Who is Alyssa?

Small frame, BIG picture.

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Searching For A New Image

Yesterday—more like a couple of hours ago— I realized that it was my 1 year anniversary of my last day of work at New Image Thrift Store. It’s a cool little thrift store in the central coast of California for those who aren’t familiar with it. I worked there 2 years and 1 day (and yes, the 1 extra day is important).

I quit with the intent of finding something “better suited for me”, but the truth is I have yet to be anywhere close to that yet. Kind of sad, isn’t it? I tried being my own boss, and it didn’t work out to well. So after some months of searching for  another job, I finally found one; and it was awesome because it was full-time which is what I’m used to. But, after the first two weeks, it sadly became a part-time job. And, now I’ve been working there for 7 months at part-time. Part-time is not enough unless you don’t have bills to pay. But, my problem is that I get comfortable and nervous to try anything that I haven’t done before. I should’ve either searched for another part-time job for a full-time job, but I stayed.

Today, I felt awful at work which is hardly unusual at my current job. I’m the type that gets into the zone at work. For example, I might have had a terrible start in the morning, but when I’m working, I’m working. I’m usually the one at work who’s complemented for my service, my smile and for being just a nice person in general. I’ve received Employee of the Month before, and have been given things from customers like a gift card to McDonald’s, a little container of strawberries, candy, a valentine card (from a kid), among with other things. I was usually known for being upbeat and happy. And, you know what? I genuinely was happy. I feel like I give genuine smiles as I work too. And, I’m not just saying this to toot my own horn. I actually have a hard time saying good things about myself, but I am only admitting this in order to try to prove a point. According to author of Even Happier, Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D, he talked about an article “Optimal Experience in Work and Leisure” by  Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi and Judith LeFevre which proves my point. Here’s a quote from Tal Ben-Shahar’s book where he summarizes the article in his own words:

"In their article ‘Optimal Experience in Work and Leisure,’ Mihaly Csikszentmihayi and Judith LeFevre show that people prefer leisure to work, a conclusion that no one would find startling. However, they also discovered something else: that people have more ‘flow’ experiences at work. Flow is about being in ‘the zone,’ fully immersed in whatever it is that we are doing, performing at our best (peak performance), and enjoying ourselves (peak performance).

This paradox—that we say we prefer leisure at the same time that we are having our peak experiences at work—is strange and revealing. It suggests that our prejudices against work, our association with pain and leisure with pleasure, is so deep-rooted that it distorts our perception of the actual experience. When we automatically and regularly evaluate positive experiences at work negatively, simply as a learned response, we are severely limiting our potential for happiness—because in order to be happy we must not only experience positive emotions but also evaluate them as such.”

I normally get into the zone when I work, but I have had the hardest time doing that at my current job. I feel that the work load is far too much for a measly 4 hour shift which leaves me uneasy and unable to get into the zone at work. I get super stressed out which makes it hard to stay in the zone even if I find it for a little bit. Unlike New Image, it just doesn’t feel like a team effort at work. Instead, it feels like everyone is on their own which is unusual for me. I actually miss working at New Image. I miss the workers, the atmosphere, the way I would get into the zone, the customers, the cool merchandise, the store hours, pretty much everything except for the inflexible job schedule and having such a hard time to get even just one day on the weekend off and the pay.

I really only quit to find a job with a flexible schedule and better pay, but I just have a part-time job and only a quarter of a difference which is much less than a full-time job at $8/hr in the long run.

I guess what I’m saying is that I want something that allows me to be able to get into the zone, but also allows me to explore my passion and creativity. Now that is what I really long for.

So, a year has passed, but this next time around, I’m going to test the waters a little bit more and do a test run to see if my courage and quench for true happiness is hidden somewhere under my troubled doubt, anxiety and perfectionism (which I am trying to get past). First things first, a job search is definitely in order.


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It’s All in A Name

Who is Alyssa? I am Alyssa.

Now, I have to interject for a few short moments. I have a great feeling that you very well might be mispronouncing my name as you are reading this. Many do, and that’s okay. It’s quite confusing and I understand that. My name is spelt like many other girls with the name Alyssa, but is pronounced differently than most. Instead of the “y” in Alyssa being pronounced with the short “i”, sound found in words like Rick or mimic, it is actually pronounced with the long “e” sound found in words like Lee or me. Sometimes I don’t feel the need to correct people, but it usually creates a much bigger conflict for many people and then results in people having trouble remembering who I am, or worse: people feeling as if they don’t know who I am because they thought they knew a girl named Alyssa (Uh-liss-uh) versus who I am: a girl named Alyssa (Uh-lee-suh).I know, super confusing, right? My parents named me after Alyssa Milano who actually pronounces her name Uh-liss-uh; but in my mom’s defense, she heard her name pronounce as Uh-lee-suh. In any case, I love the pronunciation of my name regardless how much trouble it causes. It’s different and I’m different (super cliché, right?).

