The first month of 2021 has finally come to an end and my my my has it been a roller coaster ride. First and foremost, it’s important to recognize that the last four Wednesdays in January were insurrection, impeachment, inauguration, and investments. It’s truly crazy how I’m living through such historical moments that will be made into movies, history books, and lessons in school. At this point, I’m so confused as to what will come next in 2021 but right now, I’m just thankful to even be alive. My life in January 2021 was also filled with a whole lot of ups and downs so continue reading to learn more about my first month in 2021!
Lifestyle: Visiting Old Chapters, Entering New Ones
In the beginning of the month, I finally came back from Korea after being there for a little over four months. Although I have enjoyed my time there, I thought it was necessary to come back to my life in America. Also, I came back due to essential reasons as my job required me to come back. It was definitely tough to quarantine, get adjusted to the time difference, and start work all at once. However, I pushed through and was able to get through it. Luckily, I tested negative to Corona after my two weeks of quarantine, eventually got rid of my jet lag, and got adjusted to my work schedule in America.
In the middle of January, I went to go visit my friend, Emily, in Santa Barbara to wish her a happy birthday. We were luckily both tested negative and were able catch up since we haven’t seen each other for over six months. Although we did facetime a couple times before, it definitely felt nice to catch up in person. It also felt weird visiting her in Santa Barbara because the last time I was there, I was still a student at UCSB. In the end, it was a short visit, but I was still glad I got to spend time with her and finally see her face after all these months.
In January, my family and I also moved to a different place! We didn’t move too far away and stayed in the area but it was still a lot of work to put in, especially while working. However, as I am writing this blog, I am comfortably sitting at my couch with everything moved out. Although I have a lot of organizing to do still, it feels nice and like a fresh start. I realized as I grew older that I love anything that symbolizes a fresh start because it feels like I get a whole clean slate and I can just start over. I love a fresh start - whether that’s a Monday of a new week, the first day of a new month, or the first month of a new year. I also used this time to decorate my room to make it feel cozy and create a good environment to get my work done. I noticed I get really affected by my environment and needed to make a place that I can focus better. I usually love to get my work done at a coffee shop or library, but I can’t right now and definitely am way too scared to go even if it’s open.
I also started journaling more and picking up hobbies in January. I decided to designate a chunk of time at night to do the things I enjoy such as crafting, painting, and journaling. Although it feels like a chore or another thing to check off my planner at times, I am always thankful that I pushed myself to do it because I always feel so much happier when I'm done. I realized I enjoy my day a lot more and feel more satisfied when I do some hobbies at night instead of just resting. Although it can be tiring to do so, especially after work, I definitely saw that I was thanking myself for doing it later on! So, I will definitely be trying to block off time for my hobbies at night in the future as well. I also have been reading the Bible again this month. I grew up Christian but have yet to ever finish the Bible. I definitely grew apart from religion in college but when I started feeling super lost and confused in life, I found that God really helped me feel more at ease. It's hard to not know what my purpose on this earth is and I really started to question it toward graduation. I wondered whether my purpose on this earth was to just work and die one day or if there was more to it. I started to get really anxious with the future and not knowing what the meaning of life meant. However, I found that reading the Bible and praying kept me more at ease and felt like I had a purpose to my life.
Lows: Breathe In and Breathe Out
One of my biggest and scariest lows of my life happened this month and that was my very first PANIC ATTACK. My guess is the mixture of jet lag, anxiety from corona, and overconsumption of caffeine that led to me having a panic attack. I think now that it’s over I can think with a clear head and recognize what happened and connect the dots.
Beginning of the month, I decided to do more workouts because I had to be in quarantine anyway (quarantine glow up - am i right) but I think I overworked my body when I didn’t get the proper rest yet from traveling. It led me to having a sore chest, which I didn’t recognize was from my workouts and made me believe that I was having chest pains out of nowhere. I didn’t think too much of it for a few days but when the pain persisted, I started to get worried. It also didn’t help that I wasn’t getting a lot of sleep and was drinking too much coffee every day. Then at night, I decided to do some googling (this is where it goes down hill - NEVER google your symptoms, especially late at night). When I started to look up my symptoms on google, it made me realize that it could indeed be something serious such as a heartburn or heart attack. I looked up signs of a heart attack and got scared because some of the signs were similar to mine (especially got scared because they said that heart attacks have silent warnings). That night, I got maybe an hour of sleep because I was scared I would die if I fell asleep. I also think I was worried because I started hearing the news that hospitals in LA were overfilled and were no longer taking patients.
When I woke up, I decided to check my heart rate and noticed it was beating really fast. So, I checked my Apple watch to check my heart rate and it kept going up and up. I think I got so scared and nervous that I started to feel light headed and also got worried because that was also a symptom of a heart attack. I quickly went up to my dad and asked him to please take me to a hospital to get it checked out. At first my dad didn’t think much of it but when he saw my hands shaking really hard and measured my heart rate through Apple watch, he quickly called our local doctor. Our local doctor also told me that it was probably nothing until he told them that my heart rate was at 170 bpm (actually though - that’s really fast and it was really scary) and the doctor told me to come to the hospital immediately. Luckily, I got it all checked out (heart scans and blood test) and the doctor told me everything was okay. It was indeed one of the scariest moments in my life but I’m thankful for this experience because it definitely taught me a lot. The chest soreness persisted for a few days after but I later recognized that it was probably due to the strenuous workouts I’ve been doing (so I took a break from working out). Now that I’m writing this blog, it’s crazy that my chest pain went away and I couldn't even tell you when it did because it just went away one day without me even thinking about it.
