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Yes, the rumors are true. I quit my job, left my entire life behind and moved to Japan to begin living the life I've only ever dreamed of. It's been over a month since I last posted on here [ my apologies for the delay.] I needed some time away from the public eye to process and absorb my new environment and lifestyle. I'm looking forward to bringing you guys along the ride with me. Let's get right into some of the questions I've been asked.

Why Japan?

Truth is, I didn't really choose Japan, it chose me. I knew I wanted [pretty much HAD to] move by March 2018, and I was really sick of New York. I was conisdering Atlanta or Los Angeles but I felt like I'd pretty much just be taking the life I was living in NY and moving it to a different state, just with warmer weather. I'd still have to get a job to pay my rent and monthly expenses and put my real passion on the backburner. I knew that's not what I wanted to do [more on that later.] At the same time I realized I had to make this move in March, my cousin from Japan was visiting the family in NY/NJ and her dad [my uncle] insisted I would be welcome to stay with them in Japan at any time. Then, my mind started running wild about all the possibilities and opportunities. I've always dreamt of traveling far and wide and living overseas although, where I come from that's pretty far fetched. I never doubted that it would happen, I just had to realize at that moment that this was God placing the opportunity right in front of my face and I'd be a fool to let it pass me by.

Prior to the decision, I didn't know much about Japan. I was never really into anime [besides Pokemon of course], Japanese food, or culture. Not consciously at least. Sure I love sushi and BAPE but once the idea of moving to Japan was presented to me, I took it upon myself to learn more about the culture so it wouldn't be such a shock when I arrived [stay tuned for an upcoming blog post with more on the Japanese culture.] I then realized I was already more in tune with Japanese culture than I thought. Especially fashion wise. I could never pin-point my personal sense of style and inspiration, it always just came naturally to me but when I came to Japan it truly felt like my style was a perfect fit for this place. Not to mention Japan is a very advanced yet systematic society with great food, beautiful views, and the culture has so much to offer and learn from.

 Was I scared to quit my job and leave my entire life behind?

Yes and no, but mostly no. I was lucky enough to land an amazing position 6 months after graduating college as a Product Developer in the sunglass department of an international wholesale company; this was directly related to my B.S. in Fashion Merchandising/Marketing degree so it made me feel good that I'm not in thousands of dollars in debt for no reason. I had a decent starting salary with benefits and I worked in a truly amazing company with coworkers who I built strong bonds with. Not to mention we were located right in the heart of the fashion district of Manhattan on 5th Ave. My job was the perfect mixture of creativity +  business and the company was laid back and very accomodating to your personal life if necessary. However, at the end of the day it was still just a job. As much as I loved what I did,  the people I worked with, and the knowledge and experience I gained, I still had to wake up at the same time every day and be there for 8.5 hours. I still had to answer to someone else. I still had to live paycheck to paycheck because after taxes, medical insurance and travel expenses were taken out from my paychecks I barely had enough left to save, pay rent, bills and feed myself (let alone pay off my student loans). And that is exactly the way I DON'T want to live my life.

 Moral of the story is as much as I loved my job, that wasn't reason enough for me to give up the opportunity to fulfill my purpose and go to Japan. I want to devote my life to my own dream, not somebody else's. I gave my boss a month's notice and they all took it much better than I expected. Everyone was SO happy for me to make such a big move and I think it made us all realize how much we appreciated eachother as people - inside and outside of work. I interviewed a bunch of people to fill my position and then trained the new hire, which was a learning experience as well. I still keep in contact with many people from the company, even my boss follows me on Instagram, haha.

Aside from my job, I really didn't have anything else holding me back from making such a drastic change. My mom was planning to move from NY to Florida the same time I was planning on leaving. My friends are back home trying to build their own future. I was not in a relationship [rare], nor did I have kids [which is also really rare where I come from.] So I thought, "Why the hell not?!"

How did I manage financially?

