Love Yourz | Stephanie's January 2021


As always, I just can’t believe how fast time is passing. I still remember the start of January and 2021, and now it is February -- truly surreal.


I feel like not much has changed yet some differences as well? I feel like I don’t have much different news to share, though l’m looking forward to seeing how this reflection goes.

Let’s get right to it -- Stephanie

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Lifestyle:

Honestly my life hasn’t changed too much. I still spend most of my waking hours and weekdays on my current role. I typically start at 9am and try my best to end before 6:30pm. It varies to be honest because of my fluctuating last minute team, I’ll get more into this later in the journal entry. But for the most part, my days have been similar to January.


I will say this month I made more of an effort to reconnect with old friends, and that truly felt great. (I literally need someone to hang up on me after 30 minutes or else I can talk to people for hours haha). Out of the many things I feel like I need to work on, I think catching up with old friends is making progress and that’s not something I take for granted.


Honestly on a random note, the simple things really do bring me joy these days. Sometimes I feel like I revisited my childhood. I was rewatching some old shows I saw as a kid (Fruits Basket haha), ate this ice cream flavor I had as a kid, listened to my super old spotify playlists from high school -- it was nice re-enjoying and revisiting the things that gave me joy. You’re never too old to do anything!


I still have a lot to work on and I’m not sure when they will fully be implemented, but I wanted to list things as always to acknowledge them.


The good I did this month:

  • Catch up with old friends

  • Try searching for therapy and alternatives

  • Go on a run every other day

  • Maintain composed and level headed at work despite so many last minute changes

  • Get through my second month of work

  • Spoke up (just a tiny bit) more for myself

Things I could improve on:

  • Reduce asking my manager so much

  • Pray regularly again

  • Connect with my family regularly again

  • Better temper at home

  • Stand up for what I think is wrong or right, early on

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Lows:

You already know it … more work problems! Haha .. let’s break it down to a couple main points that brought me to despair this month.


1. Last minute changes and scheduling

My first month here was a mess and I thought things would get easier the second month, but all of January I’ve been bombarded with due dates on things I didn’t even work on??It was extremely scary, frustrating, and mentally exhausting. I would be told I’m suddenly managing this project someone left behind, that we’re launching in two weeks, then we’re launching in 2 days?? I’d feel extremely terrible and unprepared, then I felt guilty for informing all my stakeholders (designers, copy, etc) that the due date has suddenly changed.


Little did I know, this was the start of many and still present, last minute changes, updates, and unreasonable requests. I felt mentally drained and tried really hard to remain composed during these situations. I can’t say much came out of these encounters except for me expecting less, and me learning how to deal with difficult people.

Being last minute at work vs in spontaneously in your personal life is two different things. I felt so shitty to me and everyone involved in my project for the last minute ness.


2. People not taking me seriously

At work this month, I felt like I always had to double reply to myself triple times or more to get one vague response from someone. Honestly it still kind of makes me feel neglected and undervalued (I hope no one I work with finds this blog post and reads this haha). I still continuously work on this today, how to establish an executive presence despite my age. I think there was a concept I learned in Psychology class, that humans hate to be invisible/neglected.

I kind of felt that this month and I don't know when or how I can make things better …

I just wanted to be honest and put this out there


3. Comparing myself, feeling bitter and jealous

I often compare myself unintentionally. It just happens. This month I found myself comparing myself to my past self, along with a fellow co worker who joined at a similar time frame than me. This month I found myself comparing my life to hers, and assuming that her transition went smoothly while mine was bombarded with half done projects and delays. I was feeling jealous and bitter and it didn’t feel good. It was just hard to not compare myself with someone who was new to the team just like me, but had a better onboarding experience. I also can’t say much about this point, I just know I need to acknowledge it at the very least.


4. Being a better family member

I found myself not only frustrated at work and myself, I was taking my frustration out to my family members. I don’t like taking my anger out on the people I care about, and this made me feel so low at myself for doing so this month.

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Lessons:


1.Those who matter will make time for you no matter how busy they are

This month I was able to catch up with a couple friends I haven’t spoken to in quite a while. I thought we had drifted or that one of us would make an excuse about being too busy. And yes, everyone is busy with their own life schedule and problems now, but as I was able to connect with people I haven’t spoken to in years -- truly, if someone really wants to maintain a relationship with you, they’ll find time no matter how busy they are.

I used to feel sad if someone flaked or said they were too busy but I learned that this just teaches me to cherish those that make time for me despite how busy they are.


2. Listen to people yourself, not rumors

I unexpectedly made a “friend” at work this month! We’re not super tight but she’s the closest casual friend I think I’ll come across here in a while haha. To be honest, I didn’t have the best impression on her in the beginning because someone I met first told me some things that weren’t so positive about her. Then everything she did just seemed to add up to those things I initially heard. Then somehow she reached out to me to have a get-to-know you chat and ever since then we’ve been pinging each other. No one’s perfect so I still do notice those not so positive things the person I knew said about her, HOWEVER she’s really not that bad of a person and I’ve been really happy to develop a friend at work. I realized it’s so dangerous to listen to other people say things about others. While it may not always be true or come from a bad gossiping intention, it’s dangerous how easy it is for us to believe something someone we know says. It’s easier said than done, but I think its so important to believe in things we see and hear firsthand with our own eyes and ears, instead of rumors from others -- no matter how much longer we’ve known them. I am so glad to have made my first friend at work tho :)


3. Progress over results

I remember in my last post that I wrote something along the lines of making systems not goals because it can be upsetting when you don’t get to X position.

