I’m so excited to finally announce that I’m changing my name back to my maiden name Pam Arias. None of you know me by this name because I actually started my blog with Pam Hetlinger so it’s going to take some time to adjust, for me as well. For those of you that don’t know, I actually used to be married. I actually opened up about this a few years ago when I shared this post. Since then, I’ve been thinking about changing my name for a while now but it wasn’t until I gained my citizenship last month that it became official. This was something really exciting for me, and the necessary step to feel more at home here in the US. I’m still the Girl From Panama and I will always be, but because I live in the US and don’t have any plans on moving, I felt more secure going through this process.
To anyone going through the application process just know I know what you’re going through!
The reason why I wanted to share this video with all of you is because I feel that as an influencer, I have a social responsibility to impact and influence others not just to buy fashion and beauty items, but to bring some realness into this space. I’ve had a calling for a while now to expose more realness on my platforms and also share the truth behind the lens – the good, the bad, and the hard. The real-life! Just know that it took me a very long time to get to where I am today, find myself, find my freedom and gain my identity back, and that’s something I’m hoping to share more of if you guys respond well to this from me.
I want to share this video not only as a background to my name change but also to open up with a few of the biggest lessons I’ve learned along the journey back to Pam Arias, the true me…
The name change was the last and easiest step along the journey to gain my identity back. Yes, it was a lot of paperwork, but it was the easiest decision along this journey. Something so small can be so impactful. I haven’t felt more like this ever in my life.
FIND YOUR HAPPINESS
The next thing that was super important for me was finding my own happiness which is one of the most important things you can do in life. YOU are in charge of your happiness, as cliche as it sounds, and as hard as that sounds, but it’s true. The hardest moment of life was definitely my divorce. But it was also the best thing that ever happened to me and I made the decision to see it that way. The separation happened really quickly. I woke up one day and my life was a complete mess. I was depressed, unhealthy, I was a sad soul, but as soon as I started to trust in God, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I decided that I was going to turn my divorce and use it for good and not let this affect me for the first of my life.
THERE IS LIFE AFTER DIVORCE
Another thing I learned is that there is life after divorce. Especially as someone who got divorced so young, right as I felt life was starting, this was SO hard for me to understand at the time. The good news is that we can pick ourselves up again and continue with our lives, even when it feels like you can’t or like you’re the only one going through this… The key to growing from failure is refusing to quit. A spouse doesn’t produce security. You have to find happiness and security on your own! But I know from experience that it’s also easy to get stuck in the same thoughts going around and around for a week or a month.
I saw this somewhere and it really stuck with me: When it comes to God’s plans for your life, if you’re not dead God’s not done with you yet! Anything can happen today. You’re not too old for God and His ways. You’re not too old for God to give you the breakthrough you’ve been longing for. God’s timing is perfect. He’s never too late. He’s always on time.
The most important lesson in all of this was to forgive myself and others to feel freedom. I know now that I’m not defined by my mistakes! I had to learn how to forgive myself, my ex, and all the mistakes I felt I made along the way. No one can be happy with resentment, especially towards themselves. I really encourage you to find ways to free that feeling, to build yourself up and to trust yourself and others. I shared this on this blog post but I really feel like I need to share this again: When you forgive someone who has hurt you, you are actually doing yourself a huge favor! I learned this from one of my favorite pastors, Joyce Meyer. She said in one of her podcasts “as you release the bitterness and anger in your heart, you are able to live with real peace and joy” and I’m the living example of that. As soon as I applied that to my life, I began to see changes. All of the sudden…I started to get more opportunities, sad thoughts started to disappear, I was happier and happier every day. I saw how my world changed right in front of my eyes!
These past 3 years have been filled with so many amazing life lessons. At 31, I’m truly the happiest I’ve been in my life. Something that I thought was the worst thing that ever happened to me turned out to be the biggest blessing of my life. I’m proof that God can do the impossible! If you are going through something similar or a hard time in general, I hope this resonates with you!