I came to Japan with only a small amount of savings and a lot of hunger to succeed. I bought a one way ticket which wasn't that expensive and I created a financial plan to help minimize my monthly expenses and bring in some extra income.

I gave up my room in my apartment so my brother and his family could live comfortably there [ cross rent off the list. ] I drove my car down to Florida with most of my belongings to stay with my mom and best friend if I ever decide to go back. I fully own my car - I didn't lease or finance for this exact reason. I am actually trying to sell my car now so that will be even more money in my pocket and I won't have to pay my monthly insurance. I paid my cell phone off in full so that my monthly bill will only be the cost of the plan. I canceled any unnecessary subscriptions. I sold a lot of my unwanted belongings such as my bed. my T.V., a bunch of clothes and shoes and I split the money into my savings and checking accounts.

Money rules the world, this is not news. However, if you aren't super careful it can rule you, too. Most people I talk to about my situation always use their bills or money as an excuses as to why they "could never" make the move I made. Pardon my language, but that is pure BULL SHIT. That's the catch, money was made to keep us imprisoned. To keep us stuck. To keep us working. Most people are too lazy to think outside the box and rather stick to the beaten path and work a 9-5, enjoy their life on the weekends and retire after 65. I'd honestly rather die than live a life like that, therefore I'm not letting a few bills or even debt keep me from living the life I want. There's plenty of money out there for all of us, you just gotta claim it.

If you make excuses, you'll never find a way but if you make a way, everything else can be figured out along the way. I'm not saying it's smart to just break your rental lease and run from your loan payments and phone bill. All I'm saying is that you can formulate an effective plan that will allow you to live below your means financially and still make a huge move to living a more meaningful life.   After all, I value experiences more than I value material things so it wasn't a big deal for me to give up so much to be able to move to another country.

How am I making a life for myself in Japan?

The main reason I made the decision to come here was to pursue a life of freedom and wealth, to not ever have to work for someone else's dream again. With that being said, the day after I arrived in Okinawa, Japan my uncle put me in contact with one of his friends in the area who is an entrepreneur himself and has many great connections in the nightlife, music and arts scene here. We immediately clicked and began working together. He has been managing me and helping me polish my services as a creative entrepreneur. He constantly brings me new clients and we work with a team that functions as a small scale corporation. We are all teaching and learning from eachother. I have been focusing on building my business as a creative; offering services in graphic design, photography, personal styling, marketing/social media management. I am making more than enough money from my gigs and clients to live a comfortable life here and I expect to have my own apartment and car soon.

I didn't come here with the expectations to start making money this soon, but I am so blessed to be given the opportunities I have been given. It's almost as if all I had to do was step outside my comfrt zone and as soon as I did, God was like "Great job, you passed the test. Now here is everything you've been praying for." Don't get me wrong, it's not all sweet and dandy all the time. Entrepreneurship has been the most stressful and challenging journeys I've embarked on thus far, but its a good stress. The feeling is so fulfilling, so I don't doubt my decision even for a split second. I know this is what I'm menat to do.

What made me make the final decision to embark on this big move?

It's simple really. I needed a change and I was presented with the opportunity. I've always said I wanted to travel the world and live in different countries for some time. It used to seem like a vague dream in the distance, so I had to realize that this was the perfect time to make it happen. I pretty much come from nothing, man. I've lived in the projects several times, in roach infested apartments, constantly hopping from one family member's couch to another my whole life. My mom busted her ass to keep me and my brother fed and cared for. I've been workig since I was 14 years old to help ease the load off my mom and take care of myself. I had to grow up at an extremely young age, and coming from NY I was taught to hustle at a young age as well. Gratefully, being a female I didn't have to hustle and do the dirty work that most boys were exposed to. But I did learn from everything I saw and I used the same techniques and mentality they have in the streets and applied it to education and business. I made sure I did well in school and got a college degree with Honors. I made sure I was always learning new things outside of school, doing my own research, teaching myself new skills, and now it was time for me to find a way to make a living off of everything I learned. A change of environment was necessary because being in a place of comfort, with people I've known my whole life was not providing me with the motivation or energy I need to go at this full force.

