“He also asked me to always live in the moment, be thankful for all of the things that I have and don’t have and talk to my friends whenever I feel like I need a hug. Then I realize, I am home. Wherever my husband is where my home is.”

Hello everyone and welcome to, Jheqie’s Life in America. I’ve been here for more than 5-6 months now and yeah, you might recognize me from my reaction videos or maybe saw me singing in an app called Smule. But let me show you the Jheqie behind the camera. I want to share with you how it’s like being in America.

Cool right? Yes, it is. Being in America is actually something that I never dreamed of nor even plan to do when I was young. I seriously love my country even if it has a lot of political issues but the Philippines is rich with love, hope, and smiles.

If you visited my blog before, you probably had an idea of how I got here. Yeah, I got married but let’s not dig into that and start telling you what it feels like being in America.

When I got here, I was blown away by the view. The streets are clean, no traffic jam, less pollution and it’s freaking cold! I got here last February and I wanna call it the defrosting season. LOL. We immediately visited Target to get food and for me to experience it first hand and not only in movies or YoutTube videos. It’s definitely a lot different from the Target we have.

We even visited Walmart that has a Filipino version called WalterMart. Haha!

Everyone greets you with “How are you?” or “How are you doing?” which I find really nice. I think the people here are generally friendly, I guess or maybe because I just look different. Not being a racist to myself or anything. Duh! Nevertheless, it’s really nice because I feel like nothing and no one is gonna harm me.

We live in a great neighborhood in the suburbs of IL. Westmont to be exact and I have to thank my husband for making sure I get to live in a safe place. A city in IL where violence and crime are low. We live in an apartment that is good for 2 people, everything is free from gas to water and their service is outstanding! Broken oven or air conditioning, they’ll repair it in no time! Love it.

The houses are like the ones that you see in the game called The Sims or Simcity. That is if you played it or at least familiar with it. The roads are wide and seriously, all of it looks like a highway to me. I can’t remember how many times I ask my partner if we are on a highway, main road or expressway. But he never gets tired of answering! Haha!

Of course, this is the first time I saw snow right before my very eyes. Sadly, it hurts my bones and muscles because of diabetes I developed when I was in the Philippines so I was not able to enjoy it that much. I like and love looking at it but not sure if I like how it feels like.

When the snow melted, flowers bloom in different varieties. Pink, violet, red, orange, white, you name it, they have it. I never really love walking but seeing these flowers bloom in everywhere during spring makes me want to walk even further. I gotta say, this is the most amazing thing I have ever seen in my entire life. Imagine, flowers grow on trees!!! Hopefully, you like some of the pictures I took.

Parks are located several blocks away where people can get together for picnics, play ball, walk, go fishing and many more. Each park has a drinking fountain available for everyone as well as public urinals. Take note, you don’t need to pay 5 pesos just to use it. Different types of ducks rest in ponds and will not hesitate to attack you if you try to play a prank on them. Sometimes, I walk where the ducks are, wondering if they will attack me or chase me. Sadly, it never happened.

This city always has something exciting to offer and I get to experience that and be notified by a brochure that includes monthly events. They call it “Taste of Westmont” or “Car Shows”. I took some pictures for you.

At the beginning of the month, I want to make money so bad because I wanted to help my partner support the two of us financially but unfortunately, I cannot work here yet because I don’t have a work permit. We still need to file for the Adjustment Status that includes my work permit and it will take some time. Aside from it being so expensive, we still need to wait at least 6 months before we get the results.

I tried looking for a job or ways to make money without getting an actual job. I used apps that pay you real money though it’s not that big, at least I have an extra. Even tried applying as an online agent, like a virtual assistant though it never worked out.

I volunteer at a pet shop called “Saint Sophia’s Forgotten Felines” where I clean and foster cats. The first cat I had was Oppie, a very sweet male cat that I hope he gets adopted soon. Then I got two new cute kittens named Rocky and Denver. Open for adoption as well. There I met new friends and that I hope to really hang out with. Like for a drink or a picnic at the park. That would be nice. I can say that people in Westmont are generous, loving and friendly. Someone even gave me a bike that I can use to roam around the neighborhood and get to the pet shop when my husband is not available.

Before I got here, I told myself that I wanted to make reaction videos. I studied it and boom, my YouTube channel is about to reach 1000 subs!

Everything looks and sounds great, right? It seems like I didn’t miss the Philippines because there are so many things this country has to offer. I’ve been very happy and excited when I got here but after 3-4 months of staying here, I felt something different. I felt sad and lonely. I felt isolated and worthless. I felt, alone.

I didn’t know that I would be this sad but that is also one of the reasons why I stopped making reaction videos or just being productive. I can’t say that it’s depression but whatever it is, it is a silent killer and seriously, I have no idea that I will be in this situation. I sometimes caught myself staring at the ceiling while I lay in bed, doing nothing but my brain is continuously working. I feel the rush of my blood but only in the brain that feels like I am about to have a heart attack. I feel anxious and I’m not even blinking. My heart palpitates and I was at the edge of wanting it to stop beating. I felt really down, ugly, insufficient, unloved, and most especially, unheard. No one knows that I am going through that rough time. Not even my partner or my family and friends.

I never told my friends or family that I am going through this so-called depression because I don’t want to feel like a burden to them. I always have this idea in my head that they will make me regret my decision of coming here. But that is where I was wrong. I should’ve told them that I miss them. I should have talked to them when I was going through these difficulties in my life.

I am born and raised in the Philippines where everyone is close to each other. Everyone smiles and everyone talks to each other. It’s not so hard to find a friend there especially if you are like me. Because of my bright and sunny behavior, I can confidently say that I made a lot of friends in the Philippines. My family and I are super close and we are all so very loud. You’ll get the picture when you become my friend. This is the first time I’m actually very far away from the people I love and love me back. And that’s why it’s hard. I would really want to make friends here in America but I’m still shy. Maybe because of the language barrier and cultural differences.

Luckily, I have a partner who truly understands me because he is a victim of depression. At first, I hesitated to listen to what he gotta say because I thought he can’t help me. It was very, very unfair to him but what can I do. I was very weak and all I wanted that day is to go back home. To go back to my family.

We talked the next day but this time, I’m ready to listen. He asked me questions about how I feel and what are my thoughts. Amazingly, he recognizes all of it and I just saw myself continuously agreeing to everything he’s saying. I felt like I was talking to a doctor. A professional psychiatrist. He asked me to never keep it from him because, in reality, he’s the best person that can actually help me. He also asked me to always live in the moment, be thankful for all of the things that I have and don’t have and talk to my friends whenever I feel like I need a hug. Then I realize, I am home. Wherever my husband is where my home is.

I did tell it to some of my closest friends and family members. They did encourage me to stay strong and be happy. My partner, friends, and family is the best gift that I have for my birthday.

My husband told me that this is the universe testing me. It’s a way of life telling me how to be strong, independent (sort of), and be patient. Telling me to enjoy the things that I have now and not focus on the things that I don’t have and can’t do. I remember my all-time quote “Enjoy every little thing that’s in your hand while you have it” so yeah, I won’t waste any of that at all.

Everything is cool now. And just like the LEGO movie, “Everything is Awesome!”

Thanks for taking the time to read this BLOG and hopefully I was able to give you an idea what it feels like living in a place you are not familiar with. A place that is way too far from the place you grew up to. A place that eventually, you will call home. Before I say goodbye, I would like to ask you guys to talk to your friends or family who is far away from you or even those who are close to you. Ask them how are they doing or something. Trust me, it’ll make a big difference.