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March Mornings | Stephanie's March 2024

As expected, an eventful month of March came and passed and now we’re already in April. There’s so much planned for April that I can’t wait for (well tbh I probably can wait bc time is too fast lol but you get the point here). Before all the April festivities, let’s reflect back on March.  Stephanie

Lifestyle, Lows, and Lessons

Started off this month with a bang, celebrating Sadie’s birthday! This was actually one of the first times she brought together a mix of friends from different life stages together, and I’m honored that she thought of me. Without Pearl, and her friends are quite different from my friends, I was still set on being there for my friend and had a good time! It’s interesting because back then I would’ve felt meh about going to something where I didn’t really know anyone. 

Professionally, I am not sure what it was in me, but I finally decided to initiate an uncomfortable conversation with my colleague and speak up for myself. That conversation now made me a bit more comfortable in initiating more uncomfortable topics at work. The whole process of speaking up was empowering in varying ways, I won’t get too deep in the details of the topics discussed -- but after thinking things through and running it with both my manager and my therapist, I ended up modifying my initial approach (which wasn’t bad), into a lighter approach which felt kinder. It’s interesting because my manager liked and supported my approach, while my therapist asked me some questions that dug deeper and made me think differently. I ended up going with her approach because it felt kinder. And from this experience I not only learned to speak up for myself and initiate uncomfortable convos at work, but that in the way we approach situations, we can always think of ways to be kinder. Me being kinder didn’t diminish the topic at hand either, and I think it was better received because of the kindness. Off tangent, but as it relates to work and was in my notes doc, I often let others speak first and then I speak after they are done speaking in the meeting, since I don’t like interrupting. This happened twice where I was being interrupted by a colleague in a meeting, and in two different occasions and two different customers -- both customers spoke up for me and created space for me to talk, they had spoke tha Stephanie had something to say. That not only made me filled with gratitude, but the colleague that interrupted me also felt taken aback. It’s situations like these that showcase to me that even with all the cons of office politics and corporate, there are good people out in the workplace too. Through these situations it makes me both happy and empowered to create space for others too. 

To be fair, while I feel fortunate for my job, I can’t say that I’m always all in ecstatic about technical software lol. Because of that, this month I decided to make strides to spice up my work life to give it more variety and a change of pace. Whether that was taking on an Event Marketer’s request on my team to visit different venues in SF for an upcoming Fall Tech Conference we’re hosting, which was honestly quite fun (just fun, not a new passion) to visit different areas of SF -- some of which was new and some of which I was quite familiar with but now seeing it in a different light. It was especially nostalgic because visiting different venues in different neighborhoods gave me the opportunity to visit all my past companies as well, and all the places I’d go to nearby those offices and seeing what stayed the same and what sadly FiDi has changed. Additionally, I applied for McKinsey’s Leadership Program and my company’s nonprofit grant review panel -- to my surprise I got in both and it’s funny to say I’m excited because these extracurriculars also mean more work in addition to my day job lol. More work but exciting new work :)  it was getting a bit repetitive in my day to day and now despite the extra commitments, its exactly what I need to feel inspired. Can’t wait for how the next months unfold with these opportunities.

Friendships wise, March has been v eventful and my social life in sf has been quite fulfilling to the point I need to make more time for myself lol. Bringing friends together last month, led to more friends bringing their mutuals and now it feels nice to have this empowering mid-20s galentines girl group where the friendship feels both familiar and novel. One of the bigger highlights would’ve been coming together on International Women’s Day and using that as an excuse to cheers and celebrate. It reminded me of younger days in college where we’d often find reasons to dress up and celebrate. Interestingly enough one of the girls I met during that get together was actually someone whom I met in middle school as my science fair partner lol, the world is so small. It was such a good time catching up with her on how life has been since the last time we me (lots to unpack), and how it wasn’t awkward at all. Hopefully this means more catch ups together. Spring and I must have some sort of connection lol because it’s been a lineup of friends’ birthdays, with more coming soon! One of the friends I recently met invited me to her birthday celebration in which I felt honored but again wasn’t sure about because there were a lot of people I didn’t know and I only recently met her -- I ended up having a good time anyways. While I’ve been enjoying these experiences and new group settings, it’s important to me to maintain my closer friendships too. It’s easy to get carried away with one or the other. I feel like in the past I’d focus too much on my core friends and not make room for new people, but now that I am making room for new people, I can also see myself getting swept up and not making enough time for the old. TLDR; balance of both. I’m very thankful to have close friends who make it easy and natural to catch up, from unexpected long virtual walk and talks with Pearl, sundays with Tammie, to Tiana reaching out and sharing updates, and I can’t wait to catch up with Jin in person v soon.

