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Looking at things holistically | Stephanie's May 2021

Hello June! I can’t believe it’s literally June 2021 right now. You do know I graduated in June 2020 aka almost 1 year ago -- crazy. Time goes by fast and slow at the same time. Contradicting yet similar. And here I am writing another post because we’re already at the start of a new month.

Let’s get started with the recap -- Stephanie



I’m looking back on my April post and I shared that I had a lot more sleep in April’s lifestyle section, which is funny because in May I got a lot less sleep LOL. Some lowlights but most highlights as to why I slept less, which we can get to later on in this entry.

Work-wise, such a busy bee this month. Kinda became a idgaf about the load at this point lol. I used to get overwhelmed but nowadays the load really doesn’t bother me that much and I do enjoy my tasks. Relationships/personality wise tho, still working on that.

Social-wise, I got to see a friend that I haven’t truly hung out with in a year. Crazy! It felt good reconnecting, even though we are different people now but still it feels like we have an ongoing amount of things to talk about and time is never enough. We typically play music in the car but this time around we literally just chatted without it throughout the ride outside of SF. I am thankful for great convos like these :) + also the facetimes / zooms / volunteering / exploring weekends with Ashley.

Networking-wise, finally got back into it! Though it makes me wake up earlier than my work schedule or stay working later to make up for the time I missed because I spent time networking. It is tough balancing both. Because I want to give it my all in everything I do, both work wise and networking wise, which = less sleep Stephanie May. Even so, every early morning I woke up to meet someone new or lunch time used, or evening stayed out late working -- have been worth it. I met a lot of cool people this month, regardless if it leads to a role or not, just overall awesome people with a ton of learning lessons.

The things I did good this month:

  • Bringing back networking outside of my org

  • Balancing a ton of requests to the point idgaf doesn’t really bother me lol

  • Spoke up for myself!

  • Caught up with old friends

  • Added ab/lower body workouts to my every-other-day running routine

  • Attended my very first march!

  • Fully vaccinated!!

The things I could improve on:

  • Eat earlier in general

  • Finish books I started -- lol I started another new book this month!! Let’s see if I finish it...

  • Saying ‘sorry’ less (I say no more now tho haha)

  • Stop giving people excuses

  • Be a better daughter / sister

  • Reach out to friends first more



  1. Dealing more with relationships/personalities/non-work related items while at work

    1. I’m honestly not too sure how to even accurately phrase this low lol but this month was a month of incidents that would happen at work, but unrelated to my job tasks itself? I’m not going to get too in depth with this because it’s not worth my time re-telling or your time listening. I used to think only work-related items should make me upset because most of the time I just get over things after a day, though relationships truly do matter a lot!

  2. Fear of losing loved ones

    1. So it was mother’s day this month and we visited my grandma to celebrate. She’s healthy and all but I don’t know why I felt super sad thinking that there will be a day where she won’t be here anymore, and same goes with my parents, because logically they’re older than me and I’m younger and probably will be living longer. Really random thoughts out of nowhere, but this month these thoughts just kinda made me sad. I wish I could be with my loved ones forever, but its so real that life goes on and people age.



learned so much this month, especially from the new people I met. Some things that really stood out to me:

  1. Everyone will have a ton of different advice to give you. See them all as just input, and take in what you feel is right.

    1. On one networking call, this is what one person opened up with before giving his advice. Which I totally agree. People will always have a ton of advice on how you should live your life, and that’s just based on their own experience. Be open minded, but just know that their input doesn't always have to equal the best advice for you. We’re all different people.

  2. I value fairness, not just for myself but for the people around me

    1. This was actually something someone I networked with also shared with me. I also agree (lol!) I think back to why I do what I do -- why I enjoy volunteering, why I enjoy taking on mentees, why I enjoy creating a good user experience via research, why I critique research that isn’t measuring things fairly lol, why I enjoyed sharing underrepresented employee stories, why I feel a great need to craft campaigns based on client needs vs what the team wants -- and so so much more. And it's because I value fairness. Fairness for the client, for the end user, for the employee who’s unheard, for the student who didn’t grow up with a network or any role models, for the nonprofit that’s struggling. It’s funny because as a kid, one of the earliest lessons my dad taught me was that life isn’t fair. Teling me that as a toddler was quite the reality check at the age! But it shaped the way I see things and I guess sparked a value for me, that knowing the world is unfair, if there is anything I can do to make it slightly more fair, that is gratifying. I swear I spent probably 30 minutes talking about this one topic to a networking chat meant to be about career haha. I asked this guy why he decided to be a manager instead of individual contributor, and he answered that he values fairness and that by being a manager he has the power to influence how his team is, and create a fair place for everyone.