So, as if my name isn’t confusing enough, wait to you find out that I’m a twin (great transition, right?). Yep, I am a twin—an identical twin; despite how much my mom thought she was a boy, she turned out to be a girl who just happened to move a lot which was probably her just kicking me and telling me to stay on my side. I was born a whopping two minutes after Annette, making me the younger twin, otherwise known as twin B. In our first baby pictures, I can clearly tell the differences between us, but as we grew a bit older, as infants and toddlers, we looked a lot alike. Sometimes I even get us mixed up in those pictures. Then as we grew older and older, the differences between us started to be less subtle and clearer again. Me and Annette would definitely agree that we don’t look all that alike, but many others beg to differ. I guess it all depends on the viewer; you’ll just have to see for yourself. I just like to be upfront about me being a twin because whenever anyone finds out I’m a twin, he or she always say the same thing:”Why didn’t you tell me that you’re a twin?” Right, because I introduce myself like, “Hi, I’m Alyssa, and I have a twin named Annette.” Haha How extremely weird would that be? Well, if ya didn’t know, now ya know.

So, what else could possibly create a conflict about my own identity? Well, apart from the different pronunciation of my name, and being a twin, my 3rd cousin has the same name as me. That’s right, same pronunciation too. Same first name, middle name and last name. The only great part of it all is that her first name is spelt differently. THANKFULLY, her name is spelt Alisa instead of Alyssa! Otherwise, there would be two Alyssa N. S__________s’ in the same family, born and raised in the same city that went to the same high school. Instead, her name is Alisa N. S___________. Can you imagine what conflicts would arise from being a twin AND having a cousin with nearly the same exact name as you? Our names’ only differences is the spelling of our first names, the pronunciation is the same: Uh-lee-suh N. __________. I’m older though! So, I was the first Uh-lee-suh in the family. If I’m not mistaken, I’m older by four years. When I was younger, I used to be so aggravated at the fact that someone had the same exact name as me. Not only did I have people confuse me with Annette, I would be confused as to which Uh-lee-suh people would be referring to. I mean, it doesn’t bother me as much as it did when I was younger because I understand how big my family is, but it used to down-right get me mad as a kid. I feel like it was because it then became a struggle for me to consider myself original, when in fact, I am an identical twin who has a cousin with nearly the same exact name. So, growing up, I so dearly wanted to be original, and then I found out that my cousin had the same name as me; it turned my oh-so-different name into something unoriginal. I was young and a twin who wanted something to claim mine that no one else could claim. I still would love to claim my name as my own, but there’s another person with the same exact name by the sound of it, thankfully, it isn’t visually exactly alike. And we are friends though. She’s my 3rd cousin, and although I remember her growing up as a kid, we didn’t exactly grow up together. Our families only met together on certain occasions. They were more frequent when I was young, but as I grew older, our families rarely got together. She was younger than me and didn’t remember me until when we met again when we were older, but I definitely remembered her (I have a good memory about most things). But, now we follow each other on Instagram, are friends on Facebook, and smile and say hi to each other in person. We may not be close, but I’m definitely glad that she’s my cousin. She’s a nice girl, and I am the type of person who values family a tremendous amount, just because she has the same name as me doesn’t mean that I could ever not like her.. that would be completely ridiculous. I may even like the fact that her name is pronounced the same.. just goes to show how incredibly cute my name is pronounced. =] So good, it had to be done twice. ;]

Here’s a small dialogue showing the struggle of my own identity:

Who are you?.. Are you Annette?

NO, I’m not Annette, I’m Alyssa.


Actually my name’s pronounced Uh-lee-suh, not Uh-liss-uh.

Oh, Uh-lee-suh. Last name?


Middle name? There are two Uh-lee-suh S___________s’.

Uh-lee-suh N. S__________.

There are two people by the name of Uh-lee-suh N.

Uh-lee-suh, spelt A-L-Y-S-S-A.


In a sense, a name is nothing but a name. I still will forever be the same person had I had a different name, or not, whether I was a twin or not, or whether one or one million people had the same name as me. I mean, it would be different, but I wouldn’t know the difference if the circumstances were different in the first place.. And, so in the words written by William Shakespeare:

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

(You can click the above link ^^ to the page!)


*Can you believe that all of that was supposed to be the beginning of me explaining who I am in one post??  Haha I promise to spare you anymore of my late night thoughts. For now, you know my name. My name is Alyssa. Welcome to my blog. Thank you for reading a little more about who is Alyssa! Good night =]

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