Being Open | Stephanie's April 2022


Happy May everyone! Crazy to say it’s May and we’re almost halfway into the not-so-new year. April feels long and short at the same time, and here’s the recap of what went down the past month. -- Stephanie

 

Lifestyle:

A big change in my lifestyle is finally starting my new job! (Crazy to say I’ve made it to a month here now…it still feels like Day 1 and that I have so much to learn and yet to do). But yes I finally started my new job and to be honest I was worried about a lot of things.. “Would people like me, would I vibe well with them, wtf is all these terms and what is everyone working on, what should I be doing, and so much more.” Though I am happy to share that this team overmet my expectations and more. I’ve never felt so welcomed into a team, from the welcome lunch to people messaging me just to check in on how I’m doing or how was my weekend, and answering any questions I may have.This was honestly all a shocker. For the longest time, I’ve seen a job as a professional role and that’s it, I forgot how nice it can be and that it is definitely possible to be both professional and have people you see as friends. I’m often closed off at work, but I see this team is starting to change me, and that I am becoming a bit more open at work about who I am and my life (which is scary bc I don’t like sharing too much about myself at work lol). Now that was just the interpersonal relationships part of work, now time for update on my actual day to day work. My previous experience had me do assignments on week 1 without much onboarding, so I forgot what it’s like to have onboarding tbh! My new role has a ton of onboarding materials for me (and tbh I think I am still onboarding, reading a ton of things each day, studying up, and in a way I felt bad about myself not contributing much except learning), I had to be patient with myself (something I am still working on reversing from my previous experience of always feeling the need to ‘go go go’ from the start. That here in my new role it is okay to take time to learn and digest all the information @ me and then start building things. I say I haven’t done much but I am proud of my little wins, from setting 1:1s with everyone to studying and passing the MCP exam in record time! I was really worried I’d have poor work-life-balance because I noticed I tend to do this to myself whenever I start a new role, I’d feel behind and cram a ton of things to do -- however I am happy to share that is not the case! While there is always information overload, my new team makes me feel welcomed to take things at my pace and I can say I typically only work 8 hours a day and not more.



In my personal life, April was a month of birthdays! I swear all my friends’ birthdays just seem to align all to April, so much that birthday’s overlapped and I had to do some belated hangouts. I found most of my weekends were some form of finding a gift, sending a gift, writing a letter, or celebrating a birthday. That, and I also had a ton of family time (which I will get to more in depth in another section). Notable birthdays this month is two dear friends of mine -- Tammie and you all know -- Jin. Again I feel so lucky to have had good work life balance so far in my new role because I was worried about taking time off so early in my new role, I didn’t feel comfortable doing so and so I thought this year I will probably send Jin a gift and celebrate at another time. Though it just so happened that my company has ‘well being days’ and one of em fell on the weekend Jin was planning to celebrate her birthday. What a coincidence, and so I spontaneously booked a trip to socal in less than a month lol. Crazy to say that was only last weekend, but it was the most eventful weekend ever and I am so glad we had this much needed reunion!





It is crazy at how last minute this trip was tbh old me would be like wtf, but also how the both of us are able to talk about anything whenever we have a reunion as if time didn’t matter. I love how easy it is to talk about anything or just do anything and make it a fun time. Until the next time we get to reunite again, I'm sure it will feel like soon because time always seems to fly by us, but manifesting one day we will live closer!



 

Lows:

In all honesty I can only think of one low for this month, and that’s my grandmother falling ill. I’ve grown up with my mothers side of the family, especially my grandparents on this side of the family took care of me when my parents were busy -- so seeing her unwell and potentially not being able to make it was the scariest part of the month. While there has been deaths in my family, I’ve yet to experience one where the person is someone I’m really close to. My grandmother is stubborn and always had health issues but for some reason it never felt life threatening to me until now. One day in April, I woke up in the middle of the night because my mom was getting a ton of phone calls. It turns out my grandmother (who never asks for help), had called my aunt who lives upstairs from her to come down and that she couldn’t breathe (props to my grandma for thinking to use her cell phone to make this call). They then decided to call an ambulance for her and she was taken to the ICU, most people don’t stay in the ICU for long but my grandma was there for 2 weeks … what started off as a problem with her diabetes, ended up in discovering new problems wrong with her almost each day and she had to undergo tons of blood tests and ended up going through surgery last minute..with all this to say that I could see it take a toll on my mother too. I really worry for my mom on what will happen if ….. Because of how focused she was during the time my grandmother was in the ICU to now (my grandmother still isn’t allowed home and is in a rehab center to heal). I see this taking a toll on both my grandmother and mother’s mental health and I can only wish the two of them my best. One thing out of this was witnessing my mother becoming super independent as she navigates speaking up for my grandmother (who doesn't know english at all) over her healthcare staff. This whole experience taught me 1) what can happen to a family when someone gets sick and 2) how important it is to maintain good health! Oftentimes we don’t focus much on our health until our bodies don’t work the way we want them to (lol my throat is scratchy as I type this). But it is so important to continue working on your health even when you aren’t sick.



