A Very Solemn September 2020 | Stephanie

In all honesty, I was contemplating on whether or not to write this post. September having more lows than highs, repetitiveness, and all the other growing pains of not feeling like I had anything spectacular to share. 

With that being said, I really do NOT like the feeling of doing things half-way then quitting. I always complain about how social media doesn’t show the whole picture, but I guess myself included, it is hard to share your struggles publicly. However that’s exactly why this blog was created, and I’m so thrilled to share a bit of my world in September with you all, whether it’s of value to someone one day or solely for the purpose of me to reflect.

Here we go! -- Stephanie

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Lifestyle: The Good and the Bad

I had pretty much the exact same job hunt  lifestyle as my post in August, but more relaxed. It isn’t that I gave up on the job search but I was growing tired and honestly a little lazy. 


Surprisingly waking up later some days at 11am, didn’t yield to worse results! There’s a quote that I’m probably rephrasing inaccurately (lol), but somewhere along the lines of:

“it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon you’re running”. If I woke up later on some days, then I would just stay up later to work on stuff. Point is, don’t be afraid to take the rest you need, just work back to make up for it! 


ALRIGHT, I think it’s good to reflect on the good and the bad that you do in your life. Be proud of what you did well, and acknowledge what you didn’t do so well so you can work on it. Usually I’m more formal but today I’m going to just do a list here: 


Things that I feel I did good: 

  • Taking more time to relax at the end of the day

  • Not giving up and finding unconventional ways to achieve goals

  • Landing 3 final onsite rounds and just being proud to have made it so far in the process regardless of the end result

  • Went to the my local bookstore and bought some books to rekindle my old hobby

  • Found a way to provide impact to others and not be embarrassed, whether its taking up a mentee or speaking on a panel, even if I haven’t secure a role yet

  • Treating myself to take out at a new place every Friday with my sister, then playing a sport on Friday evening. (We’re trying to buy tennis rackets to hit up our local courts next!) 

  • FINALLY write and publish this post!


Things that I feel I did bad and need to improve:

  • Feeling like a disappointment to myself and the people I care about, not good thoughts

  • Being sad and taking rejections personally, when some things are out of control

  • Being a bad friend, not replying as quickly 

  • Being a bad family member, having my mood affect others in the family

  • Waking up late even though I wanted to wake up earlier

  • Stopped reading the books I bought, needa get back on it … 

  • Complaining too much

  • Publishing this post so late ...  

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Lows: things can only get lower, but you can't sink

Got rejected after making it far into lengthy processes at 3 places. I was the final candidate for all 3 places and no matter how hard I tried, I was never their first choice. In theory, 2nd place is super close, but in reality, it still left me jobless. 


Instead, I’m going to focus on the positives on those low days. I went through with a final round interview at 7:30am on the day the sky in California was dark orange the whole day, looking like an apocalypse. On that same day, I spoke on a panel next to seasoned professionals about bringing change to today’s workforce. And for that, I am proud of myself for bringing energy and hope in both the interview and the panel, on a day in which the sky looked very ominous and many people were in need of hope for the future of our world. 


Needless to say, I felt very low and a sharp pain inside this month.

Again focusing on the positives, I grew up as an “introverted extrovert”. I have a lot of ideas to share, but am often shy to speak to authority.

To speak to 4 people at once for 2 hours at a final round, and then do it again with 6 people in 3 hours, I’m proud that I didn’t break down in nervousness either time. I even got a rejection feedback call, all positive feedback about how they’d grade my interview whiteboard exercise and assignment as an A, but lost to someone who had more experience. 


I think the only low I don’t have a positive remark for is that my parents found out about all 3 rejections and started treating me differently out of sympathy. I cried not because of the rejections, but because I felt bad for disappointing my parents. Then I felt sad inside because I couldn’t tell them the real reason why I was sad. I don’t have a positive note for this one except I came to the conclusion to seek a therapist once I can afford it myself.


