A Life of Purpose: One 20 Something’s Story

Authenticity is such a rare and beautiful thing. For today’s blog post, Marialicia Coates, founder of We Are Beautiful and Beautifully You magazine, shares her story. This young lady has such vision and purpose, but what strikes me the most about Marialicia is her realness as a person. Through sharing personal struggles, weaknesses and insecurities, she and the team of women at We Are Beautiful, are working to shift the cultural perspective of beauty and to encourage women to pursue lives of purpose.

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Getting to know you a little better……

– How old are you? 27 almost 28 (OMG)

– Where are you from originally from? Ecuador, South America

– Where did you attend college and what did you study?
San Francisco University in Quito, Ecuador.
I majored in Film and Advertising. I also went through 2 years of bible school at Victory Bible College and a year for a Masters in Ministry at Southwestern Christian University

– How did you end up in Tulsa? 

I had been working in an Ad Agency as a copywriter for two years and I liked it, but I knew my life was not supposed to be a “regular” one where I had a job everyday and then went home. I always had a feeling I was meant to do something greater, but I needed to find out what it was so I decided to get closer to God and just leave everything and pursue Him and His word so I moved in 2009 to Tulsa.
– Describe yourself in 5 words.
Passionate. Driven. Funny. Loving. Crazy (in a healthy way though)
– What is the biggest lesson your parents have taught you?
To be a woman of integrity and to love everybody with open arms.
– What was your dream job when you were a kid?
I wanted to be a singer or an actress or some kind of celebrity.
– What is your favorite quote?
Don’t judge a book by its cover.
– If you could pick a character from your favorite movie/novel who you relate most to, who would it be and why?
Beauty from Beauty in the Beast because she saw beauty in the ugliest. She loved regardless and ended up bringing out the real beauty in others.
– Who is one person who always makes you smile and why?
My husband. He knows the way to my heart, but honestly just seeing him walking by makes me smile. I’m in love.
– Where are you currently working? What are your long-term career goals?
I’m working part time at a law office as a legal assistant, but the purpose to work there is just to open up time in my schedule to be able to work in my passion, which is We Are Beautiful, a non-profit organization that helps women realize how amazing they are and how impactful their lives can be if they dare to believe that they are valuable.
– Since you recently got married, tell us what it’s like to be married in your twenties so far? Any advice for 20-somethings considering marriage?
Being married in my twenties is very fun because we don’t have kids yet and we have lots of fun together. We sleep in together, which is a wonderful feeling. No, I’m not talking about sex, I’m talking about sleeping, snoring, cuddling, or just feeling someone is next to you. It’s the best feeling in the world. Praying together is definitely one of my favorites. Seeing how real is God and how he answers prayer lifted by a couple is very amazing. Hanging out with other recently married couples is also a really fun and good thing to do because it makes you realize you are not crazy! The last thing I like about being married in my twenties is that we have a lot of dreams and right now they seem so big, far and impossible, but dreaming time is good. We are gearing up to strategize and go for those dreams.  When you’re younger, you think about things less and you just go for it which is yes, risky, but that spark is essential to succeed. How much more amazing if you’re doing it with the love of your life?
My advice for twenty somethings considering marriage is to know that love is a choice. Love is not a feeling. When you start sharing life with the person you love, you realize you really don’t necessarily “love” everything about them right away. There will be things that bother you, but you have to learn to love no matter what.  Of course, communicate if there are things that are not acceptable, but in the great majority of circumstances, let go and try not to control.
Twenty Something Advice (for Anybody):
“Don’t be afraid of big dreams. Go for it! What do you have to lose?” Marialicia Coates
– Explain the purpose of We Are Beautiful and Beautifully You and how they are different.

We Are Beautiful is an organization dedicated to shift today’s culture, teaching women who they really are and encouraging them to live a life full of purpose. Beautifully You is just one of the strategies we use to reach women with the message of identity and purpose. Beautifully You is a magazine designed to reach ANY women, ages between 15 and 35, and bring them the message of identity. We Are Beautiful also has conferences, websites and soon curricula to help women lead in helping other women realize their value and purpose.

– How did the two get started?

Everything started from We Are Beautiful. To know how WAB started check out the story: http://www.beautifullyyoumagazine.com/about/

– Has your college degree been helpful in the work you do with WAB/ Beautifully You? How so?

Definitely. Back when I was in school, I couldn’t understand why I was feeling led to study advertising and film. I mean, film? C’mon!  It was just crazy, but honestly all the creativity that flows through my brain was pushed to its highest potential while in film school.  Advertising taught me standards when it comes to design, writing and consumer behavior. Bible School, on the other hand, helped me find my purpose because it helped me realize who I am and how much God has put inside of me to really change the world. I thank God I went to school and graduated with both bachelors’ degrees and that I have a ministers’ license because they definitely prepared me for what I do now. There are so many things that I would have to pay others to do, but I am able to do it by myself because I know how to.  Of course I don’t know it all, which is why I have a team of amazing people that help We Are Beautiful grow every day.

– When you were in college, did you expect to be doing what you are doing now?
Not at all.
– Did you always have a heart for women?
Nope. Not at all. It all started in 2010 in that “crazy experience in my room,” mentioned here: http://www.beautifullyyoumagazine.com/about/
– What is your hope for WAB/Beautifully You in the future?
To become a movement. To become a very influential part of women’s society generation after generation.
– As an upcoming, twenty something, what is the greatest lesson you have learned so far?
 “I am what I am by the grace of God, and his Grace to me was not without effect.” 1 Corinthians 15:10
There’s no way I would be where I am today if it wasn’t by finding my purpose and destiny by asking The One who created me. He created me not because he was bored, or because it’s just fun to create humans. He created me because He has an assignment for me on this earth and so I owe it all to Him. Without Him, I am nothing. I do nothing.
– What advice do you have for other twenty somethings with big dreams?
Don’t be afraid. Go for it! What do you have to lose?
** Photo courtesy Amanda Watson Photography, http://www.amandawatsonphoto.com
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