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 ~