her reality show with Nick Lachey.  If you think about it there are many of us that have had those “blonde moments” we wish we could erase.  But what we probably wish more is that we could have capitalized on it like she did.  I would bet that in the moment she said what is now her famous phrase, “Is chicken of the sea, fish or chicken?” she probably knew the answer as it was coming out of her mouth.  And if not, I can’t sit here and say I haven’t said dingbat stuff in my lifetime because I have; however, this also doesn’t constitute an unintelligent individual. Similarly, it also doesn’t make her an unintelligent individual either.  She has proved that by building a number of empires, one now being worth reportedly about $1 billion. She was smart enough to know that a singing career rarely lasts as long as let’s say Janet Jackson’s has and that she is no Meryl Streep either.  I personally don’t even remember what song she is known for, at least not off the top of my head. Do you? All I can say is that she definitely is an amazing business woman, and to be that successful it takes not only tenacity but also ingenuity.

Still Don’t Believe Me?

If you are still not convinced then think back when Miss South Carolina, Lauren Caitlin Upton, answered her pageant question saying such as and like with a bunch of ramblings which basically put her on the dumb list; unlike then, today people are not talking about her and she definitely hasn’t capitalized on that moment like she could have.  Just like Jessica, she made a mistake but if she was smart she could turn that mistake into profits.  After all, footage of that very moment went past a million views and she also was on national television; therefore, people know who she is so she has the opportunity to flip the way people know her into something more positive.  But she hasn’t. Why? Because it simply is not easy otherwise everyone would be doing the same thing these ladies have done.  It takes wit!

Perhaps Caitlin will figure it all out!


Makes me wonder though…

Are Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton actually smart???  After all, they did capitalize off their own sex tapes. 😉




The Puppet Player

Who’s in Love with the Strings, not His Puppet

In my life so far, I have seen so many women be controlled.  Sometimes it’s obvious and other times it’s obscure.  Although I am sure that cunning women exist who control their men in the name of love, but since I am a woman that have dealt with witnessing more men that control women (including myself) my article will positioned as men being the “puppet player” aka “puppet master”.  Also, generally men are less emotional than women which helps them play the puppet master much more effectively than a woman probably could. 

While most women get caught up with their emotions, men get caught up with their head, not the one with the brain in it, which puts a man in the more dominant position to take advantage of his woman’s feelings for him.  Fortunately, there are men out there that would never do this, or perhaps used to, and have no desire to anymore; however, there really shouldn’t be ANY men out here that yearn to do this.  In a perfect world, there wouldn’t be men out here like this but as women we also have a responsibility to not allow it to happen.  If it does happen we must be perceptive enough to recognize it and strong enough to end it.  Sometimes we know what our men are doing and we either hope he changes or we hope it’s not true.   Ladies, men are not going to change (especially if you have already allowed it) and I promise you are not dreaming.  And trust me, you do not want a man like this to be your husband or worse the father of your children.


How to Prevent This

Keep in mind that people only control others that can be controlled.  People know who can be controlled, it’s like a sixth sense they possess.  There are, though, those times where maybe you are not the kind of person that can be controlled but you have been at times in your life where you were vulnerable enough to be controlled.  People can sense that too.  I know this all too well because I have been vulnerable at times in my life where otherwise I would not have been able to be controlled.  I have learned that it’s best to be aware when you are vulnerable, then wait until that vulnerability becomes absent before you even consider dating someone again.  When you are in this state of mind it is easy to become unguarded and impressionable.  Typically that is when women are the most emotional; therefore, when we meet someone we become naked sharing all our feelings and thoughts.  Some men will leverage that to create a love between the two of you that may not even exist where he is concerned.  That facade of love will allow a man to control his woman.  The lies he tells will be believable and the hint of love he gives will be intensely felt.  And then anything he wants he will get almost effortlessly.


How to Cut the Strings

So if you have already allowed the strings to develop and he is now manipulating them, you must first believe (really know) this is happening to you.  Do not be in denial, please!  Anytime we feel funny in a relationship (this goes for men too), it’s our God given intuition telling us this is not right.  We must pay attention to it.  Every time I have felt something was not right, even though I was not 100% sure I should have ended it, I later would discover that I did the right thing.  Once, we realize this is what we have to do, then it is important to be aware that he will probably find reasons for you to stay not because he loves you, but because he will lose that control.  You are like the toy he could play with that he is not yet tired of.  You have to think of it that way, as harsh as it seems.  You must know that how you are being treated is not love and no matter what he says or how horrible he makes you feel (because he will) that you deserve better.  In that moment “better” means being single and away from him. 

