It all started when I came to Canada – my first landing that was in May of 2012. I really do not know what happened but I guess I was overwhelmed with the newness of things happening around me – seeing my mom for the first time in a year, meeting new faces, and to be honest recovering from a broken heart at that time. When I came to Canada, I wanted to make myself anew so I changed how people called me. Back at home I was known to be as “Denise” when I came here I let people call me “Rikki” as it’s my nickname. I can still vividly remember the time everything changed, it was when we were playing a game with my newfound friends which turned out to be my churchmates here (maybe it was patintero or something), everything to me was a disaster because my anxiety was rolling up. I guess I wanted it to be perfect, no flaws so that people would like me. But then I fell down! And everyone was just silent and no one was laughing. I was expecting that someone would at least laugh so as to break the ice but no one. They helped me up but I was so embarrassed that something inside me changed. Then it all went downhill from there. I can’t seem to function as Denise anymore, you know the confident, charismatic and enthusiastic kind of person? I was then trying to stay quiet as I can during the rest of the trip. I was also expecting people to like me as I am a bit weird. But they don’t seem to embrace my weirdness. Really, I was expecting all the people to like me that I ended up being disappointed and scarred for life. When I went back home, I was anxious. I never really knew what I was feeling back then until now that I am older I realized I was such a people pleaser. So when I went back home the thoughts in my head were like, “What if I don’t have the exact reaction I want with the people around me again? I might embarrass myself again.” So I just opted to be quiet as I can again and people around me were asking what was wrong. That I am not myself anymore. It was such a difficult time if only people knew. I was on the peak of my adolescence and I guess my hormones were starting to hone down. I wasn’t enthusiastic anymore and I became paranoid. Let’s call it my identity crisis if you may. I didn’t know what to do with people’s expectations of me and the response I did was to fight it at first and then I eventually ended up flying back to my parents to Canada. That time I thought people were out to get me, I was paranoid. Burned or stressed out too, I guess. Everything was just too overwhelming – I was taking care of my sick grandpa, I was responsible for the money for his meds, it was my fourth year in Nursing, I need to be getting ready for board exam which I was so scared, and I was left all alone without my parents because they flew to Canada, all in one blow. I was going out of my mind! I ended up losing my mind. And it was then that I decided to fly to Canada to be with my family again. It’s true that “If you’ve never lost your mind, you’ve never followed your heart.” In my heart, I was willing to throw away my entire life in Iloilo because of that silly mistake, that I wanted everything to be perfect. Everything changed since then when I stepped into the land of Canada. Sometimes I replay in my mind if only they didn’t send me to have a 2 week vacation, I would’ve finished Nursing. But I also realize that everything happens for a purpose. Nursing really wasn’t my niche. It was all because I wanted to please my family. I’ve always wanted to be a Psychologist. But it’s hard to find a job as a psychologist, that’s why I opted for human resources. Everything falls back into place even though I’m still in college, I had the second chance to redeem myself and live like in the movies. I just hope I could gain enough confidence back. Though I like myself more now because I’m wiser, I still wish my life would be like when I was in Iloilo, where everything was lively and easy. That’s not the case here. It’s hard, but fulfilling. And I just thank God for my life every single day that I can wake up and live my dreams here in Canada.