Don’t get me wrong, I was extremely sad this month but I think focusing on the positives will give you the strength to move forward instead of stay frozen in time. 

And I hope it gives you strength too.

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Lessons: So much to share

1) Making more time for yourself, doesn’t mean it’ll correlate to less results

  • This month I took more time to myself, I definitely spent more hours late night binge watching old TV shows than applying to jobs. Surprisingly, despite applying less, I was still able to land interviews and make it up to the final onsite round.

I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but if you’re used to over-doing things, once you start to make time for yourself to be happier, who knows, maybe life will reward you for that. 

  • Speaking of binge watching, I was a total Bleach anime fan in elementary school! (Surprised? Not many people know this hehe)

  • I’ve been rewatching episodes of Bleach and have been re-falling in love with it, I also interestingly gained some pretty good advice from the characters in the story. It’s so cool how as you’re older and rewatch something, you can see new perspectives and derive new meanings.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Bleach that surprisingly helped me during these difficult times: 

I think it’s nice to be able to choose what upsets you and what doesn't. I believe having the will to change what we think, really allows us to start over” -- Kisuke Urahara

I absolutely loved hearing this line.

I truly agree that if we try our best to change how we perceive bad situations, we can free our mind from sadness and restart with a positive mindset.

“With what you have, find a way, and make it happen” -- Hachigen

Oftentimes I feel like I’m not good enough or lacking, I loved hearing this quote because it encouraged me to stop picking at what I don’t have and to use what I do have in front of me, and make the best outcome out of it. 


I would’ve never guessed I’d find these inspiring quotes off a childhood anime, but I’m so glad I decided to rewatch it. I was able to have chill time, and find some pretty inspiring quotes in the process. (re-watching Inu Yasha is next up on my list in October!)


2) You learn so much from being a “mentor”

  • Another important lesson I learned this month was being a mentor. A sophomore in college LinkedIn messaged me and I decided to take her call, and man am I glad I did! What was supposed to be a 30 minute zoom call ended up being 2 hours, and then an ongoing mentorship. 

  • To be honest I felt ashamed to take that first call because I didn’t have a job yet and that I was of no help to her, I felt like an imposter. But she taught me how much help I could provide, with or without a job.

  • I learned so much from her, even though she’s technically my mentee. I’m still impressed by her drive and energy to this day.

3) Big or small, we all can play a role in bringing change

  • At the end of the panel discussion, I ended off with my biggest take away which is the notion that we all can bring change. I remember how afraid I was to go on that panel because I was next to people who are senior managers -- director level, people who have a say in workplace policies. What in the world was an unemployed new grad supposed to contribute to bring change lol? 

  • It was actually the mentee I picked up, who shared with me that I was more helpful to her than other adults she spoke, and that taught me how anyone regardless of their role, can bring change.

That’s when I realized that I do have value to bring change, and you do too. Maybe you’re not a manager who has the power to hire equally, or authority figure who can implement a change in policies -- that’s ok. 


Someone who’s a designer can create more inclusive designs, someone who writes job descriptions can write it in a tone that doesn’t discourage untraditional backgrounds, even the person in charge of catering can bring a difference! Maybe you’re the one who decides what the team caters for lunch, you can choose to switch to a new cuisine every day to introduce your team to different cultures. 

We all have the power to bring change, even if it’s something small, it all adds up. 

So I’ll sign off this post with: What is something you currently do well and how can you carry that to bring positive change?

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Picture of the month: Cheers!

This picture is not a joke, what kept me going (literally on being awake) to mentally being excited, is making or buying different types of coffee and tea.


Coffee and tea literally cheers me up, especially during times where everything in every aspect can be uncertain and frustrating -- my favorite beverages always hit the same :)


And now I can't wait for my next morning drink tomorrow!

Cheers until next time,

--Stephanie

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Songs I've been listening to this month:

Honestly I haven't been listening to too much individual songs, but here are my mixes for the month: