Hello, person of the internet!

My name is Jessica. I’m a 22 year old Chinese living in a teeny tiny country that I love, Singapore. Even though I’m known as Shiberty to the rest of the world, I’d much rather you call me Jess. Thanks for taking the time to drop by and check out my little online portal, sometimes what I consider to be the very center of my existence – this space has been a huge part of my life for coming 8 years now. I started writing on my blog when I was 13 years old, and it’s been a one way track since. What began as merely an outlet for me to vent and release my angsty teenage emotions turned into one of the best things of my life.

Even though I would personally classify shiberty.com as a “Lifestyle Blog”, aka a “I-don’t-want-to-commit-to-a-niche-category-blog”, the topics I find myself lamenting about most frequently would be my homemade cooking and recipes, beauty services & product reviews, spontaneous traveling to different countries, a little bit of fashion and just about everything else in between, underneath and overhead!

So, first things first. My number one frequently asked question - What exactly does “Shiberty” mean?! How did you get that name?” Well, I wish I could tell you my parents were awesome and gave me Shiberty as a quirky middle name, or that I earned this nickname through some funny story from when I was younger, but.. I don’t have a particularly interesting reason for it. In a nutshell, I once read this word “Shiberty” being used in a Harry Potter fan fiction spell on some random website, more than 10 years ago. I liked Harry Potter, I was 10 years old and I needed an identity. So of course I adopted Shiberty as my new unofficial name. At least it’s a different kinda name that people won’t be forgetting soon.

Hmm? What am I doing with my life now? For starters, I live with my boyfriend Sam, whom I met through a zombie shooting game called Left 4 Dead, 5 years ago. Unlike girls who like to proclaim they are “such geeks” in a half arsed effort to appeal to the boys or appear smarter, I actually do play a lot of console / PC games on a regular basis, and I know how to work a computer. Enough to run my blog and use photoshop, at least! If you’re interested to find out how I met my boyfriend and eventually got together with a guy I’d never even seen in real life before who lived halfway across the world, you can Google search our story. Sam and I live with our 2 adorable fluffballs, Mochi and Benny the Netherland Dwarves, in a rented house. I moved out when I was 19 due to complicated personal reasons, and I’ve been renting my own place ever since. Moving out and forcing myself to be completely independent at a relatively young age was a huge defining factor for me. I now relish being a free spirit, being able to live on my own terms and do what I please.

Interestingly enough, life has always treated me this way. It throws me a pile of crap and waits for me to wallow about helplessly in deep shit, but I’ll use it as fertilizer to grow my flowers with, thank you. I was raised in a single-parent-family and went through some emotionally scarring domestic abuse (not from my immediate family) and battled with child depression (it’s just as real as adult depression). But that’s really okay, having to think for myself since I was a kid has contributed to my headstrong go-getter attitude, which later on proved to be extremely useful. We play the hand we’re dealt, and make the most of what we’ve got. If you can’t change the situation you’re in, you can at least control the way you feel about it. It annoys me when some people assume I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth (not true), and that I’ve always had it easy (I wish!). I assure you that while I am a bit of a diva, I work damn hard and no, it is not easy.

Speaking of work, I bet you want to know what I do for a living! I run Shiberty Bakes, and we create personalized pastries, turning your sugary dreams into reality, for special events such as birthdays, corporate functions and any other reason you can think of to have a splendid cake at your party. I’ve never taken a baking course or lesson in my life prior to making it a full time thing. It started out as a casual hobby a couple of years back, and I did not give it much thought. But when I wrote about my initial baking episodes on my blog, they were so well-received that I knew I was dealing with something out of the ordinary here. Perhaps I could actually mold a career out of innocent interest, and create a service that would be sought after. Most of my baking experiences were epic failures at the start, with my cakes being under cooked, burnt or just tasting like crap. But through a lot of trial and error, countless sleepless back-breaking nights and a “never say die” attitude.. things started falling into place. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that customized pastries would someday become my very own bread and butter – I had zero interest in cooking and baking until barely a few years ago! But how blessed I am to have a job so gratifying. To see the smiles on my clients’ faces when they receive our carefully crafted bakes is something that puts a grin on mine.

Entering the world of blogging has brought about a ton of new friends, lessons, experiences and opportunities into my world, and I can’t imagine what life would have turned out like without it. There’s something so very special about sharing a part of yourself on the net. You somehow never feel truly alone, even when you physically are. You express your emotions into writing, put it on the internet, and suddenly your feelings and musings are now immortalized. I’m always grateful for, and humbled by how thousands of strangers across the world have followed me on this journalistic e-road. To my dear readers who have silently or expressively supported me throughout the years, you may not know this.. but you’re my pillar of strength from afar.

So thank you, yes you, the wonderful human being reading this, for sharing this roller coaster ride with me, regardless if you’ve been reading my blog for years, months or if this is your very first time.. I hope that as I laugh, cry, learn and grow as a person and write about what little I know of life itself online, in return, I would somehow be able to inspire you in even in the smallest way..

That, to me, would be the biggest triumph of shiberty.com.