 

Lessons:


1. Every experience is a learning experience

This month really had this ring true for me. Every experience (good or bad) is something to learn from! My past work experiences, the good and the difficult -- is what I think led me to have a smooth transition to my new role. I’ve learned to accept that I’ll always feel imposter syndrome in a new role/place, and for once, I’ve been very open to asking ‘dumb questions’ at the start of my role. In my personal life, my flight back kept changing my seats/gate and then ultimately…got delayed! Lol deja vu ptsd from the last time I flew in Jan 2022, but that experience previously is what prepared me mentally this time. While it still sucked to have gotten delayed, I just went on the app and luckily was able to find a flight 2 hours earlier than my delayed flight. It wasn’t ideal as my initial flight time, but idk my experience from Jan made me not fazed by this experience and learned to spend time by myself waiting at the airport. I think had I not had the experience in Jan 22, I don’t think I would have taken this recent experience as calmly.


2. Health is Wealth

I’m pretty sure I wrote this as a lesson in previous entries, but I’m going to reiterate because it is so true -- health is wealth! Seeing my grandma in so much pain this month, when just a month ago she could walk and eat anything and chat on the phone freely -- and now even the smallest things like going to the bathroom or getting hot water she needs help. And seeing this trickle down to the mental and physical health of her loved ones too. Health really is the biggest wealth of all and oftentimes we don’t think too much about it until our bodies don’t operate the way we want it to. This week I woke up with a scratchy throat and phlegm (lol dejavu ptsd again) and in my day job I often have meetings and I remember trying my best to speak without a cracked voice was difficult and I was chugging a lot of water all day. Lol embarrassing but my coworkers said they didn’t mind. Over the weekend I barely drank water and I guess this was a wake up call to take care of your health in the moment because we often realize what we should’ve done after our body isn’t working the way we want it to,


3. Everybody has room to learn

When I joined my new role I was especially intimidated because it is a much more renowned company who seemed to have things all figured out. Which I still think they have a lot of things figured out and many people are talented, but as I get to know the things we’re working on, so many people have questions or there’s gaps and room for improvement, and even some things/processes that are missing here, I saw we had at my previous places. Which really showed me that no matter how perfect something or someone may seem, there’s always something to learn from someone else and always room to improve.


 

My pick of the month: Cat cafe!



This month I got to visit my first ever Cat Cafe with my friends Pearl and Sadie, and it wasn’t just my first Cat Cafe but my first ever any kind of pet cafe. It made me want to visit to all the cafes in the world just to play with the pets lol. Growing up I wasn’t really big on pets, I was actually afraid of most pets (haha!). My mom didn’t like having pets so all I had were goldfish (which are nice to look at, but also kinda creep me out if I had to touch it lol). My new team loves pets, especially cats (which is kinda rare bc most people are team dog), so that just built up my anticipation for this cat cafe. Now I highkey want a pet though I don’t think I see myself with one anytime soon. Stay tuned for that!


Additional section: A discussion about Fate (?)

So we have a bonus section here this month because I have no idea where this fits but I wanted to write about this incident and the topic about fate. To be honest growing up I liked the idea of Fate but never believed much into it, maybe because I've often saw things as I can't believe in things I can't measure or prove with science. But this month as I joined my new company, so many unexplained coincidences kept occurring. I didn't know it at the time, but what I was looking for in a new role wasn't just a good role and manager, I guess I've been yearning to have that team dynamic too -- and my time in this team just continues to impress me at how welcomed everyone makes me feel. Coincidentally, a lot of the things I got critiqued for in the past, this team loves doing??? And even more coincidentally, yknow how I received two offers, I'm almost sure that the person in the other company who wanted to hire me, used to be on this team I'm currently in? What are the odds? And even more so, I really didn't know if I could make it to Jin's bday given I was just starting a new role and didn't want to take PTO so soon, but coincidentally my company had a wellbeing day off on the exact same weekend Jin planned a celebration? And you think I might be done but I am not quite done lol. I've had a lot of mentor figures in my life the past years, but there is one woman who I met very early in my career who made the biggest impact and saw potential in me and shaped how I chase after opportunities. I felt sad because I lost contact with her and she was inactive on LinkedIn. What are the odds I find out this month that we are at the same company??? Because of my new role/company I was able to find her again and we just caught up over video call. AND you think this story is over (it almost is, kinda anticlimatic lol) but what's more, in my company that has over 20K people, somehow my long lost mentor is on the very same team as the woman I cold-in mailed and got an informational chat with, the same woman who helped me make an introduction to the company I am at today. I am mindblown at how well each situation fell into place, all relating to my new role and company. I am skeptical about many things, but it almost feels as if the universe aligned for me to be in the situation and role I am in now. Idk if it is truly fate, but I am going to call it a chance of fate. Do you all believe in fate?


 

I had pretty good things happen this month honestly, so many highs from my professional career kicking off with amazing teammates to my personal life catching up with friends, celebrating birthdays, and reuniting with Jin. Though I can’t help but feel kinda sad because of all that’s going on with my grandma and mom, and my mom’s side of the family. I think an overarching theme of this month for me is being open. From booking a last minute trip, to driving tammie (and my grandfather!), to sharing more about myself at work and asking dumb questions (this was a big step for me), to being open to meeting new people where I only know like one person (in both my professional and personal life) -- this month’s openness surprised me about me.


It’s already May aka sunnier days aka one step closer to summer, and I am wishing everyone all the best in both their professional and personal lives! I’m sure this month will go by soon and we’ll be chatting again very soon.


Cheers until June,

Stephanie

 

Mixes I've been listening to:


I am back with the soundcloud reccs! (For this month at least):


https://soundcloud.com/wespacito/certified-lonely-boy-february-mix

https://soundcloud.com/wespacito/banned-in-la-march-mix