Reflections

I was reading Tien’s post earlier today and her thought-process really stood out bringing a wave of emotions. Just thinking about my journey and I how I got here, to this point in my life, and where I came from. I think each one of us have such amazing journeys, whether it was always steady or if we faced trials and difficulties. For me, I think it’s been a little of everything. I’m originally from Albania, a very small Eastern European country that has a diverse geography and history of communism. I moved to the States at the age of 10 and it was then that my life as I knew it changed forever. The dynamics of learning English, elementary school, fitting in, and my first purchase of Keds brought on tears and frustration. It took a really long time for me to feel like I was comfortable in my own skin- probably senior year of high school is when I felt somewhat confident in who I was.
I didn’t have the chance to travel back to my first home until 15 years later, while working in Finland. It was a very surreal experience because all my memories as a child were still so vivid in my mind but being there felt like a different reality. I had changed and even though spoke the language fluently, still viewed as an American, and while I’d always wanted to be seen as such while living here, there, I wanted to be seen as Albanian. It’s a crazy place, people are still making sense of the political and economic freedom that has now existed for almost 20 years, but I really really enjoy being there! I think it’s that part of me that always wonders what my life would have been like if we never left. I think part of the reason why I have an interest for international work in my field is because I’ve never felt like I truly belonged to one place, one country- I don’t know what that feels like. There is that thought-process that we are all citizens of the world and share so much in common, and can truly adapt to new locations if/when given the opportunity.
 I think about my partner in crime and the different ways in which we grew up. He was born and raised here with strong family ties whereas I don’t identify with a particular location and my parents are no strangers to working abroad. Even though I’m approaching 30 in a couple of years, I’m hoping to spend time living in a different country and even raise kids in a new environment that isn’t my country of citizenship. Sometimes it’s hard to explain why you’re drawn to certain things, but I know that for me it’s not about curiosity as much as it is about level of comfort and familiarity. I gues I’m thinking about all this because soon we’ll be married and in a year I’ll be done with my degree and will be pursuing an official career.

In clothes-related news, the Openwork Vines skirt is here and it’s beautiful! I can’t wait to try it on and dress it up and down. Here’s hoping to a trip to Anthro this weekend. I’ve decide to return the Star Sprinkled cardi after much debate. I figure that I’m not the biggest fan of short-sleeve cardis and probably wont reach very much for it. Sad, but true.

on dress
f21 woven belt
blowfish catrell wedge
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23 thoughts on “Reflections

  1. ditto on your outfit.Also interesting to read about your journey. I had read Tien's earlier and was moved by it as well. Isn't it interesting how many things in our lives from out past and often humble beginning often influence use more than we think in the present?

  2. Thanks for linking my post, Dea. I loved reading about you and finding out more about you. We've got a lot in common! Love this outfit on you. The stripe dress and belt together are so effortlessly chic!

  3. The outfit is so effortless, yet still so chic. I adore it! Thanks for also telling us about you. I always love to hear more about my favorite bloggers, and both you and Tien's stories are absolutely touching, for very different reasons. I am sorry that when you returned to Albania that they viewed you as an American — but I guess that's the way it is with so many children who were uprooted and then transported to another country to grow? But I am glad that you've made a life for yourself here in the States — after all, if you hadn't, you wouldn't have met your fiance!

  4. ditto what krameymartin said about your outfit – it's so chic and easy! love it.I also loved reading about you and your background – thanks for sharing a little of yourself.

  5. Dea-It was so nice to read more about you and your background/journey. it's funny that today i was thinking about what to include in my blog next week and I thought about doing a post that revealed some more personal details and I log on and the first blog I read on google reader is this one:)As always, you look lovely. I love the combination of the black and white stripes with the brown.

  6. You look great today, Dea. I can totally relate to Tien's story, and yours as well. I was born in Taiwan, but moved here when I was three. I went back there when I was 14 and was a total American to them and met all my relatives I either didn't really remember or never seen before. It's a wonderful but surreal experience, and a little disconcerting because you're the one that's the stranger.

  7. Oh wow, Dea – 10 is so hard. It's one of the most confusing times for girls as they straddle the line between kid and teenager – I can imagine any move at that age would be tough, but even more so from another country. You are the beautiful, independent and strong woman you are today I'm guessing in part because of starting again here in the states at that time in your life. Thanks for opening up and sharing yourself with us! I was born with dual citizenship in Canada, and moved to PA when my parents divorced at age 3. We moved about every 2-5 years growing up, and it made me feel like I never belonged anywhere. Like I never had the kind of deep rooted friendships that I wanted to have with kids I knew from preschool. In my case, it made me determined to settle in one place once I had children, I hope to never move them, I hope they always think of their childhood house as "home" I want to give them the steady that I craved when I was younger.It's so interesting to me to hear another perspective!Anyway, I'm writing a novel here, but I can't leave without saying cute, cute outfit. I seriously am in love with the F21 belt every time I see it on you! Your weekend is HERE!!!