Sometimes it helps to write everything down such as:

  • What you feel he is doing to you
  • How he makes you feel
  • How your life was before him
  • Ways he might blame you
  • Ways he will break you down
  • Reasons why you should not be with him

People generally say write a pros and cons list but I find that to be misleading.  Some of the pros we list are ones we created in our head and ones he might have lead you to believe.  It is also not good to focus on the good things because if we are not strong enough to break away we will use even one pro as an excuse to stay. 

Advice for the Men

For the men dating manipulative women you know are not good for you, please take heed to this article as well.  Women, yes, control men differently than men control women generally, but you can apply the same things if you are having a hard time breaking it off.  I would write an article about manipulative women but because I don’t have men writing me or confiding in me about this type of issue I am not sure what really happens.  So if you are brave enough to send me your story then, I would love to help others by sharing it on my site.

Twelve Things in 2012

The Check-Off List

Two-Thousand-Twelve is going to be a special year.  I mean people have already been talking about it for quite some time. There’s even a  movie out about it and the Mayan Calender is ending.  All that is telling me is that it is going to be a special year.  I don’t believe any of the hoopla about it ending but I do believe it will be a new beginning.  However, my thinking is that we should probably act as if it is ending anyway because tomorrow really isn’t promised to us.  When I think of it that way, my list for 2012 has changed from my original thoughts. 

So here it goes…

  1. Do at least 3 things on my Bucket List – I have a long bucket list but there are three things I know I can tackle within the year which include: Learning how to meditate (without me thinking it’s silly or any other distractions), going to the shooting range (been wanting to do this for three years now) and going to Disney/Universal Studios (have only been to Disney World in Japan).
  2. Go on a Peaceful Vacation –  I have learned thru the years that it’s really important to take a vacation when you can just to at least refresh; however, mine are never peaceful.  Something always happens to ruin the trip or I somehow added work into the whole equation.  I would like a trip where I am just “zen” the whole time. 
  3. Write a Book – I am finally deciding to write a book and plan to have it done mid year.  It’s something I have wanted to do a for a long time and now I feel like I have enough content to put one out and work on another to be done at the end of the year.
  4. Revamp My Site – This is something I have wanted to do for a while now, I am not quite ready because there is so much I want to do with it.  Although I have been told it’s a nice site, there are some advancements I had plans to incorporate since I started this site.
  5. Start a New Site – I have had my personal site domain I have planned from the start to create so that I can brand myself.  Most of you don’t know the whole story behind “Marika” as that is not my first name.  I would like you to know more of who I am and how I got to this point, because you will then understand why I created this site and why I write about some of the things I do. 
  6. “Work Smarter not Harder” – If you haven’t noticed by how often I post that I stay pretty “busy”.   I work A LOT.  Last year, I got better about saying “no” to people so that I didn’t add more to the full plate I already had.  I love to help people but sometimes, unfortunately, it’s not smart to do so.  Once I build the foundation I envision, I definitely will be able to help people more.
  7. Find a “Sponsor”Sponsor is such a nice word isn’t it? Nicer than maybe investor or partner.  Well, I am the type of person that loves to do things by myself.  But now that I want to work smarter and not harder, I have realized that allowing certain people to help me is wise.  I also know that I will have to help them back; therefore, finding someone that has a similar vision or is doing similar things where it would be easy to give back is vital. 
  8. “Align my Circle” – I saw many people stating in their statuses how they are cleaning their closet.  Well, that would take to much of my energy to go thru my lists.  However, I have found prayer and self discovery to be much more effective.  Every time I sit down and really talk to God about aligning myself with the right people suitable for me, He will then (like clockwork) take someone out of my life that did not need to be there.  It’s always been a situation that showed me who they really were that didn’t align with who I am.  But before I talk to God, I take some time to learn some things about who I am because if I don’t know who I am I won’t know who I should be aligned with.  This year I want to change some things about my energy so that the people I attract are in my alignment that way I don’t have to go through the pain of losing people out of my life.  Though it is necessary it’s still not fun when you lose someone you became close to.
  9. Do More Video – My plan is to start interviewing people and doing more personal video blogs like I used.  Also, since I travel for work I am going to get a nice video cam to tape my experiences.
  10. Love Myself – I have been single for some time and have learned that is it important for me to stay this way at least until this process is solid.  I think we all will be in the process of loving ourselves constantly; however, obtaining a solid foundation of self love is important. I have some great people in my life that help me with this periodically.  What I have found got me off track was dating men that had no plans to love me so, I will definitely have to be more careful. 
  11. Forgive Myself – Forgiveness is something I have had to learn to do.  If you follow signs, Scorpios are not good at this.  I am much like my sign in this respect.  I have had declare certain situations complete, in order to forgive the person that caused them.  However, the root of most of the bad situations have pointed right back to me.  I have found it easier to forgive others to avoid forgiving myself.  It’s not healthy because it causes me to be quite hard on myself.  It also makes it harder to let go.  I have found that when people forgive themselves everything else comes easy with faced with a situation. 
  12. Create a Game-plan – Of course, in order to do all of the above I will have to stick to a game-plan.