As someone who values human relationships more than anything else in life and always prioritizes them, I really wanted to take this time to go down a different route. An unfamiliar one. Devote all my time, money, and effort into myself for once. Stay away from commitment for a while [which has helped me gain SO much clarity - wow this post is giving me so many ideas for future topics haha] and just follow my truest passions - to travel, to create, to inspire.

In conclusion, quitting my job and mvoing to Japan has been the best decision I've ever made. I will never hesitate on any of my goals or dreams again after seeing how rewarding it is to just take the leap and I really hope you guys can learn to do the same. 

Stay tuned for more upcoming posts on my experiences in Japan so far!

Photography by Nona

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Orange and General Traits

Orange is optimistic, uplifting and rejuvenating. It brings spontaneity and a positive outlook on life.

The color orange radiates warmth and happiness, combining the physical stimulation of red with the cheerfulness of yellow. Orange is more of an instinctive color rather thab a mental reactor liek yellow or a physical reactor, like red.

Orange offers emotional strength in difficult times. It helps us bounce back from disappointments and despair, assisting in recovery from grief.

The color orange relates to social communication, stimulating two way conversations. A warm and inviting color, it is both physically and mentally stimulating, so it gets people thinking and talking!

Personality Color Orange

People with a personality color as orange are generally adventurous and risk takers. They tend to be very independent individuals with a high confidence in themselves and are competitive by nature. They are always on the go! They are always looking for new challenges - and this can lead to restlessness and impatience with others who do not have this need.
With orange as your personality color, you are warm, optimistic, extroverted and often flamboyant.You are friendly, good-natured and a generally agreeable person.
You are assertive and determined rather than aggressive - having a personality color orange means you are more light-hearted and less intense than those who love red.
You thrive on human social contact and social gatherings, bringing all types together. As a personality color orange you enjoy partying and socializing and planning all types of social events - orange people are the life of the party, the uninhibited performer! You are often the loud talker in a group. While you are charming and sociable you do tend to be a show-off.
You get great satisfaction from helping others and they find you inspiring with your vitality and positive energy. 

The deepest need for a personality color orange is to be with people, to socialize with them, and be accepted and respected as part of a group. You also have a need for regular challenges in your life, whether it is physical or social challenges.

Orange and Fashion

Orange takes on many cultural meanings throughout the world. In the Western world it is seen as a representation of affordability and adventure. In the East it signifies happiness and spirituality. In Ireland it is the religious color for Protestants. In Hinduism, Saffrom, a soft orange color, is consdered an auspicious and sacred color.
Be careful when using orange in business; apply it sparingly as it tends to be the most disliked color in the western world. 
Use it to suggest adventure, fun, optimism. It imparts a message that it is  affordable yet reasonable quality, sociable and easy-going.
Its stimulation to social communication and the senses makes it a beneficial color for hotels and resorts.
Travel websites should consider it as one of their color choices for its association with journeys, adventure and exciting fun activities.
Sports teams can use this vibrant color in their team colors to suggest energy, flamboyance and adventure.

Orange is an appealing color for the youth market as children and teens tend to like its sense of fun and adventure and its suggestion of affordability. It is also a great color to use on toys for young children, along with other bright primary and secondary colors. 
Orange is an invaluable color in encouraging sales in restaurants, cafĂ©'s, bistros and diners as it stimulates appetite and conversation, contributing to patrons eating and talking longer and spending more money. If you love having people around the kitchen table, orange will keep them talking and eating for a long time. 

A softer version of orange, such as peach is favorable in beauty salons, spas and treatment centers' and upper class restaurants.