Lessons: Being Mature, Being Healthy, & Being Content
One lesson I learned this month was learning how to have a mature conversation and be more empathetic. At the beginning of this month, Stephanie and I had an encounter that could have quickly turned into a fight and a dent in our relationship. However, we turned something that could have been a negative outcome into a positive flow of conversations to understand more about each other. It’s not a hidden fact that any relationship long distance is very hard. Inevitably, the long-distance and some communication issues were starting to affect our friendship as well. However, instead of either one of us attacking or blaming one another, we got to explain more of what our situation was like and how our actions might have come across to one another. We also went on to ask each other how we could improve with our communication problems and ways we can become better friends to one another. It was one of the most mature conversations I have had with a friend when going through hardships and it became such a good learning lesson/ example that I would like to use for hardships with other friendships or relationships in the future. Not only did I feel like our issue was resolved, I felt closer to her than I felt in a while.
Having that panic attack in January made me realize a big lesson, which is that life can be taken away at any moment. Although I’m lucky enough to have not been that serious, I did think that I was going to potentially die in that moment. It made me realize the stress and worries I have had about my career, future, and other things really meant nothing. It’s all about being happy, taking care of my health, and coming into terms with the meaning of life. I say I’m thankful for this scary experience because it really made me reflect on my worries. For the past few months previously, I was constantly worried about whether I was doing enough and comparing myself to others that it took away from my happiness. This experience made me realize that I should be more worried about having good health (physically and mentally), finding happiness, and figuring out what life is meant to be. I realized that I didn’t want to die with regrets and dissatisfaction with my life.
Visiting my friend in Santa Barbara was so meaningful to me. Yet, like I said, it felt weird to be back at a place where I was a student not too long ago. Although the time hasn't passed all that much, I definitely feel like I am not the same person I was when I was there the last time (around six months ago). I went through a lot of big changes in my life after graduating, starting a new job in Korea, and now back in America working from home. It made me realize that as much as I loved and missed all the memories I made in college, the past is the past to leave it there. This reminds me of a quote:
“You owe nothing to the past version of yourself”
I’m learning to recognize that the past versions of myself were needed to become who I am today. But, I also do not owe my past versions of myself anything. I am allowed to change as a person and I shouldn’t be afraid to change.
It’s crazy to me because I was so scared of moving onto the next chapter and leaving college behind, but I truly feel content at where I am right now. Being an adult was scary and honestly still is at times - but I’m not so scared of the future anymore. I definitely feel like I am growing up to be a new (and hopefully a better) version of myself that I feel really proud of and it makes me happy. Not too long ago, I used to look in the mirror and be scared of growing up but today I looked at myself in the mirror and smiled because I was really proud of the person I am becoming today. And I think that’s a big lesson and accomplishment.
One last lesson is about moving back home after college. Being back in LA as an employed gal working from home is definitely different from what it was when I was here last. Although at times it can feel like I’m back in high school with not the same freedom as I am used to in college, I began to feel appreciative. I was always thankful for everything in my life when I was younger but now that I’m growing up I think I feel extra thankful. I love my family and I have loved spending more time with them. I recognize that not everyone has a close relationship with their family so I feel lucky that I do. I am so lucky to have a place where I am comfortable being myself and a place where I feel safe. I am so lucky to have a roof over my shoulder, to have food on my table, and to have a job to support me financially. I think last year really taught me to be grateful for everything I have and this month I felt extra appreciative for them.
Songs on Repeat:
driver license - Olivia Rodrigo
Your Way - Rexx Life Raj, Kehlani
I Got You - Bazzi
Driver License was a mega hit song that I found through Tik Tok and like the rest of the people, I also thoroughly enjoyed this song and maybe even shed a few tears. It's the perfect song to listen to while driving and simping about your love life.
My Pick of the Month: Passion Planner
I have really enjoyed my passion planner this month! I have always been a planner lover but passion planner really stepped up my game in my organizational skills. I love seeing all my tasks that need to be completed and it’s also fun planning out my schedule for the day, week, or month. I also have been using their free printable finance tracker that I stick onto my weekly plan. I also love the reflection after every month because it makes me think back to everything I’ve done and also plan out my goals for the next month. I definitely recommend getting one for yourself #notsponsored but please sponsor me (lol).
January 2021 was already a crazy month for me and I am glad I was able to do a reflection of my month to look back on it one day. I really don’t know what is to come in February but you know what - I’m not afraid because I know I’ll be able to handle whatever is to come my way. Thanks for reading and I'll catch up with you guys again soon.
Talk to you next month,