Welcome back to the blog and thank you for reading my February reflections. It feels ironic for me to say that this month was one of the best months I have had in a while. The reason why I say that it is ironic is that although I personally have had a really great month, this month for the Asian community has been devastating. The Asian community has long been suffering before this month throughout history. However, with the start of Covid and people - including our former president- calling it the “Chinese Virus,” it spiked up the number of Asian hate crimes. This month especially, the crimes against Asian Americans have surfaced all over my social media- although, not enough people are talking about them in the bigger media. Therefore, although throughout the rest of this blog I will be talking about the personal experiences I went through this month, it was important to talk about what was happening with my community. I recommend you to do your own research and learn more about what is happening with the different communities around you. February is all about love and I hope that we can all learn to love one another for our differences from this month.
Lifestyle: Exciting Adventure and Joyful Routines
San Francisco Bound
This month I got to plan a trip to reunite with Stephanie in San Francisco- where she lives. The trip itself was pretty last minute but I was glad we took all the necessary steps such as making sure we both got a negative Covid-test and having an Airbnb all to ourselves without strangers to make it happen. I was also thankful that we were both financially stable enough to afford it as well as both working from home to make it happen. The trip was a week-long from February 13th to February 20th. The timing was perfect because it was a long weekend due to President’s Day and we could celebrate late Lunar New Year's and Galentine’s Day together!
I was proud of myself for the trip itself because it was the first time that I have driven that far all by myself! Although the drive was very tiring, I felt so independent and free. I have always prided myself on being an independent person but it has been a while since I felt that. Although the independence was good, I was still a little sad thinking of having to spend Valentine’s Day alone but I was glad to have Stephanie with me. We got all dressed up and even wore fun pink eyeshadows (Shoutout to the Sailor Moon palette from Colourpop lol) and went on a picnic! There were some mishaps during the day from it sprinkling without an umbrella and walking to a restaurant only for it to be closed but it was what made it so memorable!
Although there wasn’t much that we could do during the work week because we were both still busy with work, it was fun having someone besides me. We were both working on a table at our Airbnb and it felt like we were at a coffee shop and studying- as we would be in college. It was kind of a weird feeling because it felt like we were finally all grown up yet still the same people. But, I loved that we tried to make each day slightly special by exploring a new coffee shop in the morning to trying different restaurants for dinner to go, and watching different shows in our Airbnb while we ate. Our favorite shows that week was iCarly (a great throwback) and Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel (such an interesting and sad story of Elisa Lam).
When the trip ended, I was sad to go but it felt right. I was glad that on my way back I got to stop by Santa Barabara and hang out with my friends for short while. I got to catch up with my friend I haven’t seen since June and it was so much fun, even if it was for a short time. When I came back home, it was back to reality and like I never left but I was excited to form my own routines again.
Morning and Night Routines
Speaking of routines, I tried to create and incorporate a morning and night routine into my life at the end of this month. I was the type of person to wake up 10 minutes before work started to get the maximum amount of sleep but when I was in San Francisco, Stephanie and I woke up an hour earlier to start our day together as well as explore new coffee shops. I decided that although it made me tired, I felt more awake and happier! So, I decided to incorporate my own version into my daily routine. Now, I wake up an hour earlier in the morning and give myself to fully wake up as well as to things that are good for my mental and physical health including journaling or stretching. I also started to incorporate a night routine so that I felt like I was still having my own time after work including more journaling, reading, and creating. I’m excited to fully form the perfect morning and night routine for me and see it solidify into my daily routine in March.
While Stephanie and I were in the Airbnb together, we got to talking about our personalities. It made me realize how much my personality has changed over the years and it made me curious whether my personality test type has changed or not. Therefore, I decided to take the 16 personalities test again and to my surprise- it did change! It was funny because while I was taking the test, I knew that some answers I would have answered differently had it been a few years ago. The last time I took the test was at the beginning of college during freshmen year and I got the consul (ESFJ). When I retook it this month, I got the Protagonist (ENFJ). Stephanie and I are actually both the Protagonists now so it was fun to read out loud all of the characteristics together and see how much we related to them. Though it could have been confirmation bias and reading into the traits that I believe to be true of myself, it was really interesting. Now I’m curious to know more about other people’s personality types and whether theirs have changed over the years!
Lows: Asian Hate Crimes
Like I slightly mentioned at the beginning of this blog, I was lucky enough to not really face a lot of lows this month. However, it hurts how much the Asian community is hurting in America. I even faced a racist remark for the first time with my family when we were on a walk at night, as we usually do. Though it was nothing serious and didn’t lead to anything more harmful, it definitely did not feel good. My parents and I immigrated to the U.S. when I was around 6 years old with the typical “American dream.” Therefore, my parents and I were so proud to be Asian-Americans. However, slowly it became a challenging aspect because it felt like we were never good enough for either culture. I felt that when I went to Korea, I wasn’t Korean enough but when I was back here (especially seeing the Asian hate crimes happening) I wasn’t American enough. Where then do I fit in? I still am very proud of being Asian American but I hope for a time that people can truly just appreciate everyone’s different cultures and diversity instead of spreading hate because of it.