In fashion, orange tends to act as the exception, rather than the rule. During his time at Jil Sander, Raf Simons developed a new palette of minimalism for women where joyful orange would often be the only bright colour in a sea of black and white and grey. Memorably the Autumn/Winter 2009 collection brought forward flashes of sculptural orange, deep and vivid, in amongst a powerful, and mostly monochrome, collection.

What I'm Wearing: 
All Eyez On Me Cropped Jacket (Dolls Kill) // Orange Bikini Set (Amazon)
Black Drawstring Sweats (Zara) // Orange SeatBELT (F21)
Yeezy Boost 350v2 Beluga (Adidas)

Photography by Elizabeth Malave
Photos Retouched by me.

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is the color of the mind, the intellect and happiness

Yellow & General Traits

The color yellow relates to acquired knowledge. It resonates with the left (or logic) side of the brain, stimulating our mental faculties and creating mental agility and perception.

Being the lightest hue of the spectrum, the color psychology of yellow is uplifting and illuminating. It  offers hope, happiness, cheerfulness and fun. It inspires original thought and inquisitiveness. Yellow is the best color to create enthusiasm for life and can awaken greater confidence and optimism.

Yellow is non-emotional, coming from the head rather than the heart. It is related to the ego and our sense of self worth, to how we feel about ourselves and how we are perceived by others.

If you are going through a lot of change in your life you may find you can't tolerate the color yellow very well - this will usually pass. It just means that you are having trouble coping with all the changes at the moment and yellow vibrates too fast for you, making you feel stressed. Introduce green or a soft orange into your life for a while to balance and restore your energies.

On the negative side, yellow can be critical and judgemental, being overly analytical, being impatient and impulsive. It can also be non-emotional and lack compassion.

Personality Color Yellow

Yellow is the practical thinker, not the dreamer. It is creative from a mental aspect, the color of new ideas, helping us find new ways of doing things. You use your mind to achieve goals rather than your physical energy.

Yellow is the great communicator and loves to talk. Yellow is the color of the networker and journalist, all working and communicating on a mental level. Yellow is the scientist, constantly analyzing, looking at both sides before making a decision; methodical and decisive. Yellow is the entertainer, the comic, the clown.

Yellow personalities have a strong independent streak in them, and are selective with your choise of friends, keeping a small group of close and like-minded friends rather than being involved in team events or large social gatherings.

Your deepest need is for logical order in your everyday life and to be able to express your individuality by using your logical mind to inspire and create new ideas.

Yellow & Fashion

Yellow has many different meanings in cultures around the world. In Western cultures yellow symbolizes happiness, joy, hope, cowardice, caution and hazardous substances. In Eastern cultures yellow is sacred and imperial. In China it is a masculine color. In India it is the symbol of a merchant.    In Egypt it is the color of mourning. In Japan, yellow is the color of courage, beauty and refinement, aristocracy and cheerfulness. In France, it is the color of jealousy.

In business, yellow is a great color for children's products, particulary combined with other bright primary or secondary colors. It is stimulating to their mind and their creativity.
For many leisure products, particularly those that promote playful and fun activities, yellow is a beneficial color. It will enhance the promotion of any fun and entertainment businesses. It is also huge in the food industry as it stimulates the appetite, especially when used in conjuction with other warm color such as red or orange.
Apart from the above types of businesses, in general it is best to use yellow as a highlight color - too much can cause agitation and anxiety, particularly with older people. Avoid its use where you are trying to impart a message of stability.
In fashion, yellow is a huge color for 2018. This punchy color possesses an energetic spirit and delivers a seriously playful pop of character – cutting through expected mid-tones. It is perfect to add as a pop of color in accessories or even a statement piece like a yellow coat.

What I'm Wearing: 
Calvin Klein Mustard Yellow Pea Coat (Thrifted) // Black Mid-Rise Jeans (F21)
Black Lycra Sock Booties (Steve Madden) // Nike SF AF1 Black/Gum Sole (Foot Locker)

Photography by Elizabeth Malave
Photos Retouched by me.

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