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Duality | Stephanie's May 2024

Happy June! May was yet another eventful month, making it feel both short and long at the same time. Let’s reflect on how it went together — Stephanie

Lifestyle, Lows, Lessons

I started off May with a bang, with the first weekend visiting the grand opening of my favorite Pilates instructor’s new studio and also seeing Luna Li live. Visiting her studio was all sorts of good vibes -- from genuinely being so happy for her and seeing how crowded the studio was, from enjoying her class itself, and for being able to introduce Tammie to the class that has been bringing me joy and for her to have had a good time too. Now that a whole month has passed, it’s crazy how I’ve gotten so used to practicing pilates regularly 4-5 times a week without her teaching at my local studio anymore, while she truly is missed, life does go on and I still love taking pilates. It’s funny because as I reflect as I’m writing this post, I started digging through my old text messages with Jin (screenshots below) on my first ever mat pilates class (also with my fave instructor) in March and it’s crazy looking forward 2 months now, re-reading my text msgs I never would’ve expected to see how much of an impact or how committed I’ve gotten with pilates. My meeting this instructor was truly the epitome of the cliche quote of how some people are only in our lives for a short period of time, but everyone comes in our lives for a reason. The short time I got to take her classes has left such a lasting impact on me both physically and mentally. On the mentally part, pilates continues to show me how I can push myself a little harder when things get tough, how I can be consistent if I really put my mind on it (shoutout 6am classes), and to invest in myself. While I show up regularly because I genuinely enjoy Pilates, I didn’t know how it’d brighten my mood when the instructor I currently take religiously since my previous one left, remembers me and greets me by my name would also leave an impact on me lol, I guess it’s the human condition of connection and feeling seen. Still have no idea how she picked up my name though since I don’t recall introducing myself lol I digress. On Luna Li, I discovered her music on a whim in 2023 and had so many of her songs on blast since then. A couple of my favorites to name a few: afterglow, what you’re thinking, flower (in full bloom), 2516, lullaby, daydream, cherry pit, gimmie love. Each song is so thoughtfully crafted and portrays a different change in mood, her album title Duality couldn’t be any more fitting for her blend in changes. While she’s a smaller artist, this was probably one of the best concerts I’ve enjoyed hearing live - from her soothing voice, her versatility (girlie played the guitar, violin, flute, harp), to being able to share this moment with Tammie. She’s coming back to SF in the fall with her full band and yknow ya girl already got tix. 

[Stephanie from March^ who took a Pilates class on a whim at 11am would've never seen how big of a difference its made on her life]

Back to regular blog writing structure….let’s start with family this month. To be honest family was a whole mix of emotions this month. With my grandmother’s ongoing condition, it has been baked into my mothers weekly days now to be a caretaker, which makes me want to support my mom in this pursuit as well. Visiting the nursing center and seeing my grandma brighten up when we visit has made our days, though visiting the nursing center itself now as an adult vs when I was a child has been an insightful experience and glimpse into the reality of the human condition -- from seeing patients who reverted back to child like tendencies, patients who are able to cheer up with the simplest of things, the frustrated families and disagreements, the need for help and attention for patients. With all the frustrations blended with relief and joy of seeing my grandma living, I am thankful to be able to help support my family. With that being said, this month was also mother’s day, along with dedicated family time and discussing a potential summer weekend getaway for more quality time together -- it’s been a rollercoaster of good intentions yet also disagreements, alls to say we are in a better place now and are all going to make more conscious effort for quality time together (Even during the difficult times like my grandma in the nursing facility). Hint: possible week getaway in the summer!

Now onto friends and social life, surprisingly this month has been one of the most eventful social wise as well (surprising as I also spent a lot of time with family given my grandmas condition) - but every friday would be something different, from rooftop lounges to cooking nights with the galentines group, to temple with sadie and tammie, to sofarsounds and a long awaited sleepover with ashley, to a reunion with sadie and pearl. Every week it seemed there was always something to do or go (with intention of course and still knowing that we don’t always have to go to every single event). It’s interesting, with family and all, I wouldn’t have thought i’d be able to squeeze both my social life and family life regularly, but somehow it happened this month. I will say by having both parts of me, the social life with friends and the family support part of me -- it’s been a mix of emotions, from wishing I could be more like my friends who didn’t have to feel the need to support as much, to also feeling genuine care to want to support. Reflecting back at the end of this month now, i am thankful I didn’t sacrifice my social life or my family life. I think if I sacrificed my social life, I would’ve felt resentful for not living my life beyond supporting family. And If I sacrificed family time, I would’ve felt guilty for not being there for them. Life has been more colorful because of the people in it.

Lastly to my professional life, it's crazy to say I’ve been with my company for 2 years which is the longest I’ve been with a company. While overall it’s been good, I will say I was getting kind of bored and wanted to spice things up to feel a sense of purpose. Something I intentionally did for myself was apply to be on the nonprofit grant review board, while we just kickstarted this month, I’ve been excited to be able to combine my professional life with my personal values in community and nonprofit work to do social good. Something else I intentionally did (with an unintentional outcome) was attend our AAPIHM happy hour event, I didn’t expect much other than enjoying food, vibes, and the marketplace with my colleague.  I am not sure if I believe in such things as fate - but my short meeting with another employee who I thought after exchanging names, we’d just carry on with our day, we ended up talking for quite some time on the spot, and she has activated a curiosity and passion in me that I forgot I once had for research. I have an upcoming coffee chat scheduled with her so more to come here -- but from our watercooler chat at the AAPI event, I got to nerd out and learn about how she went from being an engineer to a researcher, and that she gets to work with children and education, where she visits schools to conduct studies on how our software impacts them. While I don’t see myself jumping into research asap, I do believe in the power of designing our lives and I want to design a meaningful one where I get to tackle as many interests as I can. I can’t wait for my coffee chat with Quynh to learn more, and am left energized for more unexpected meetings like this one where we can meet people to nerd out with. 

My pick of the month: Duality

To be honest I really wanted to pick mindfulness (again) but I saw I already picked that in April lol. Mindfulness has been such a recurring theme in my life, I wonder if I am unintentionally attracting this energy and seeking it out at the same time? From my pilates instructor to the Luna Li concert, to the sofarsounds concert -- each of these events in May had a pause for us to be mindful, reflect, and be kind. Ok since I can’t choose mindfulness again, I decided to choose duality. May has been a mix of stressful family situations and larger thoughts about the human condition, then questioning my life choices and the things I’m insecure about lol, to eventful social life and re-energizing professional life. I wish life was always all good but that’s not reality, however i also don’t want to be one who’s always negative and ends up victimizing myself. While we can’t always control what happens in life, I do think we have the power to choose to see two sides in life, and to create opportunities for happier days even when things are stressful. I am not sure if I am making sense here haha but basically my choice of the month is that there’s more to life and situations than just one aspect. 

What an eventful month May was, it’s wild that June is here and we’re approaching summer! I am excited for the sunnier days ahead and I hope your month is filled with sunshine as well. As always, thank you for reflecting with me and chat soon in July, 



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