How I’ve Been + Why I Create 🌈

Hi everybody!

Last week, I’ve made a big decision which has been truly helpful so far.

Hmm… what could it be?? Lol ~

I’ve taken a break from most social media platforms.

This might not be a big deal to some people, but it is definitely a big one for me. If you’re someone who puts herself out there in the internet world, we cannot deny that social media really play a role especially if your work relies on it too (for commissioned posts / promotions / announcements).

To be honest, social media is like both a cure and a poison for me. Poison is a little bit strong of a word but you know what I mean, haha. Yes, it’s everyone’s cure for boredom. On the other hand, it can also be an unconscious addiction. It was becoming a latter for me to the point it was being unhealthy. Not that I feel insecure or compare myself to people I follow because I actually feel admiration towards them haha.. it’s more like I get sooooo distracted and I lose precious time! (Kaila, stop exploring hashtags! LOL)

If only I could have a duplicate Kaila who could update her ig often and not feeling stressed at the same time, lol. But let’s be real, I’m only one person. If you sent me a DM and I wasn’t able to reply, I really don’t check my unread inboxes because I just feel overwhelmed and not in a good way most of the time. If I feel relaxed at that time, I enjoy opening it. If not, it has this other effect.. huhu. #sorrynotsorry

My phone is so slow now and I’m actually happy about it because it prevents me from opening instagram / twitter apps. Not sure if I will be back (as of now, I don’t feel like going back) and I think that if people are really interested in me / the content that I do, they can just always access it through my blog or youtube. That’s how it was when I started blogging a decade ago.

Bloghopping was a huge thing, haha! I still do it now and I even search for blogs for inspiration. Not sure if it’s the same with everyone!

To add, I just wanna share some realizations lately. I’m really thankful that I’ve learned these!

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My Japanese Dream Timeline + How I Created My Own Luck 🤞

Hello everybody!

For today’s lengthy post, I will be sharing something very personal in detail. Not sure if this is oversharing already but if this blog post could help or encourage somebody out there, then I’d be so happy!

Last week, I received one of the best news I’ve had.

I have just been granted with a 5-year working visa here in Japan! I could not believe it at first! I silently prayed everyday ever since I handed my papers that it would be in the hands of a kind & generous immigration officer, lol! I remember meeting up with sensei (our visa counselor) and he told me that I might just get a 1 yr. visa (instead of my previous one, the 3 yr.) because my brother’s company was at a struggling / challenging stage at that time. My visa is sponsored under my brother’s company for almost 6 years.

When I got rewarded with this legal visa (ain’t fake news haha), I had many flashbacks. I literally cried  alone when I received the alien card (funny name lol)! Finally, all of my hard work these years are now paying off! I’ve been promoting Japanese culture for many years through my online activities and maybe this is Japan reciprocating my love for the country. Huhu, thank you universe!

Before I share my plans in the future, let me narrate in detail my humble beginnings.

Where I came from. What motivated me to never stop trying even if there were little chances for me. What fueled my drive to keep on keeping on.

So first.. let’s say hello to mini me, hehe!

I was born last 1991. The only girl, after 4 brothers. My mom used to sell life insurance. My dad worked (and still works) in the energy industry (Chemical Engineer).

We’re a big middle-class family.

I grew up with many people in the house. I was exposed to people from different walks of life. I played with our helper’s daughter (hi Nanay Rosie in heaven) and I would even eat at their house. My mom’s nanny when she was a kid also became my second mother as well (and a big source of moral support). I had many strong women to look up to when I was young. I saw my mom still working even after getting radiation therapy for her cancer. I witnessed my dad burning the midnight oil almost every day sending project proposals to different people / companies who would sadly… pay him even months after. I grew up witnessing my older brother in Japan (Kuya Eric) rebelling responsibly as he built his own path here in Japan without any financial support from anyone. I’ve lived almost all of my life struggling.. but now, I think that maybe “being challenged” is the better term.

At school, my classmates would call me as Catherine. I wasn’t the brightest. I was that C+ student who would have to study very hard just to pass. Sometimes, even with best effort.. I got mediocre results. But that didn’t stop me from wanting to improve. My English sucked a lot to the point that I would ask my brothers to correct my grammar for book reports. I wanted to improve so I tried blogging when I discovered the wonders of webpage design (through a friend’s introduction). I made my first Cardcaptor Sakura shrine website / fanlisting (lol) using Microsoft Paint. I passionately coded the website manually using notepad. I didn’t have a lot of equipment or resources, but I still felt blessed. I maximized whatever was given or gifted to me. My parents saw how I was so into computers so when I won a place in an interschool webpage design competition, they bought me a laptop (the brand was a locally-made one called “Neo”). My brother bought a second-hand wacom tablet from Japan and I used it for many years.

