(Edit as of 2/11/2017: I wrote this post many many months ago, I’ve reread, edited, added, deleted, repeated, thought whether to publish this or not over the past week while preparing the remaining content to go up for the relaunch of my blog. I’ve (obviously) decided to go ahead and publish this post still unsure whether this was the right decision or not, regardless, I hope this post gives you a better insight into my life, real life, unfiltered, less curated, not the social media Bettina you all know and love. Social media RARELY shows anyone at their low points, I make sure to always be the most positive I can on social media but real life, we all go through some shit, we all have struggles and go through some really low times. If there is anything I want you, reader, to take away from this post is that no matter how hard it may seem at the moment, or if there may seem like theres no light at the end of the tunnel you must pick yourself up. Work hard and be nice to people, stay focused, it gets better. A lot better)
3 years ago I started this blog as an escape and distraction from what was going on in my life, I was back in Dubai after just dropping out of University in the Philippines deciding what my next few steps were. I wanted to continue studying art (fashion focused) but my parents couldn’t afford it and they’ve already spent so much having me move out by myself to the Philippines, I suggested I took a year off to think about what I wanted to do and in the meantime work part time to help save some, they suggested enrolling into another university which was a fraction of the tuition but majored in Business. I told them if I was going to finish something I wanted to enjoy it, my heart was dead set on Fashion and they ended up enrolling me into the University and course of my choice, though, worked hard to make ends meet the whole time I was studying there.
I enjoyed sharing my daily outfits that I wore to University on my blog which at the moment was still on tumblr under the name ‘Heels in Dubai Sand’- all you hardcore followers will still remember that handle I went by, it was something to do during my free time and I had fun. I never planned on blowing up like I did 2 years ago, in no time i began attending events, collaborating and meeting new people, my blog helped me build my confidence. In a span of a month my life went from University – Home to University – Event – Meeting – Home on the daily. I loved every minute, commute, shoot, post, meeting, the hustle and bustle of things.
Towards the end of my fourth semester of University my grades began declining and I started skipping a lot of my classes, I had to take a step back and remind myself of the sacrifices my parents were making to keep me in school so I decided to chill out on my blogging for a bit, this is when my inconsistency started and i had been struggling since. Inconsistency hit my blog hard, and most of you noticed. I wasn’t lazy because I was still doing University work now with the addition of working part time as well, I had just put it on the sidelines for the meantime- it remained a thought that lingered at the back of my head.
I eventually got my first full-time job immediately after my studies (2 days immediately- yeah, vacation where?) which required me to be in the office 10 hours a day, most of the time working over the weekend, this was when life just took over and I wanted to pay my parents back for my debts. I loved my job but I was not happy with how much of my time was spent on it. After almost a year into it I was again faced with the decision to stay in this secure job with a high salary and benefits or leave and focus back on what I was passionate at again. I wrote all about it in a post to come. (Edit: I wrote a separate post about resigning from my “perfect” job, not sure I will ever post it, maybe sometime in the distant future, not now.)
In between, there have been periods of my life where I would be unhappy for no reason, I’d been completely unmotivated, struggling with insomnia, inability to focus, the simplest decisions seemed so complex, fatigued, and just an overall low self-worth. I didn’t want to/ was physically and mentally impossible to create content during these times, because it wasn’t me, it would both be unfair to me and my readers if I kept spitting out content that did not reach the kind of quality I would be happy to create. Thinking of my blog gave me anxiety, and sometimes my heart would feel as if it was about to explode right through my chest knowing I’m letting not only so many people down but myself and what I’ve started. I considered cutting out my blog and social media from my life cold turkey and just move on with life but I’ve come this far not to only come this far. I still had hope, I knew those were just phases in my life and at the moment I just happen to be in one where I was standing front dead and centre down a fork in the road.
“Change may not always bring growth, but there is no growth without change”
I decided if I wanted things to get better I had to do something about it, I invested in a proper camera + lens’, I contacted the amazing Mahryska to work on my website, I got to working not only in relaunching my website but me as a person. One Monday morning I decided to suck it up and walk straight to my managers table and lay down the news, everyone took it as a huge surprise because I (knew) was doing so well but was very supportive about my decision. I am in a much better place now, I have a new amazing job where I could still pursue my passions simultaneously which is this blog, I’ve reconnected with a lot of my old friends whom I haven’t seen let alone spoken to the whole time I was working at my previous job, and I get to see my family a lot more now. I not only got my life back but one I enjoy more.
The best thing I could’ve ever done for myself during these low points in life was surround myself with supportive, loving people which I am so lucky to have in arms reach of. I am so blessed to have such amazing blogger ate’s and kuya’s to look up to, supportive brands/ companies I have and still continue to work with, the Filipino community who always has me under a microscope. And though I do my best to make everyone proud of me, I am taking this step moving forward and doing things that will make me happy, working at my own pace, and spending a little more time off of my phone and just living life.
Thank you all for the never ending support and love…
Your Ate/ Bunso,