I’m Serein (pronounced like serene).
This blog originally started in 2011 and was called Dress Yourself Happy. It was an online journal for me to express all I was feeling during my engagement to my now-husband. Through the years, I’ve used it as a brain dump, private and personal, never imagining anyone would actually read it. I didn’t even know blogging was a thing.
Many things have changed over the last seven years, and this blog has been not only a therapeutic space in which I could be myself but also a way to track how much I’ve grown since.
Looking back, I’ve dealt with anxiety and depression my entire life; I just wasn’t diagnosed till my early 20’s. Everyone around me called me dramatic and emotional. It probably didn’t help that I was a dancer and later on an actor. An added complexity, as a first generation Chinese American woman, I was taught that open expressions of emotions are shameful and frowned upon within both my family and culture.
2012 was the beginning of a period in my life when I felt completely lost and broken. The career I’d worked so hard at since I was 14 was no longer fulfilling and I knew I had to make a change, but I also had no idea what I’d do with my life. This was the beginning of a period of sheer loss of identity and sense of self: a quarter-life crisis, if you will.
I was depressed and frustrated and paralyzed by the unknowing. There was therapy and a lot of self help books. There was anger and apathy and always a piece of the puzzle that was missing- and I wasn’t even sure of what that puzzle was. That feeling of lacking and not knowing was debilitating. I found no motivation and couldn’t move. If there wasn’t a meeting I had to be presentable for, I’d spend my entire day in bed.
Fashion and beauty were my ways out. I had always felt that they were the mediums for freedom of expression and self-love, and because they brought such joy to my life, I had every magazine subscription there was. Vogue was my literature and Sephora my haven- shopping with my mom was one of my favorite ways to spend my time. One by one, these little reminders of color and creativity grew until, on my mission to find more, I finally stumbled across the YouTube beauty community. Within moments, I realized that I had given up. I had stopped caring not only about my circumstance but especially about my body and in essence, my very self.
Amy Cuddy summarized it best: “Our bodies change our minds and our minds change our behavior, and our behavior can change our outcomes.” And I began to think… if I pay my body the love and attention it deserves, then maybe I can change the way I feel every day. And if I can feel right and happy within my skin, then maybe I can make change and pave new ways for success. And so I began to dress myself happy, and after six years of many ups and many downs, I can honestly say that I am.
In 2014, on a complete whim, I started a YouTube Channel and, along with the channel, this blog evolved to what it is today. While the blog (and I) has evolved through the years, it’s always been about motivating my readers to take care of themselves. My content has always focused on self-care because beauty to me means more than makeup and skincare; it’s about taking the time and energy to truly take care of yourself on all levels: physical, emotional, and mental.
My mission is to share that lesson: Dress yourself happy. Do it because you deserve it. Dress yourself happy because I did, and I have never understood myself better than I do now. My goal is to spread that message and to help you feel and look your best so that you can go out there and conquer whatever life has to throw at you. I want to inspire, motivate, and help you escape whatever troubles you might have because YouTube and blogging saved my life. I owe so many bloggers and vloggers for where I am today as a human being, and so if I can be that message of hope and love for anyone else, then I’ve done my very best.
Edited by Tiffany Soga