My preschool and highschool photos haha ~

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What Living In Japan Has Taught Me 🌸

7 years ago, my ultimate dream came true. 

7年前、私の究極の夢が実現しました。日本に住むという夢です。

Photo by mumsh Abbey

I call it my cherry blossom dream. Thanks to my hardworking brother, I was able to start a new life as a Japanese language student here in Japan. I repaid his love by working with him in growing his company where I was able to do a wide scope of work from packing fragile Japanese antiques, to setting up an online store as the number one source of vintage souvenir jackets. It was a crazy type of additional schooling, lol. Still grateful for the craziness.

私はそれを桜の夢と呼んでいます。勤勉な兄のおかげで、ここ日本の留学生として新しい生活を始めることができました。兄に恩返しするために日本の骨董品を梱包することから世界一のスカジャンオンラインストアを設立することまで幅広い仕事をして兄の会社の成長に協力しました。仕事はとてもクレイジーなほど忙しく大変でしたが、そこから様々なことを学ぶことができ、感謝しています。

As I started my journey, I relaunched my passion for sharing creative content and blogging. I blogged about my simple life and fascination over kawaii culture. I met many people. I also said goodbye to many people. They also said goodbye to me. I moved on and eventually became ready to open new doors too. Experience is the best teacher as they say.

私が旅を始めた頃、沢山の人にクリエイティブなコンテンツとブログを共有するという情熱が再び湧きました。カワイイ文化に対する私のシンプルライフと魅力についてブログしました。沢山の新しい人に出会い、同時に沢山の人に別れを告げました。彼らもまた私に別れを告げました。私は前へ進み続け、最終的に新しい扉を開く準備をしました。経験は最高の教師とはよくいったものです。

I went through a lot of phases. I had many achievements. I also had an equal share of setbacks. Yin and yang. I went through depression. That rock bottom served as my solid foundation that helped me find my purpose in life. I realized that I’m only alive for less than 10 decades, what the hell am I complaining about?

私は多くの段階を経て、沢山の成果を収めましたが、同時に同じくらいの反動も受けました。陰と陽。私はうつ病を経験して岩底まで落ちましたが、その経験は人生の目的を見つけるのに非常に役立ちました。人生の内のたった少ししか生きてないのに、何について不平を言えるでしょうか?

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2017: A Year of Creativity, Videos, & Gudetama ?

Hi everyone!

How’s your 2018 so far? Hopefully, you’re just taking some time to have a good rest to mentally prepare for the year ahead. Before anything else, I hope & pray that all of your goals & plans this 2018 will come true! 🙂

I decided to write about what happened last 2017 today because tomorrow, it’s literally my own “new year”! Cannot believe how time flies! A few years ago, I was just relaunching this blog when I moved to Japan when I was 20? (or 21? lol). Tomorrow, I’m already going to turn 27 and oh man, my 26 yr. old self endured a lot last 2017!

(Uhm ,is it just me or does it feel weird to describe 2017 as “last 2017” when it was just a few days ago… haha)

2017 was a really challenging year for me (I’d probably say this sentence every year haha). It was kind of my first time to really tackle “adulting” in a whole new level. I promised to myself that I would document my progress / journey everyday through my creative outlet: kawaii journaling.

When things happen all at the same time, it is natural for anyone to have a blurry vision especially during the small / big moments that he/she should be grateful about. And this is probably why I decided to commit to journal regularly. My past self kind of predicted that this type of self-care hobby would help me a lot by saving myself from the unnecessary anxiety caused by the overwhelming feeling of  impending tasks. Thanks to my TN / Hobonichi / little diary notebooks, I’ve survived many challenges in 2017 (and more years in the future)!

2017 was the year I decided to go out farther from my already-uncomfortable zones. To fuel and sustain my everyday life here in Japan (and to help my family back home if I do make extra), I applied for part-time jobs (English teaching). For some people, they find it boring and very usual for foreigners living in Japan to have the same job (I literally get comments “isn’t it boring to be an English teacher” lol).. but for me, I am very proud to be called a sensei. I’ve always wanted to teach (this is why I write long reflection papers on my blog because I want to share my knowledge on certain things) and after 2 months of continuous training, I’m finally starting fresh this January.

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