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Who Are You?

“Who are you?” is one of the quintessential questions that an interviewer will ask you during an interview. This question also makes me think of the hookah-smoking caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland & the song My Shot from Hamilton. Unless you take the time to really think about who you are, it’s also one of the most difficult questions to answer. I personally don’t believe in coincidences. I believe that every single thing that has occurred in my life & every person who has come & gone, happened for a specific reason. All of the past occurrences & people who have been in & out of my life helped me to become the woman I am today. And for that, I will always be grateful.

My Family

My parents met at my cousin’s 1st Birthday Party. At that time, my Dad was still married to his 1st wife, & my Mom was engaged to someone else. My Dad ended up getting a divorce because his in-laws didn’t want them to have children. My Mom ultimately called off her engagement because she somehow knew in her heart that there was something better waiting. About two years later, they reconnected & started dating. My Mom broke up with my Dad because she thought that he was entertaining other women behind her back. They separated for a little over three months before they got back together & eventually got engaged.

In grade school, I had to interview a family member about their best friend as a class project. I chose to interview my Dad. While I didn’t appreciate the love-filled answers that he gave me at the time, that interview shows me how beautiful true love is. In short, my Dad’s best friend is my Mom. She’s his best friend because they talk about anything & everything without getting bored of each other. His best memories with her aren’t even huge, impactful moments, but simply being around her every day. They don’t even have to say anything. But with a quick look or making silly faces at each other, he knows that he has everything that he needs in her alone.

My parents’ love story teaches that life is unexpected. If you have tunnel vision trying to pursue one clear path, fate & the universe may conspire against your current circumstances to give you something better than you could have ever imagined. Even after what you think is the love of your life, love can & will find you again. If you choose to keep your heart open & take a leap of faith. Their love makes me believe in soulmates & emphasizes the importance of marrying your best friend.

My siblings are my closest friends. They’re also my complete opposites. lol My sister is three years older than me, & my brother is three years younger than me. Being a middle child & their sister has taught me so much about how to communicate & mediate my actions when dealing with individuals who act & think differently than I do. While I’m a newly awakened empath, I know in my heart that my Dad & both of my siblings are empaths too.

My brother is bipolar. While I’ve lived the majority of my life not affected by my own emotions or the emotions of others, my brother gave me an inside look into the mind of someone who bottles everything he feels inside. My brother takes on the emotions & problems of others like a sponge.

As a Cancer sun, he’s innately empathic, emotional, & sensitive. While he can be the most enthusiastic & positive person you’ll ever meet, he also holds a lot of darkness inside & secretly hates himself.

I distinctly remember one day while I was away from home in college, & we were catching up through text. He was asking me how I was & how school was going, which was pretty typical for us. After saying goodbye to each other for the night, no less than 5 minutes later, my sister called me crying. She tells me that my brother is in the hospital under a 5150 (California law code for the temporary, involuntary psychiatric commitment of individuals who present a danger to themselves or others due to signs of mental illness). I am the last person my brother communicated with as if everything was fine before he had to hand over his phone & be admitted. After his hold for evaluation, he was officially diagnosed as bipolar.

My sister was bullied in grade school from the first grade through 8th grade. We went to a predominantly white, private, Catholic school. As one of the only brown girls in her class, boys in her class started to make fun of her on a daily basis. It got to the point that she was constantly depressed & at one point, even suicidal.

She’s also a Cancer sun, so she’s just as empathic, emotional, & sensitive as my brother. She prefers to bottle up all of her emotions up until she snaps, & it usually comes out as anger & frustration. Looking back, my sister was mean to me & bossed me around throughout her grade school years. But I completely understand why. It wasn’t until I moving away for college that we became closer. In the four years that I was living away from home, she would call me on the phone. She begged, cried, & offered to buy my train ticket to come home to visit.

I truly believe that my siblings made my empathic, spiritual awakening exponentially easier. In the times that I feel overwhelmed by my own emotions, their experiences struggling with mental health help me become even more determined to always transmute & channel my emotions into something positive. They help me embrace my new gifts with an open heart & mind, knowing that I already spend my entire life trying to be strong & stoic. Embracing my new empathic & intuitive abilities is possible because I always have them both to help me whenever I’d struggle.

