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Love and Abundance | Stephanie's February 2024

Happy start of March! February was both long and short, I’m sure you’ve heard me say this long and short description multiple times lol -- such is life when the days are eventful yet time flies. February was filled with so much -- the highs after my promotion, self-discovery, new friendships, lunar new year with family, and of course a much needed reunion with Jin. I’ll try not to write an essay of an entry again, but knowing myself, I probably will. Let’s get started — Stephanie

Lifestyle, Lows, Lessons

So I started this month riding off the highs of last month, the highs of my classpass era and work promotion. I ended off my month of classpass with SoulCycle, something I’ve taken a couple times pre-covid and didn’t necessarily love. Interesting how revisiting something again years later could lead to a new profound feeling about it, and at the same time it’s now created a new memory for Ashley and I and definitely furthered our friendship. Then riding the highs of my work promotion, led to more being voluntold to present, presentations are really not my strong suit as I internally get anxious each time no matter how many times I have to do it in my role lol. Well I can’t really say no, and since I got newly promoted, it makes sense to show off the work I’ve done. The start of this month was a presentation with my Director’s leader, I’ve only spoken to him twice in my almost 2 years here lol. I was nervous and he was so reassuring and surprisingly immensely engaged with what I had to present, feelings like these is what makes work feel more fulfilling and less transactional. It also continues to remind me how work will always have it’s mundane moments, but how lucky I am to be in the position I am today. College-me was so anxious and insecure about her future. This month I even got to reconnect with 2 mentors (ya I have different ones for different reasons lol) from that 2020 time who I haven’t spoke to in years, and they picked up as if no time has passed. Which made me feeling even more blessed, and continuing to pick up more informational chats with students. I wish I could offer them the reassurance I now have. 

This whole month has been so darn rainy, but despite the rain, the sun continues to creep through. Every week I swear it’s been X number of days rain, and X number of days sun. Haven’t quite had a full week of no rain. Initially, shamefully I was canceling on hangouts because I didn’t want to commute in the rain and gusts of wind, but surprisingly out of my character, this must’ve been one of the more eventful months filled with memories. It started with a friend in distress, so I wanted to make more time to see her -- which led to bringing together mutual friends as well and starting new friendship relationships. The novelty of seeing new friends become fast friends, skipping past any awkwardness, is so nice. I know I’ve mentioned it in past entries, but bringing together numbers of people sometimes stresses me out because of people who told me they had a bad experience, because of this, I’m extra happy when I see people having a good time. I definitely became more of an introvert post-grad, but this month I’m a bit surprised and have enjoyed my extrovert moments -- from making conversation with a table full of data scientists, voluntarily public commuting to work (it was very long) and attending events where I’m forced to introduce myself, and an unexpected large gathering for galentines. So let’s unpack some of this. 

I will admit I didn’t necessarily have a whole month planned like this, I’m not very good at keeping up with friendships if there isn’t already a routine set (ie daily texts w/Jin, weekly walks with Ashley, etc). Though as friends reached out I was reminded of the importance to be there for your friends and how friendships can flourish or fall out if we don’t put the effort in them. I also realized while it’s been nice bringing my friends together, there’s also the importance of keeping the 1:1’s I’ve had as well, as I value having deeper catch ups to learn how my friends are really feeling. Friendship relationships are so interesting as they’re not family or romantic, but definitely do play a big role in our lives, yet can easily often get brushed or ‘push back a week’ and before you know it, the drift. So often people share how they feel empty in their friendships, it makes me extra thankful for the friendships in my life. Wanting to learn how to be a better friend to someone who went through a break up, combined with wanting to learn more about myself, and heal from my avoidant attachment style and childhood traumas -- I went back to therapy with my first therapist. Had I not gone and tried out 2 other therapists before coming back, I don’t think I would have been as intentional about my therapy journey. Again I thank my company for making it easy to try therapy. Circling back to my og therapist was nice, I can’t speak too much on this as we’re still just getting to know each other and it’ll take time for me to truly open up, but I hope one day I can become that person who can willingly open up my walls without her having to dig deep with questions. Opening up and vulnerability, asking for help, I really started to see these acts differently these days -- I start to see it as strength, and that perhaps me being so independent which started off by necessity to take care of my family, at this point in my life where it’s no longer a necessity but a choice, is actually me being fearful and using independence to defend myself. I am not sure if that sentence even made sense lol but that is something I’ve come to face with myself. So little by little, I want to try to truly open up to others more. This actually segways into a phone call I’ve had with Jin this month which was another highlight, where we somehow led to having a long conversation about establishing a framework in understanding how we let our walls down and if someone can ever get close lol. How some people we’ve known for quite some time, and if they can ever reach the point in truly getting close, or how some people assume they know everything about us because we can carry a conversation. I think we ended off somewhere along the lines of how someone has potential to get close if they’re non-judgemental and not quick to make remarks, and if they share similar values and morals. 

