I can actually believe it feels like November because of the colder air and holiday vibes around the city. It’s getting not-so-crazy to believe that another month is here just like that. October was eventful and strangely it’s the eventful days that feel both short and long at the same time, short because you’re jampacked with events, long because looking back you’ve done so much that each thing prior feels so long ago. Here’s the reflection -- Stephanie
Honestly each week was a different mood this month, and quite different settings. I found myself going to the office at least once a week this month, which is quite a lot considering my company has been quite option on office life. I’ve been alternating between sf and sj -- and each time I go to the office I try to make a whole trip out of it to make the most of leaving my house lol so I end up making plans nearby afterwork too and end up coming home late and exhausted -- but overall a good face time with others. I had two highlights in particular this month on work. I was told to take ownership of hosting this recurring meeting, and the audience is quite higher level folks and I was pretty nervous and counting down the days leading up to it. I felt so small to be hosting this, and not very knowledgeable to the audiences’ domains, and I also had to present for 20 minutes of my research to this group for the first time. My teammate has been hosting it and been on this team for about 4 years so I was afraid to come across as a disappointing transition lol. A lot of things were running around my head at the time. But, with prep, much thought, and facing reality that I will have to do it as the day comes -- I thought it went really well. Colloquially, I received feedback that it may have been the most engaging meeting from this series thus far. It was in that moment I truly felt proud of myself without doubts.-Now time to repeat hosting this meeting once a month-... hopefully the nerves go down with time…because I am still anxious for hosting november’s meeting now lol. Just two days later, I held my first in person event at the SJ office with customers. It was possibly also the largest event I’ve held. Honestly I felt quite bad about this one, there were technical difficulties and I had to pivot on the spot. I couldn’t help but keep back tracking in my mind how I could’ve done better or better prepped. I received kind feedback all over but I couldnt help my thoughts. I tell myself that I did what I could and to own up to it and learn from it moving forward. The very next day from that event (which I drove an hour back from SJ late at night bc I get influenced staying late easily lol) I flew to denver a few hours later at 6am in the morning.
Denver is nice, it gives me the city vibes I enjoy. Everything seems relatively accessible by foot or public transportation, and the cost of living was cheaper. The first day I was surprised at how calm I was navigating everything solo from the airport to visiting my manager and our denver office, to picking up dinner, to finding my way across town again to find my sister’s hotel. I guess my solo day in New York had a bigger influence on me than I thought. My solo day in Denver commuting from place to place, and being quite chill in the head about it, gave me more main character energy that I loved. The next 2 days were spent with my sister and it’s actually our first time traveling together. Honestly despite being a bit annoyed because I felt like I had to do most things lol, I had good quality time with her. We don’t hangout often or truly have sit down conversations, and I felt like those 2 days gave us the quality time we needed. We flew back and immediately celebrated my mom’s birthday the next day -- to say each day was b2b eventful is as true as it gets. Then comes Halloween and Halloweekend, this year I decided to spend time with Sadie and her roomates which I really enjoyed. I actually didn’t see Sadie for a whole month because of conflicting schedules which is a lot considering we used to hangout bi-weekly if not more. It was also our first time really going out together for hours and I’m glad we were able to make this work out because I definitely feel like it brought us closer.
Lows and Lessons
1.Friendships and speaking up:
Earlier this month I watched Change Days and it’s strange how a show really had me reflecting on myself and my own relationships. When I say relationships I mean friendships for this month. Relationships wise on the romantic side, I’ve been off hinge and stopped meeting new people/trying to go on dates and honestly I feel pretty good about it all month long lol. I feel like there was so much going on in my life that being off it made me feel more free and happier if anything.
On friendships, I’ve had my usual floater friendship months where I’d see different people each week but initially I noticed myself not really being able to enjoy it. And that was because I felt some falling out between my closer core friends. While drifting is okay, I felt like there were some underlying reasons or habits that led to the drift and after watching JiYu speak up on Change Days, I felt compelled to speak up too in those friendships I felt iffy about. I kept going back and fourth on this, especially since I’m not one to start conflict and I wondered if it was worth speaking up. But I then came to the conclusion that if I didn’t speak up and let it slide then habits will continue to repeat and I will just unknowingly one day drift from what was once a close friendship -- so I decided to speak up and it went well! We still have some work to do together but she had acknowledged my speaking up and shared with me that she felt something was off but it was necessary to call it out directly to her for her to really face it. I’m proud of speaking up and even more thankful to have friends who are receptive and understanding, and willing to engage in conversations vs shut them down.