  3. What’s in a name? A lot.

    1. I don’t know if this person actually had any bad intentions, because growing up I know my last name has always been a magnet for jokes lol. In short, someone made a joke about my name in front of a ton of people, and I laughed along like I always do. But it wasn’t funny, and now I felt humiliated as an adult. It reminded me of my childhood. Interestingly, I don’t know what it was in me -- but I felt v compelled to speak up this time. So I reached out to the person who made the joke for a 1:1 and told him how I felt. I didn’t know I felt so strongly about standing up about my last name, one I wasn’t proud of for most of my life, until this month. It felt great to be honest because this name does mean a lot. While I didn’t get to choose it and got made fun of it a lot, I remember my dad telling me as a pre-teen that he’s sorry I wasn’t born into a more appealing last name. That made me tear up back then and now. I own up to my last name a lot nowadays, not because Dam sounds any better than it did back then lol, but its a memento from my dad. Someone who’s always teaching me how to extend grace and forgiveness, even when the world seems so unfair.

    2. On another note, I keep thinking back to when I was an elementary TA in 2013. One of my students told me to call her by her name because no one does and every creates a nickname for her. She was so happy when I started using her full name. Ever since then, I've always asked people how to pronounce their name. I was ~14 years old at the time and she was probably only 5. But that 5 year old taught me a lesson and heartwarming story I still reference to this day :')

While I said I didn’t want to waste too much time ranting in lows, I do want to continue repeating that I’m able to endure lows because of the awesome people in my life. I don’t have a huge circle, but my family, and friends from throughout life: SF/HS, college, and past internships -- played a pivotal role as my sounding board. I am very thankful to have these people in my life. While my circle isn’t huge and none of these people are new, I keep thinking, if I can continue keeping these people in my life then I can move past any lows.

Cute lil chalk drawing I saw during one of my May weekend adventures :)


Stephanie's corner of unassuming quotes:

This is just an extra section for the month. I call it ‘unassuming quotes’ because these are lines I picked up from non-famous people, random encounters, etc. Just phrases I thought I could really relate to and thought you might find them a good read too.

“So I want to change the world. Do you want to come with me or should I find someone else?  You are only as successful as the dreams you dare to live. Never forget that.” -- Megan Knarian 


“It’s too narrow minded to think that science and faith are at odds. With any issue, it eventually becomes impossible to explain with science. The space amongst the sky above us and in the world beneath a microscope are infinite. Science merely attempts to hypothesize at the fraction of that space it can observe. 
As a scientist who seeks the truth, I know what I don’t know. And that could even be an existence above men and animals”. -- ?

My pick of the month: Netflix series

I got REAL hooked up on watching new shows this month. ANd if you know me, I have commitment issues lol I do not finish most series I start. But this month I was super invested on Alice in borderland and Behind her eyes. I literally slept later in addition to my already little sleep schedule lol no regrets though because I enjoyed both shows a lot.

I invite you watch these two shows as well and then reach out so we can talk about it!


Lastly, I just want to end off that looking at things holistically -- I have a pretty good life given circumstances. My last two weeks of May were rough BUT something that really helped me was honestly just looking through my snapchat memories/camera roll for the month of May. As I scroll through both albums I see so much good that went on in May too, from the marches to Mother’s day and family I love so much, to my weekend walks with Ashley, or even just good food I ate. I think it’s important to look at things holistically and I recommend scrolling through your past albums to freshen your memory if you ever feel stuck.

Until next month (..July wtf..!),



Songs I’ve been listening to this month:

I honestly can’t think of anything new at the moment but at the moment I am listening to this mix:


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