So what’s your 12 things?

When Tone Deaf is Heard

They Keep Dancing

I am fascinated by people who are faced with physical challenges in life and supersede what most people believe they wouldn’t be capable of.  These people push me to do more and help keep me in the mindset that anything really is possible. However, the deaf and hearing impaired are most dear to my heart.  As a child, I had to get tubes surgically placed into my ears due to constant ear infections I was getting. As a result of the infections, I was nearly deaf as a child and my parents at first couldn’t figure out why I talked so loud.  I remember things sounding like I was underwater. If I was not blessed with that procedure, I most likely would be deaf today.  Though, even today I still have trouble with my left ear, it is a blessing.  However, I often wonder how my life would be, presently, if I was deaf– like if I would still have accomplished what I have today or maybe even more like the people highlighted in this article.


My first favorite person that I one day would love to meet is Marlee Matlin.

Picture of Actress Marlee MatlinGrowing up I always thought Marlee was a joy to watch on TV and Film.  She has only progressed as the years have passed.  Considering that she hasn’t had but 20 percent hearing in her left ear and none in her right since the age of 18 months she has made amazing strides.  What Marlee wants Marlee will learn, even starting at a very young age.  In her youth, she fervidly wanted to have a Bat Mitzvah, so she learned Hebrew phonetically.  The Oscar winning actress’s ambition led her to receive a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award along with 6 nominations.  She later danced on the show Dancing with the Stars and appeared on The Celebrity Apprentice making it to 2nd place by raising $1,050,000 for The Starkey Hearing Foundation . And Marlee is still “dancing” with her latest project on ABC Family the tv series called Switched at Birth starring as Melody Bledsoe.


Then there’s Melissa Adams, the reason I wrote this article.

Melissa Adams Chargers CheerleaderMelissa proves with every beat that she is going to “keep dancing” while she cheers for the San Diego Chargers.  Though she only has about 15 percent of hearing left, she does also wear a hearing aid in her left, however; she still can’t really hear the music. But that definitely did not stop her from becoming a Charger Girl now in her second season.  I watched her story on E! in awe.  Melissa was upbeat and positive when she explained how though she can’t hear the music she has brilliantly come up with a system to stay on beat with the other cheerleaders during routines.   I was so excited about her that I went further to research her and found that she also owns a marketing and web development company with her husband.  As I watched her on E!, all I can remember her saying is that “Even if the music stopped, I would keep dancing.”  There is so much in that statement for even those of us that can hear. 


Lastly, I want to tell you about my friend Shawn Jackson.

Shawn Jackson

Shawn Jackson has also been dancing through life touching people’s lives and making strides.  Since the 5th grade he has always had trouble with hearing on and off throughout his life.  Later in life around the age of 15 he was diagnosed with a form of Tinnitus where he then started experiencing ringing in his ears.  That, of course, made his hearing worse to the point that he pretty much went deaf.  By the age of 22, Shawn was profoundly deaf with 5% hearing in his right ear and 0% in his left ear at which he was diagnosed with PD (Profound Deafness). That is when he then started learning ASL (American Sign Language) with the help of loved ones and specialists.  Once Shawn was around 30 years old, he had become fluent in ASL enough to teach it, but between that time he candidly told me that he didn’t have the confidence to work certain types of jobs so he worked a lot of service jobs.  It wasn’t until he got his Cochlear Implant on Sept. 26, 2006 (by believe it or not Dr. House)  that he started gaining the confidence to work the jobs he is currently working today.  The procedure worked but he now cannot hear because his sound processor is, at present, broken.  However, he is scheduled to get it fixed but in the meantime he uses this as an opportunity to connect more with his fellow hearing impaired individuals.  Shawn is very active with the deaf community and also gives private classes to the deaf and hearing impaired and others that are interested in learning.  In addition, with this experience he has discovered his passion in writing and is currently a writer for J’Adore Magazine.  He also finds his “handicap” as a handy blessing because it has given him  a platform to educate others about deafness, the hearing impaired, and what ASL really as it is real language.



This article is also dedicated to my altruistic friend, Valerie Bynum, who has been wearing hearing aids since she was two years of age due to nerve loss because her parents two different blood types called RH Factor.  Today she is a brilliant Ophthalmic Technologist helping people with their eyes. 

“Just because the music stopped, it doesn’t mean you have to stop dancing.”  ~Marika Dye