  8. Great post Dea. Thanks for sharing such an important part of who you are. I think we're all always searching, learning, and finding out more about ourselves.. πŸ™‚ I haven't gone back to my hometown since we left. I hope to make it there in the hear future and see where I was born and where my parents grew up and started their family. I'm owe my parents a lot and am thankful that they did move us to the US. There is so much more opporutnity here. and I love living in Hawaii, because of the diversity.. it's the melting pot of the Pacific!Well, you're looking lovely as usual.. I hope you have a fabulous weekend!! HUGS. :)xx Love & Aloha**Stop by to enter my Hana Professional Flat Iron Giveaway

  9. Dea, I'm glad that you shared your story. I can't imagine how hard it must have been for you to make such a move at 10 years old! But look how far you've come and you are a strong woman now! And as always, love your outfit!

  10. krameymartin- thanks so much, it was so easy to put together!bronzi- I very much agree with what you said. It took me a while to understand why I'm so drawn to travel and moving, to the point that I want it be a part of my job. Definitely related to my past.katie- it was fun sharing and reflecting- glad you enjoyed it!tien- all of this was brought on by your post. It just awakened something in mind and really struck a chord with me. I loved learning about you as well.triciathomas- happy to share my background, especially since before I was always hesitant on speaking up about it!amy kelinda- aww, you say the sweetest things. So true, as many children experience this duality between two worlds and if I had never gotten here, I wouldn't have met my honey and my beautiful friends.eunice- thanks and glad you enjoyed the story!kim- I was hesitant at first on how much to share, but I always enjoy this little space I've created and felt good getting it out. courtnee- glad you were able to stop by and get more motivation on sharing more on your blog next week. I love learning about my fav bloggers and would love to learn on how you stay so chic in Ohio with 4 children! My hero!!lisa- I completely relate with your experience going back to Taiwan. It's a feeling where you want to belong and technically you do, yet you can't relate on the small stuff and indeed, are a foreigner of some form. Thank you for sharing.jan russell- I never thought about the crucial age of 10 until you mentioned something. So true Jan- it was a time where you just begin to find out what being a girl is all about. Thanks so so much for your sweet words- it means a lot and great to read. I couldn't imagine what it must have been like to be on the move every few years and it's definitely hard on building friendships. I clearly understand why you'd want to provide stability for your own children and create memories that will remind them of stability and permanence. Love it!pretty pauper- glad you enjoyed my little journey and the OOTD!sharonlei- I hope you get the chance to go back to your home country and are able to see and experience everything on your own. Love that you moved to Hawaii, or what I consider paradise! Definitely agree that being here was a wonderful opportunity to grow and make the most of yourself, I can relate to this as well!FabulousFloridaMommy- thanks for your sweet words and glad you enjoyed the outfit!gemma- thanks so much, and yes, I was deeply confused at 10 and went through a very shy stage, but it's part of who I am and I embrace it all!

  11. krameymartin- thanks so much, it was so easy to put together!bronzi- I very much agree with what you said. It took me a while to understand why I'm so drawn to travel and moving, to the point that I want it be a part of my job. Definitely related to my past.katie- it was fun sharing and reflecting- glad you enjoyed it!tien- all of this was brought on by your post. It just awakened something in mind and really struck a chord with me. I loved learning about you as well.triciathomas- happy to share my background, especially since before I was always hesitant on speaking up about it!amy kelinda- aww, you say the sweetest things. So true, as many children experience this duality between two worlds and if I had never gotten here, I wouldn't have met my honey and my beautiful friends.eunice- thanks and glad you enjoyed the story!kim- I was hesitant at first on how much to share, but I always enjoy this little space I've created and felt good getting it out. courtnee- glad you were able to stop by and get more motivation on sharing more on your blog next week. I love learning about my fav bloggers and would love to learn on how you stay so chic in Ohio with 4 children! My hero!!lisa- I completely relate with your experience going back to Taiwan. It's a feeling where you want to belong and technically you do, yet you can't relate on the small stuff and indeed, are a foreigner of some form. Thank you for sharing.jan russell- I never thought about the crucial age of 10 until you mentioned something. So true Jan- it was a time where you just begin to find out what being a girl is all about. Thanks so so much for your sweet words- it means a lot and great to read. I couldn't imagine what it must have been like to be on the move every few years and it's definitely hard on building friendships. I clearly understand why you'd want to provide stability for your own children and create memories that will remind them of stability and permanence. Love it!pretty pauper- glad you enjoyed my little journey and the OOTD!sharonlei- I hope you get the chance to go back to your home country and are able to see and experience everything on your own. Love that you moved to Hawaii, or what I consider paradise! Definitely agree that being here was a wonderful opportunity to grow and make the most of yourself, I can relate to this as well!FabulousFloridaMommy- thanks for your sweet words and glad you enjoyed the outfit!gemma- thanks so much, and yes, I was deeply confused at 10 and went through a very shy stage, but it's part of who I am and I embrace it all!

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