Lessons: Self Improvements and Supporting Others
You're Allowed to Have Hobbies
One small lesson I learned this month was that I am allowed to have hobbies. That sounds like a straightforward and obvious concept, but it felt refreshing to me. What I mean by this is that you’re allowed to have hobbies you truly enjoy without having to flaunt about it, post about it, or make a side business out of it. With so much content in social media, we often feel this pressure about having to make money out of every talent we have because it seems like everyone else is doing that. Sometimes it feels like we’re just wasting our time doing our hobbies just for fun because time is essentially money. However, you’re allowed to feel relaxed and do the things you enjoy without feeling like you’re not being productive. There was a video that I watched that explained this concept much better than I did but I have no idea where I can find the video. However, I think one thing that popped into my mind was cooking. I personally love cooking whether that’s cooking different recipes, cooking for other people, or perfecting a recipe. I even had an Instagram for it and although I didn’t use that account all that much to begin with, I felt like I had to weirdly showcase my skills or share cool dishes I ate - because I saw that other people were doing that. However, I realized that I personally enjoyed being in the moment of cooking or eating different recipes instead of having to share them with other people. Therefore, I deleted the account because it was not really bringing me any happiness and who knows, maybe it’ll make a come back one day lol. But, in the end, I realized that I want to truly only do things that make me happy!
Give It a Second Chance
Speaking of hobbies, one big hobby that I found this month was reading! And oh my goodness, I really thought I would never say that. Growing up I was never a reader but only became a “reader” for class materials. I always thought I hated books but when I heard other people talking about how much they loved reading, I wanted to give it another chance. I honestly had no idea where to even start but I decided to follow Jenn Im’s bookclub on Instagram (@curlupclub). Their February book was “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman and I was able to finish this whole book. Although it was interesting to read it as someone who is not in a relationship, it encouraged me to become a better person, friend, and perhaps partner in the future! I truly felt like I was learning more about myself and how I express love as well as curious to know other people’s love languages. I learned that my love languages are gift-giving and quality time!
Friends Are Important
I obviously got to catch up with a lot of close friends in person this month and I was so appreciative of that. Especially being at home most of the time, makes any hang-out feel extra special when it happens. However, even catching up with a friend via Facetime or online is great too! I actually got to catch up with a friend I haven’t talked to in a long time over Facetime. I was honestly kind of nervous or didn’t really know what to expect. I thought that we would perhaps cover just the basic conversation such as “how are you, what have you been up to, and what are your plans.” Although there is nothing wrong with the basic conversation, I was surprised to see it go beyond that. I got to open up a little and even share some of my hobbies I have been doing. It was such a great conversation and it made me want to catch up with more friends that I haven’t talked to in a while. Therefore, I encourage you to hit up an old friend and ask them how they’ve been because you never know what kind of conversation it can lead to!
Support Small Businesses
One last thing I wanted to mention this month was supporting small businesses! I see so many of my friends and people around me opening up their own small businesses and I personally think that it’s sooooo cool. It made me want to support them as well as other small businesses that I personally don’t know of. It’s so easy to shop on Amazon and other big companies (I am very much guilty of this because I have an Amazon addiction oops) but I think it’s also important to try to support small businesses as much as you can! I personally will be taking this with me by trying to support at least one small business every month.
I wanted to end this section with a quote I found this month:
“Accept what is, let go what was, and have faith in what will be.”
We are oftentimes too focused on what happened and wondering the “what ifs.” We are also oftentimes too focused and scared of what is to come in the future. I think it’s important to take into factor that everything has happened for a reason up to the present moment. And that everything will work itself out into the future. Therefore, we have to accept whatever present we are in and work towards whatever goals we have in mind.
Songs on Repeat:
happy for you - Alex Porat, Rence
"It's hitting me hard, it's hitting me harder than I thought, I say I'm happy for you, I'm not that happy for you."
Stuck In The Middle Pt. II (Kiana Lede) - Tai Verdes, Kiana Lede
"We're stuck in the middle of lovers and friends and we're losing all the benefits."
If the World Was Ending (ft. Julia Michaels) - JP Saxe, Julia Michaels
"I know you know we weren't down for forever and it's fine."
My Pick of the Month: Apple Watch
My pick of the month is my apple watch! I got this back in December but I have really been loving the features this month. I personally love using the walkie-talkie feature with my dad because it’s so much easier than a phone call at times. I also personally have been wearing them to sleep and using the haptic alarm feature to wake me up instead of using a loud sound alarm from my phone. I also love that it counts the number of seconds I’m washing my hands to make sure that I’m washing my hands thoroughly (go away Corona!). I am personally a big fan of this Apple watch and I’m glad I’m getting a lot of use out of it.
This February was a good month for me but I hope that the next months moving forward will also be better for the Asian community. I'm hoping that we can all learn to love ourselves and love one another for our differences. I also can’t believe it’s going to be March so soon… It still feels like it was March like yesterday! March 2020 is when it all started with Covid and lockdown part 1 so I am very curious to see how March 2021 is going to go. I guess we’ll have to wait and see!
Talk to you next month,