Romantic life wise, I ended up talking to someone for a bit at the start of March and ended up going on a date. While things didn’t work out connection wise, I am still glad I went and learned about someone new as well as learn more about myself in the process. I tend to overthink and talk myself out of something lol but with the conversations with my closer friends, I’ve learned to be more open and this experience helped me become just a bit more open. This experience was also revealing to me in a sense that I had misjudged someone’s character, and where I can improve too. While it seemed like this person wasn’t that thoughtful because of timing and communication, after speaking in person, I realized this person did put quite some thought into it and it was I who was judging too quickly. We all have room to improve with every experience and I can improve on being less judgemental here. 

Lastly my highest high of the month - Pilates! Initially I set out this month to start the 2 week unlimited hot yoga promo at a local studio, I started Yoga in HS and through and through the years I’ve always found myself gravitating back to it. So when I signed up at this studio, I whole heartedly thought the same - but the day I signed up, there was a Hot Pilates class being taught that was better timing for my schedule. Tbh I wasn’t sure about attending since I didn’t enjoy my lagree megaformer class and I didn’t want to suck in person lol, but I decided to attend since I was already here -- wholeheartedly thinking I’d use my unlimited pass for yoga daily after. But I ended up falling in love with hot pilates and funny enough, I only took 1 yoga class and 2 weeks of pilates led to 1 month of pilates. I got and am still so addicted, not just to the workout and feeling physically stronger -- but mentally as well. I’ve found myself waking up at 5am (I never woke up this early for work or school lol) so I could attend their 6am classes, and then I’d enjoy seeing the sun rise and neighborhood open. Even on the toughest of days, I found myself going consistently because of how good I’d feel after. It showed me how much I can commit myself to (even consistent 5ams lol) if I put my mind to it. I’d like to thank the first pilates instructor I ever set foot class on because much of that positive first experience is what led me to keep coming back, and while I’ve alternated instructors over the month, whenever I attend her class I’m just left with so much gratitude. What’s more, I didn’t think she’d remember me because her classes are so crowded, but 2 weeks into class, she ended up stepping out just to tell me how she remembers me and how much progress she sees I’ve made :’). 

I don’t have one major event when it comes to lows, but it feels as though as I fill other parts of my life so much as I did in March, I feel like I’m not being present enough with my family. It’s tough as I catch up with my mom or  visit my grandma and aunts, oftentimes they’re happy to spend time with me but then it ends up with them reminiscing and sharing something stressful from the past that’s been on their minds and I’m not quite sure how to best respond. A part of me will always feel obligated to fill their days too because I care so much about them, but transparently I’m not quite sure how to balance both these days as it seems like April will be eventful as well. 

My pick of the month: Pilates 

Pilates has changed my life both physically and mentally this month, and I am so thankful for the mindset it has given me this month. My favorite instructor always dedicates her last few minutes of class to practice gratitude. Here’s a little note I wrote right after one of her classes I thought I’d share with you all:

3.26 This morning I am grateful for:

- Life and what it has to offer, not all the big things but the simple day to day things like seeing the sun come up, hearing the birds chirping, the dad and son happy at the bakery - after i finished my class

- my body (I don’t love it’s size tbH lol don’t @ me) But I am thankful my body is functioning and allows me to do things and has the stamina for hot Pilates, how sad would it be to want to move but literally can’t 

- my job that allows me to have a flexible lifestyle n hours n pays for things like pilates n brekkie sando 

- My instructor always bringing in sunshine and making time for gratitude at the end of class 

- My car that allows me to go to class at 6am bc no way am I walking 25 min at 5:30am in the crackhead hours n dark. I am also thankful for the random stranger in class who told me where to park and where to not park.

- friends, family, community: I am who I am bc of the people in my life who makes life positive :D 

I know I’ve been echoing pilates way too much this month lol but truly its been more than a workout for me. Going into my first class alone despite not having a good first impression from a prev pilates class taught me the power of continuing to be open minded to things because you really  never know how it’ll turn out. (In my case, it was the extreme and completely converted me to hot pilates lol). Jokes aside, I remember everyone in disbelief that they’d never want to wake up at 5am and was like wtf to me lol but after one 6am class, came another, and before I knew it - I’d fallen in love with early early mornings but also the mindset that we truly can make a routine or habit out of anything despite how initially tiresome it may be. And lastly these workouts continue to remind me how thankful I am to be healthy to be able to do these workouts, let’s not take our bodies for granted, and to continue giving it love by building positive practices and days. I hope in return, I can also spread kindness and light to others along the way.

There’s so much in stored this month and I can’t wait for April to unravel, I hope you all will have a wonderful month too!

Chat soon in May,



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