If there is one thing I’m most proud of at work this month, was speaking up to my manager about how I felt about people social loafing on me and that I can’t keep tolerating it because all our projects will fall behind. Maybe that isn’t anything big to others, but for me it was a huge step. Growing up shy and softspoken, I often just move on and try to not let things get to me instead of speaking up because I don’t like conflict. Honestly I kept thinking about it for a couple nights post work and I finally decided to speak up because I can’t keep excusing people for giving half-hearted or late work and then end up paying up for their faults. Good thing, my manager understood where I was coming from and didn’t say anything negative. We spoke with the person who was social loafing (lol sadly he’s back to his habits). Even though he’s still back to his loafing habits, I’m still proud of just speaking up to my manager about how I feel. And this is why I decided to look at progress but not results, had I just measured success by results (social loafing guy not loafing no more), then I would’ve felt like a failure for speaking up.




Something else I did this month was really look into therapy. I’ve always been preaching it, and after going through so many ups and downs related to work -- this month I decided to finally look into a therapist. Sadly online therapists are all so expensive??? Then I started looking into getting an in person therapist through my insurance and had a couple arguments with my parents about it. Again, if success was measured by me finally getting one then I would be a failure. However, from finally looking into online and in person solutions, speaking up to my parents about it, even though I have yet to see one -- I’m proud at my progress. I have a high reputation for setting tough goals and feeling shitty when I can’t meet them, I realized that’s actually so unhealthy for someone like me who thinks about everything. This month, I decided to just look at progress and systems instead of only direct goals.


4. Make decisions with a level head

Even though my lifestyle and lows isn’t as long this entry, this month was pretty tough and complex to be honest. Every day felt like a roller coaster and I’ve really gotten used to the uncomfortable (though I still hate it each time). Every time I was thrown off by my team, I would feel so frustrated and upset. Upset at the people who let me down, and upset at myself for letting myself and others down. All these last minute unexpectedness and ups and downs each day, really taught me to take a pause and not act out of frustration on the spot. Growing up I’ve always heard of “going with the flow”. I’ve learned this month at least, that I’m no longer going with the flow on the spot. I got angry very easily at each discrepancy, and had I acted on the spot and went with the flow, I think I would’ve said and done things I regretted. This month of crazy last minute emergencies, taught me to always take things in as they are, digest it, then make decisions later with a level head.


I don’t even wanna count how many times I felt upset towards someone this month, but looking back at it with a level head -- they were probably just as frustrated at the situation as I was. No one enjoys a mess, and we never know what’s going on in someone’s life so its so important to not act on impulse and say/do things towards others that may make us regret it later.


4. Finding my strength that keeps me going

When things get hard, does it make you feel better when people tell you that you’ll find something else or that the situation isn’t as bad as you think it is? Because for me, as much as I’d like to practice those things^, in all honesty it just makes me more upset and thinking how can people be so sure that things aren’t so bad. While these thoughts may work for others, I realized what really works for me is keeping myself grounded in where I draw my strength from.


I look back at how many times I had tough last minute decisions and difficult people that made me want to cry this month. And then I see my family at home and my community organizations who reach out to me to speak to students. I see my family who experienced something I could never imagine, life or death and going against odds, something I could only hear of in history books. I see my community organizations with students who come from similar backgrounds if not worse than me, juggling so much at once and also trying to beat the odds. Whenever things get difficult I look back at these roots, and I remember where I get my strength from. Everytime I want to cry or give up, instead of telling myself things will automatically get better or that its not as bad as it seems -- I reflect on these people who try so hard everyday because a better tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, and I try my best to follow their fighting spirit.


Writing this 5th lesson was actually highly inspired by two empowering females:

  1. An IG post I saw from blogilates. I teared up reading this and I hope you would take the time to read it too: https://www.instagram.com/p/B9fMSZOAoH4/

  2. I don’t keep up too much with government anymore, but SF’s new assessor is Carmen Chu. I read up a bit about her upbringing and how she’s only asian american woman elected as assessor in California, and she shares how “growing up in an immigrant family and in a small business household were formative experiences in her life as she never forgot the struggles immigrants and those with limited English face nor the hardships associated with running a small business". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carmen_Chu

I used to hate everything that made me different than other people, but these two women truly inspire me to never forget my roots and turn what’s different into a strength.

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My pick of the month: Community



As cheesy as it sounds, without those friends I caught up with this month, my family, and organizations -- I don’t think I could’ve stayed sane this month. So much was going on each day, and it’s my community that kept me going and saved me from all the chaos. They don’t have to be working with me, but just knowing that I am not alone in the world and that there are good people out there is enough. It’s because of them, I can write this post without much bitterness, put things aside and move forward because I have my community by my side.


Cheers until next March, (I have a feeling it'll be a fast one)

--Stephanie

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Highly recommend reading 2 by 22’s blog posts. I especially enjoyed reading them during difficult times: https://2by22.blog/a-playbook-on-making-difficult-career-decisions-choosing-between-bain-and-linkedin/


Songs I’ve been listening to this month:

  • Beings -- Madeon

  • Yetep -- sleepless mix (an oldie but a good one) https://soundcloud.com/imyetep/sleepless-august-mix

  • Poetic Justice -- Kendrick Lamar (old but good one!)

  • J.Cole -- Love Yourz (this song is such a good throwback and vibe that there truly is no life better than yours!)

loved the lyrics so much I thought I'd share it with you all