Fulfilling | Stephanie's February 2021


Happy March! I love spring so I can’t wait for this next month to unfold, however let’s take a step back and reflect on how fast February flew by.

-- Stephanie

 

Lifestyle:

February was quite the blur for me. In general, February always seems to go by in a flash since the month is shorter than most (though interestingly only by a few days?). Regardless, even though I can’t apprehend too much on what went on this month -- I do remember that I had a surprisingly amazing mostly positive month.


I’m still in my current role and my lifestyle hasn’t changed too much in terms of work-life balance sadly, however interestingly I feel like I have less to rant about and feel quite content with how work was going on this month. Either my manager and I are finally aligning or I’m just getting used to things. (I hope its the first).


Jin also visited SF for a week in Feb and in that week I ate, slept, and woke up earlier and took no naps. Sadly I continued most of my late habits after she left. However I stopped the naps for two weeks. Interestingly though, I’ve been able to stay up late but still wake up the same despite no naps. I don’t know if this is a good thing because I just decreased the amount of time I sleep even less. But I can’t help it there’s so many things I want to do in a day...


The good I did this month:

  • Reconnect with more old friends! Honestly just went on and on for another hour+ with a couple old friends I didn’t think I’d reconnect with. It felt like we picked back up where we left off but also acknowledging we’re at different points in life now. (was a weird dynamic but it worked out!)

  • No naps after work

  • Continue to consistently run

  • Continue to speak up more at work

  • Revisit hobbies: old TV shows, puzzles, read

  • Volunteer for a nonprofit


Things I could improve on:

  • Defining boundaries in uncomfy situations

  • Take a walk in the mornings instead of late night evenings

  • Continue to speak up on multiple instances

  • Hang out with Family more

  • Finish a book/puzzle I started instead of midway (guilty for doing this multiple times!)

  • Write these journal posts in multiple settings instead of one

 

Lows:

Wow I’m trying really hard to think of some right now and I really can’t? That isn’t to say that nothing bothered me at home or at work. There definitely was and I do remember. But for some reason those things don’t feel trivial to me right now and I feel like I’m at a state of peace? Interestingly weird because again, its not like I got into a new role or lifestyle.


A couple distinct lows (I’m trying hard to remember)

1. Increasing hate crimes

This point isn’t directly @ me but it made me feel disappointed this month hearing about the amount of asian hate crimes. Growing up, I think I always felt different and knew that and how it brought me down but I think the crimes this month really had me reflect on my asian american identity as an adult now. With that being said, it has been quite low and disheartening to hear about so many innocent people getting hurt, and how little coverage is being done outside of my asian community.


2. Arguing with my parents on my future

At the start of this month I had an argument with my parents about trying to see a

therapist, how I see work and career as more than just money, and how I want the

future to be. Honestly this isn’t even that big of a low anymore now that it’s been a month that passed and this is now behind me and I’ve moved on from it. I’m not one to open up to my family much but I did in the beginning of the month about the stuff listed above^ because I was feeling quite upset in Jan about where I was professionally. Looking back, my parents probably genuinely just spoke out what they think was best in their eyes. And i just spoke out what I think is best.


My parents just want the best for me and they grew up under different circumstances. I grew to accept that they’re just speaking the truth they see, while I speak mine. I came to the conclusion that I’m old enough to make my own decisions now, but also meet in the middle and compromise with their opinions. People tell me I have my own life to live (which is true) but I also came to the conclusion that I just can’t be 100% happy if I ignore my parents and only think of myself. It’s not from a sense of guilt, but just appreciation for them. Meeting in the middle and compromising was actually a lesson theme of this month, and I’ll speak more on it in the lessons portion.


3. Unorganized workflows

Team is still very unorganized with last minute ups and downs lol. I really don’t have too much to comment on this except that I got used to it? Like it doesn’t really faze me as much anymore? I don’t know if that’s a good thing that I expect it now haha I have no solution I realized its a larger team issue, but just wanted to flag it.

