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Celebrating 24 | Stephanie's November 2022

November was such an eventful month, as expected it came and went by in a flash. Beyond turning 24, there are so many moments of gratitude for this past month. -- Stephanie



At first glance, I look back at this month and all I could think of was my birthday and thanksgiving weekend lol and the month is over, but much more than that has happened -- especially at the start of the month. The very first week of november I got invited to this nonprofit banquet event and I got a comped ticket and was allowed to bring one guest for a full course meal. I ended up inviting a friend to go with me because these events kind of intimidate me, especially because I didn’t know many people very well. I had shared with my friend that once they say yes, they are committing to it because the dinner table will have assigned seating and all. It was a big bummer to me that on the day of, my friend had canceled on me. While I wanted to be understanding of her reasoning, it was still hard for me to process at the moment because I emphasized what it meant to commit and that in the moment when she canceled I wasn’t sure what to do or explain to the nonprofit director that invited me. On top of that, I was intimidated to find out at the last minute to go alone and network with people possibly much older than I am lol. But I decided to go anyways because I knew in my heart if I also canceled, I would feel regret towards myself and feel guilty and sorry towards the nonprofit director that i said I’d go. So I went alone. And it went well! While it seemed like most people either had their plus one or knew others lol I mustered up the courage and luckily got seated close to two others who were in their mid 20s and chatted the night away with them, after dinner I went to the director who invited me and ended up trying my very best to talk to the people she was with who were all much older than I was but it went well! Not sure how often I’d see these people again but I am glad I followed my heart and didn’t disappoint myself. I’m proud of pushing myself out there, and I got to learn a lot of inspiring stories from the nonprofit during the event :) .

The next week, Jin flew to SF and we celebrated my birthday early. Leading up to it I was afraid her flight would get canceled but a miracle pulled through and her plane ended up flying out to SF and while we had a couple days together, it felt like time just dashed by. It was nice to enjoy everyday daily tasks together again like morning walks and grabbing coffee to working from home together. It was also nice to have brought some of my closest and best friends from all walks of life together to celebrate friday night despite how the night and morning ended. Each friend came from a different part of my life and it’s not common for them to be open to meeting others they do not know so I was very happy to see them open to coming together and celebrating with me. With the right people -- from events like going out to small things like jamming out to old songs in a hotel room, I can find joy in any activity. See the vlog here.

fun times :)

The following week was my actual birthday and I actually had so many meetings, some of which I had to host -- so I ended up working on my birthday but took the next day (a random Wednesday) off. For once, I just had the day to chill and do a random hobby like edit videos in the middle of the week. I feel like I often take days off for a specific occasion like a trip, but never so to just chill, and this day off was a nice reminder that it’s okay to take days off to do nothing. I was also able to celebrate with my family the following weekend and it felt like we were back to old times. I’m extra thankful for the slightly longer weekend of thanksgiving right after that gave me even more family time, as I felt like I was lacking that lately last month.

Thanksgiving weekend really came and went by. It’s a bit bittersweet because it’s actually my favorite holiday of the year. I love how it’s centered around gratitude and a great prelude to December/winter holidays. Growing up my dad was in the restaurant business and often had to work during most holidays, and thanksgiving was one of the few exceptions where he didn’t. Even though my family no longer does the traditional turkey dinners, this year I did get to reconnect with my dads side of the family and cousins. Growing up I never had a consistent regular relationship with them so I’d often only see them every half year or once a year. During our thanksgiving lunch this year I was actually able to see a cousin who I haven't seen in possibly over 5 years and it was crazy and nice to catch up and see how much he’s grown.


Lows and Lessons:

Luckily, looking back I do not have a lot of lows to call out for during this past month. Even though there were moments that frustrated me like my friend canceling at the last minute, there isn’t necessarily something in particular that terribly brought me down.

1. Accepting change and growing differently, but together

I feel like this is a constant learning lesson for me. This past month with my friends and family dynamic as I saw them during my birthday and holidays I was able to see how while we have similarities and share a past, we’ve also changed and grew in different ways. While this can be melancholy, I’ve also continued to learn that accepting change in people and places, and growing together despite in different ways, is another part of this journey called life.

2. Apparently November was national write a novel month, growing up I loved reading and writing. Writing was both a class assignment I enjoyed, but also something I saw as a hobby. This past month I wanted to bring back the hobby and attempt to write a short story but I never got past the outline and first few pages lol. Life got ahead of me as always, weekdays were occupied by my day job and weekends I spent with friends and family, I didn’t end up consistently making time to write. I don’t regret choosing to spend time with the people I care about, but I am a bit down about not making much progress on my writing. I won’t spill too much on the storyline but it would’ve been a mix of young adulthood, thriller, romance, and growth. This past month I actually ended up reading/watching Paradise Kiss which is a story of a regular school girl who ends up finding herself after making tough mistakes. It was so raw and realistic, and I’ve always loved strong female leads so not to spill too much tea if end up following through with my novel, but here are a couple hints on what it may be about.

3. Creating an Introduction and seat at the table for myself

This past month with the arrival of a new teammate, I felt like there was an assumption I knew a lot of things and people even though I myself was only a half year in and was still learning a lot of things for the first time. Especially since we have different roles so my experience on the team wasn’t necessarily 100% match of what she’s intending to do. With that came a ton of meeting invites with different stakeholders I was told to attend and I kind of wish I had a more proper intro because people assumed I already knew of these meetings and has been attending -- when in reality it was also many of my firsts. A couple instances, because I wasn’t brand new to the company just new to the meeting, I guess people assumed I’ve already been attending or didn’t care to make an intro? IDK. but i learned to muster up the courage and instead of just sitting there in silence listening in, I ended up creating a seat at the table for myself and made an introduction for myself in the middle of the meeting.


My pick of the month: Gratitude

Birthdays are bittersweet as I grow older because it’s also a time to reflect on where I’m at in life. However, this year, for the first time in my young adult birthdays, I am the most content as can be. Things aren’t necessarily perfect in my life, but I have so much, especially the people in my life. From having close to best friends from different life stages (I know not many people can say they are still tight with people from kindergarten, elementary, middle school, high school, college, and post-grad) and I am so lucky to have these people in my life. I’m also so lucky for my career and while things aren’t perfect in this area either, I think back to where I was before and where I’m at today and all the growth, along with landing upon such a thoughtful team who also ended up getting me a thoughtful gift for my birthday. And lastly but very importantly, I’m filled with gratitude for my family and their support, especially the extra time we were able to spend together this past month.

I hope you all had a wonderful November and Thanksgiving weekend, I’m looking forward to December and the Winter Holidays and know I will catch up with you all very soon next month!

-- Stephanie


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