Which is a good segway into the topic of love, very fitting for the month of February. To be honest I didn’t think much about valentines day, given I was off the apps and had no intention of going back on until post-valentines, I also wasn’t talking to anyone anymore in that sense. So I decided to do a galentines dinner with my friend Sadie, which one friend led to another (not sure why I just assumed everyone had plans lol) thus decided to just bring everyone together for dinner and then an event at Moongate lounge (my fave lounge in sf js, idc about the haters, its a vibe). It was such a good time and beyond that event itself --  I felt so much love between existing friends in my life, my family, and the new friendships that developed. At the same time being so filled by my friends and family, this month that was so eventful, which all in which I am happy about - I’ve also come to face with myself that I’ll probably never make time to truly intentionally date because I fill my life with so many other things and keep pushing it back only when it’s convenient. But a date or two only when it’s convenient, while I wish like a fiction story will lead to the right person, realistically it probably won’t lol if I’m not more proactive about going on dates, so back again -- I will try to be proactive. Which leads to when Jin was in SF and we had yet another one of our deep talks about relationships, we reactivated my acc lol and had an introspective moment. One of which an ex-date came back which shamelessly the attention and chase felt nice, but after self-reflection deciding not to go for it (and the reason is not related to my avoidant style. I also finally unmatched with someone to give myself grace and a fresh start. So now we’re back starting on this dating journey .. I will try my best to follow through! 

Ending this entry on a high though I feel like this whole entry has been riding on a high - of the many many rainy days of February, it’s almost like the Sun knew exactly when its shine was needed most. The first being a very sunny weekend for Lunar New Year, the biggest and only holiday my family takes seriously. I had a lot of quality family time spent, and this time of the year always makes me feel extra thankful for everyone here, especially my grandparents who I get to spend another LNY with. It also is a time that makes me reach out the my extended aunts and uncles (not sure why I don’t reach out more, it’s just been the way its been lol) and catch up on life. I used to hate going to temples, and now I look forward to going every year during this time, it feels like a truly fresh start to a good year whenever I go and pay my respects. It’s funny I used to find all these traditions tedious, but now I have an appreciation for it and am proactive about it. My dad hates crowds so we usually go to the temple 1 week later but I saw the rainy weather forecast (which he was indenial about and that it could change) but I convinced him to go the weekend of LNY in case of rain next week which I’m glad I did bc it was indeed very rainy for the rest of Feb lol. Which leads to the 2nd only sunny weekend of Feb -- a much needed reunion with Jin! 

Time flies regardless, but time flies extra fast when we’re together. This visit was similar yet different, and I can’t quite put that correctly into words. Whenever we link up, there’s always a sense of familiarity, yet novelty. It’s like we never get bored and have a million things to talk about lol I sometimes wonder if we will ever get bored of each other. This trip I decided to list out some popular neighborhoods in SF and have her choose her own journey on which neighborhoods to hit. From our videos and pics, it looks like we ate a lot (always feasting), shopped, went out, drank, which we did do all of the above lol but my favorite part is the quality time and conversations we are able to have, it brings a sense of understanding yet also learning something new from each other each time. It’s a tough pick on what my favorite moment was, so I’ll list it here so I won’t forget - interestingly it must’ve been the time we were eating dinner at Sushi on North Beach (the food was good though not sure if it was the best thing we ate during this weekend) but what made it a fave was I recall we just chatted for so darn long ranging from youtubers to our own personal lives - we couldn’t quite finish our convo or food, moments like these I’m extra grateful for. And I (quite literally) know our next reunion will come by in a flash, can’t wait until then. 

My pick of the month: Love

It’s hard to pick one relationship whether that’s family or friendship, as from my post I feel like this month was filled with love and relationships, even if it wasn’t in the romantic sense. I feel like because of these people, I’m living life in such love and abundance.

Random off-context quotes I really enjoyed from a book I’ve been reading this month, The Choice by Edith Eger.

These quotes spoke to me and helped me become more understanding. Take what you will from them:

We are hungry. We are hungry for approval, attention, affection. We are hungry for the freedom to embrace life and to really know and be ourselves.
I also want to say that there is no hierarchy of suffering. There ’ s nothing that makes my pain worse or better than yours, no graph on which we can plot the relative importance of one sorrow versus another
Often, the little upsets in our lives are emblematic of the larger losses; the seemingly insignificant worries are representative of greater pain. I realized that day how much my two patients, who appeared so different, had in common—with each other and with all people everywhere. Both women were responding to a situation they couldn ’t control in which their expectations had been upended. Both were struggling and hurting because something was not what they wanted or expected it to be; they were trying to reconcile what was with what ought to have been. Each woman ’ s pain was real. Each woman was caught up in the human drama—that we ĕnd ourselves in situations we didn ’t see coming and that we don ’t feel prepared to handle. Both women deserved my compassion. Both had the potential to heal

 I know February’s not for everyone, I truly hope you had a good month too, and if not, that March is a new month for you. Here’s to creating a fulfilling life~.

Chat soon in April, 



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