 

Lessons:


1. Compromise and meet in the middle

I’ve always been a believer in compromising and meeting people in the middle vs having one side get everything, however I truly saw compromise come into place during this month of Feb. Meeting in the middle not only at work or with friends, but with my parents and family too. I think growing up, parents seemed to the be one area for me where I didn’t think compromise was possible. But now that I’m older, I realized my most healthy relationships, even with parents, are the ones where both people meet in the middle. It makes both people feel heard and listened to.


2. Growing up Asian American made me humble and resilient

I always knew I was different from my peers growing up, but I think I ended up just putting these thoughts aside as I grew older. Hearing about all the asian hate crimes this month made me revisit my Asian American identity. I think back to the way I was raised and the hope my parents still have for this county, and the immense thankfulness they feel. Seeing the hate crimes on the news, and the influx of response from asians all over the web, asians who are categorized as quiet and do not speak up -- showed me how resilient these people are. People who were raised to stay quiet but defying it now. And people who carry their values and respect towards elders over generations.

I look back at who I am and how I am at work and in my personal life; and how the way I was raised taught me to stay humble and resilient towards lows.


3. Volunteering is my new jam

This month, a job-readiness nonprofit for high schoolers had reached out to me to be a guest speaker/workshop leader. I actually took part of a similar program when I was in high school so I decided to sign up for two sessions and volunteer my time.


And man did I enjoy it! I always knew I was interested in helping people in anything related to the job hunt, but I realized that how I best want to do this is by volunteering my time to non profits vs going viral on linkedin. It was so refreshing meeting so many high schoolers, hearing about their goals, and their drive to beat the odds. It makes me want to help all of them get closer to their dreams so badly.


4. Being thankful is different from settling

I had my recconnect with Leslie this month and we touched upon the topic of feeling guilty, and people telling me I should be thankful and should stay as is.


I truly am thankful to be in the position I am today despite my complaints. I feel so lucky to have such an opportunity. But I was puzzled with what comes next. Is there better out there? Is it wrong for me to think this?


I told my parents and they shared somewhere along the lines of I should be thankful and just stay as is because the world is difficult and I may not find something better. Some friends also said something similar. This just made me guilty for thinking about my next steps. I always love catching up with Leslie because I gain so much insight and reassurance. She had shared that you can be thankful, but at the end of the day, people who care about you should believe that you have it in you to find your best role and team that makes you happy. That people who care about you should not tell you to settle or make you feel afraid you can’t find something better, because they should want you to create your best life.


It’s always so refreshing and inspiring chatting with Leslie. She shared how growing up similarly her parents never had the chance to chase after a career or higher ed; so she can see where mine are coming from. But she gave me the hype I needed in how I move forward. Because I think its true too. I want the best for the people I care about as well and I don’t want them to settle because I believe they have it in them to create their best life.


Outside of lifestyle, lows, and lessons -- I just had a really great month and I wanted to put that out there. At work, things are bothering me less and I’m starting to find my voice. In my personal life, I had the chance to reconnect with old friends via FT and Jin visited SF for a week which was so fun. At home, I’m starting to meet my parents in the middle.

I was able to celebrate Lunar New Year at home for once after I’ve been gone for college for so long. Even though it looked different this year (and man do I hate how overused this phrase is and now I’m using it here now lol), I still had a great time just being with family instead of away for college. I’ve also joined a volunteering once a month meet, so I feel driven even outside of work. I hope March continues to be an amazing month!



 

My pick of the month: Puzzles


Okay I know I only just started puzzle-ing again in life. But I honestly had so much fun and I realized how it carried with me from childhood to adult in different ways. The problem solving, trying to fit things together, and anticipation of the end result -- all things I bring with me today :)


Cheers until next April,

-- Stephanie


 

Songs I’ve been listening to this month:

  • Lotus flower bomb -- Miguel

  • Compensating -- Amine, Young Thug

  • Beings -- Madeon