Lately I’ve been wondering how people perceive me. I know many of you will say that other people’s opinion of you should not matter, but for someone who doesn’t know her own personality very well–it is a big deal. When we were still dating, Chad used to say that the reason he was drawn to me was because I was so mysterious. Even today, he still can’t quite figure me out. Of course, he knows my little quirks but he can’t seem to box me in one character. I’m so unpredictable, he would always say.

And so I began to wonder that maybe the reason people find me perplexing is because I don’t know myself either. I learned how to cope and adapt to difficult circumstances early in life. My father lacked the income to support our whole family, and to keep us from skipping school my mom had to do so many things to generate income and sustain our needs. My siblings and I had to help out by selling food on the streets and in school. It was tough for a child to be put in that kind of situation. In effect, I didn’t have the luxury to “find myself” until my mid-twenties. I was constantly hustling to reach my goals: finish school, get a job, and help my family.

I learned to survive by rarely taking risks. After getting my degree and getting enough work experience, I left my hometown to get a job in the city. All things considered, I was earning less than what I was getting in the past. I thought I wasn’t going to last; every day I was on the verge of packing my bags. I imagined myself returning home, penniless and defeated–and I simply could not accept that. So I stayed, feeling even more determined to succeed.

As a result of my experiences from childhood to adulthood, I developed a strong, independent mind. I had a goal and nothing was going to come in my way and stop me from getting it. I was too focused and really hard on myself, consequently leading to bouts with extreme anxiety until I met Chad (again). He was a free spirit and my complete opposite. He encouraged me to be more vocal and open to new experiences. He uncovered so many things in me that I never knew existed. Now, I’m more comfortable sharing my opinions publicly and I don’t mind spontaneous trips anymore (although it still makes me uneasy once in a while).

I’m still struggling with my identity to this day, yet I know myself well enough to accept that this kind of thing takes time. I have my whole life to figure out who I am and what I ultimately want to become. For now, I want to keep on learning and improving myself. And if life allows it, I hope to be an inspiration to people who are also struggling with themselves.

Now that I’m living in a new country, I am excited to see which direction it would take me and this blog. Things are starting take shape actually. A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure to meet 6 amazing bloggers from Tampa Bay at Sprinkles Cupcakes in Hyde Park Village. They were lovely company so hopefully I get to meet more online influencers in the city.

Of course, Chad and I also took this opportunity to shoot some photos and spend some quality time together. I will be working soon so a nice little date was very much needed. Did I mention I wore head-to-toe thrifted?

Charlotte Russe Dress and Booties | Kensie Jeans Women’s Oversized Utility Jacket | Mango Quilted Bowling Bag