Yep, you’re now looking at the ninth redesign made in four years of Kutitots existence.

The nine designs of Kutitots from 2004 to present:

I was just marveling at Marc this morning about how long we’ve been together (we’ve endured each other for six years already, and we still have a whole lifetime to spend hehe). It made me realize that I’ve been a slacker working at home for four years already. Time really does passes by fast when you’re having fun.

So why am I going sentimental over this blog? Well, this post of Jayvee’s made me think. Really think. I remember telling him in Yahoo Messenger about how and why I started Kutitots sometime before my wedding. Jayvee asked me why I never blogged it, he thought it was quite an interesting story to tell. Simple. I wasn’t ready.

But now I am. I’ll tell you the story behind this whole thing you’re looking at this moment.

Through some interviews, you probably know by now that I’ve been doing design since high school and freelance work since college. But very few know that I’ve worked as a call center agent right after my last year in college. Although my parents raised me with an entrepreneurial spirit, I was scared of failing. I didn’t want to risk having no future and losing money in business.

Five months after my employment as a tech support agent, my family encountered one of our worst moments. My sister’s schizophrenia was going out of hand (her psychiatrist at that time was totally useless)—my office colleagues were used to seeing me go to work with bruises and scratches all over (the struggles we had with my sister were unbelievable, we even thought she was possessed or something). But the worst was having two successive deaths in the family: two of the people I loved the most passed away.

My favorite grandma passed away a few days before my birthday. Obviously, I was heart-broken. Then it was made worse by my favorite uncle’s (he’s also my godfather) demise not more than a month after my grandma died. And when the worse things happen to you (and happen simultaneously), you cannot help but ponder about the meaning of your life.

I was only getting bored with my call center job by then. But I was afraid I’d go broke if I resigned. I recall one night in late November when I dreamed about talking to my grandma. She looked exactly as I remembered her before she was stricken with Alzheimer’s Disease. My grandma and I used to have talks like that, sometimes even while she’s doing her gardening (my grandma had a green thumb, and even owned the biggest orchid garden in our village). In my dream, she asked me, “why are you afraid?”

I woke up the next morning with a mission to do: I filed my resignation. It wasn’t easy having them let me go—I was due for a promotion upon my regularization in January. But my boss was cool, she understood, and wished me good luck. From the moment I said goodbye to my office colleagues, I knew I was in for a ride. It was like backpacking in an unknown territory, but I didn’t care. I was going to do what I always wanted to do: design.

It was the first few months of going freelance that I experienced one of the worst times in my career. I was totally broke. If I wasn’t living with my parents, I would probably go hungry. Literally. I was that broke. I was never employed in a design firm, and depended on referrals from my relatives and friends.

It was hard, but I knew I had to start somewhere. My dad helped me acquire my own domain name and hosting (having a free account just didn’t seem very professional for me), and on the 14th of February, 2004, Kutitots.Com was born. Kutitots already existed in a free account in Port5, but I would rather consider my domain acquisition as the “official” birthday of my site—that’s when everything started falling into place anyway.

And indeed they have been falling into place. What great four years it had been (even with the bumps that fell on me along the way). If it wasn’t for my grandma, I wouldn’t have taken the plunge and get where I am now.

Thank you for supporting my site. Kutitots wouldn’t have survived this long if it weren’t for you guys.