My aunts, uncles, & cousins also play a huge role in who I am. Both of my parents are one of six children. They immigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area from the Philippines. I grew up going to family parties every week. I created so many happy memories with my family playing games & going on vacations. As an adult, I still travel with my cousins on occasion. My family is fun, hilarious, & supportive of all of my entrepreneurial ventures. They were my first YouTube channel followers, my first blog readers, & my first Tarot card reading customers. I know in my heart that they’ll always be there to love & support me throughout my lifetime.

My Friends

While I keep my social circles very small, I have the best friends that I could ever ask for. Two of my best friends, I’ve known since Kindergarten; that’s 29 years of friendship. We are three points of a balanced & strong triangle. We’ve stood by each other & remained very close despite going to different high schools & colleges.

Brittany is an Aries sun. She is brilliant, driven, & outgoing. She consistently inspires me with her adventurous spirit, work ethic, & passion for the people & things she loves. She’s a true Fire Sign. Jessica is a Virgo sun. She is fiercely loyal, hard-working, & reliable. She encourages me to let loose & have fun. She’s constantly introducing me to new avenues of thinking & the greatest humans you’ll ever meet. She’s an Earth sign, with a Scorpio Moon, allowing her to embrace her emotional side too.

My best friend from college, Liz is also a Virgo sun. She’s incredibly grounded, level-headed, & practical. She’s always giving me advice whether it be for my career or my love life. She shares my love for delicious food & dessert. She reminds me of my worth & is always there to hype me up or surprise me when I’m feeling down. Even after twelve years of not living in the same town, she’s always there for me. We make the effort to fly across the country to see each other as often as financially possible.

My remaining handful of friends that I won’t get into specifics about are just as amazing, kind, & understanding. Even after days, weeks, or months without speaking to one another, we’re always able to come back together just as strong, as if no time has passed. I love all of my friends with all of my heart. It takes so much for me to open up to new people & make new friends, so the people that I choose to keep in my inner circle mean everything to me.

My Past Romantic Partners

My past romantic partners always act as a mirror into my soul & how I perceive who I am at a time in my life. The more tumultuous the relationship, the more I hated myself & needed outside validation. The more I change who I am to conform to who I think they want me to be, the more I see that I didn’t have my own identity without them. I changed my eating habits, my hobbies, & the way I dressed, did my makeup & hair to ensure I would always be “accepted” & “loved” by their standards instead of my own.

While I’ve retained some things that they brought into my life, I now choose to put myself first, only keeping what I truly love & want to continuously do going forward. I love to travel. Writing is my primary creative outlet. I love boxing, dancing, & hiking as my preferred workouts. My Nintendo Switch saved me from boredom during COVD-19 stay-at-home orders. I love homecooked meals, baking banana bread, & using Kraft Real Mayo on my sandwiches.

My past partners taught me to always see my own worth because no one else will ever be me. I choose who to be intimate with, because my body is sacred & not just anyone deserves to worship at my temple.

My Enemies & Haters

I know that I am not for everyone. There have been plenty of times in my life that others have gone out of their way to make their disdain towards me known. Instead of cowering in a corner, hiding who I am, or blocking out the world in an attempt to protect myself, I transmute their hate & unkindness & allow it to add fuel to my inner fire. Despite the opinions of others, I still deserve to have an abundant life. Hate will never deter me from accomplishing my goals or living a happy & successful life.

As the main character in the story of our own lives, we need to remember to always embrace every new chapter, every side character, & even our enemies to reach our full potential. So… who am I? I am a combination of every person in my life, every experience & life lesson shared with me.

I’m like my Dad because I’m creative, resourceful, & entrepreneurial, with hopes of being my own boss one day. I look like a younger version of my Mom. I also hope to be just as nurturing of a wife & mother as she is. I’m learning to be as caring & helpful as my siblings. I am just as amazing, fun, intelligent, kind, & supportive as my family & friends. I am everything & everyone in my life that I love. That’s who I am.

XO Denise

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5 thoughts on “Who Are You?

  1. […] I dated someone who would cry & call themselves dumb whenever he would fail & I got an A on an exam or a paper for the same class. Someone who loves you will not make you feel guilty for being you. They will want to celebrate your successes in school or your career. They’re not intimidated by the amazing qualities that you possess that make you, YOU. […]

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