On the larger topic of relationships though for this month, whether it’s romantic or friendships, especially when I was feeling sad about my core friendships -- I started doubting myself a lot, whether I was not worthy for these close relationships or if I had done something to have been a bad friend and led this to become the way it is. And it was a big learning lesson for me this month to not only speak up -- but to not focus all my energy on people who cannot make me happy. (ofc still focus some). While I am very happy the conversation went well, before going in to it, I had to come to the conclusion that my friend may not take it well and shut me off completely, and I can’t control her responses/or actions so I should not place all my worth being upset at the way she responds because we are each our own person. I still have improving to do both in being a better friend and also internally at loving myself more, but this month was a big growth for me.
2. Quality time with Family:
This month I barely spent quality time with my family on the weekends and honestly it made me sad how they may feel I forgot about them. November is also filling up and I feel bad that I’m continuing to not make as much quality time for them. Celebrating my mom’s birthday felt so rushed and while she seemed happy, I felt like I could have done a better job to be present. They had asked me about November (the next two weekends actually to celebrate with me) and I had already pre-made plans with friends and it has just been difficult balancing the both. People have some pre-assumptions because I’m with my family, but as I’m writing these feelings of sadness, I don’t just feel guilty because it is not a chore to spend time with them, I actually really enjoy spending time with them and just feel sad I have been putting other events first. Which is a segway to another lesson.
3. I don’t want to do it all, I want to choose doing what matters to me and with who matters to me:
This last lesson is a combination of the multitude of experiences from the month. I’ve learned about myself that, I actually don’t want to do it all, I’d prefer to live life choosing to do what matters to me and with whom matters to me. I had a weekend where I had some clashing hangouts, initially I’d like to try to tetris and make both work out -- but I realized I wouldn’t be doing myself or my friends justice by doing so because I wouldn’t fully be present and would have to focus on transitioning to the next thing. That goes to say with my b2b weekends, when you’re always on go-go-go mode, while very eventful, it’s easy to get caught up and not pause. There will never be enough time for everything, and to me, it’s about being intentional about how I want to use the time I do have. I’ve been thinking alot about november, especially because it’s my birthday which honestly isn’t always my favorite because it’s also the day I overthink about where I’m at in life and also the people in my life. After the friendship talk this past month, I realized I actually don’t want to do it all and find a sweet spot with all my floater relationships. I’d really want to sit down and spend my birthday this year with my closest friends who’ve seen me in my best and worst, and I’m excited that they (despite being in diff parts of my life) are all down to get together. I realized that I’d also really want to spend quality time with family, if there is one thing I regret it is pre-booking the first 2 weeks of Nov without leaving a weekend for family (especially when all they can think of is me and my birthday). Now that I called out this matters to me, I’m going to be very intentional about the second half of November and onwards with choosing to make time for family.
My pick of the month: Denver Activities!
My sister were never good at talking to each other. It’s funny because with my friends we always do meal + boba hangouts where we just talk and catch up. My sister and I don’t talk too much so we actually kept looking for activities and really enjoyed doing activities together because that is our way to spend time. In Denver aside from walking and seeing, we spent time doing mini golfing and museums.
A quote that really stuck with me this past month:
Besides, even if those consequences that I’d been so scared of had happened, I’m realizing something else … something much more profound:
Expressing myself is always worth it.
I don’t need any other reason than that to speak up: Self-expression is the ultimate payoff, and it’s more than worth it.
I came across this excerpt on a random webpage when I was searching up if I should speak up (lol) but it really stuck with me and if you have similar feelings as me, I hope this webpage and excerpt gives you courage too. Because you, are the most important person to yourself and will always be worth it to yourself.
Have a wonderful November everyone. Looking forward to catching up next month,