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Pace and Pause | Stephanie's Jan 2024

First month of 2024 is officially complete, does anyone else feel like this was such a fast yet somewhat long month? Well with it officially being February I guess we can no longer say Happy New Year. My month felt a mix of eventful yet calming and slow paced. Let’s reflect together.  Stephanie

Lifestyle, Lows, Lessons: 

With the car accident, I spent the first half of the month commuting to many places -- while it took double the time, in a way I found it quite comforting to take a pause. Whether that was taking longer walks to reach destinations by foot, or taking the MUNI which I grew up taking -- it was nice changing up the pace of life. With driving, I’m often focused on the road and my music, though as I was commuting via foot or public transportation, I found myself being able to be more introspective or simply be more observant of what’s happening around me. I actually enjoyed it so much that now even though I have my car back, I choose to commute to certain places vs driving to every single place. 

This whole month has been quite rainy which is a bummer but that didn’t stop me from trying to make the best of it. The first two weeks I spent catching up as a group with Sadie and Pearl as Pearl was back in town. From happy hours to museum dates, to a night hopping around the streets of divisadero, it’s always a fun time together. It’s also quite interesting to see how we all met at the same internship with similar interests in marketing communications, and to see how each of us have grown into different domains over time when it comes to career. I mentioned this in previous entries, but as change is inevitable and we can one day grow out of our similarities with someone, what I find solace in is those relationships where even if we are not in the same environment or path anymore, we still find a way to connect regardless of how we grow. The people we surround ourselves continue to shape us as well, whether that’s swapping books with Pearl or Sadie’s friend influencing us to take on a 12 dates a year challenge with a very informative reflection template. While I don’t feel ready to start the talking stages with someone at the moment, here’s to still taking on the challenge when I do feel ready and I hope this year I can make the 12 number cut -- I’m inspired to continue learning more about myself and healing my avoidant nature, as well as better understand people along the process as well. 

This month I also started ClassPass with Ashley, the free trial is so worth? I got credits to take a decent number of classes in SF and it was so fun introducing Ashley to classes I’ve enjoyed in the past such as SoulCycle and Rumble, but it was also so fun experiencing local studios together. In particular I’m proud of us for trying new things, and I’m especially satisfied that I didn’t just default to only taking classes that are familiar to me and that I already enjoy such as Yoga, SoulCycle, and Rumble. I ended up taking a pole dancing class, I was nervous to suck at something new, and indeed I did not really get the hang of most of it LOL but it was fun giving it a try and I was able to meet someone cool along the process. We also did zumba at a dance studio, I’ve done zumba before at work but it was intimidating to do it at an actual dance studio and I hope maybe one day I will have the courage to suck at something new again and come back for their choreography classes.

…And my therapy journey continues! I feel like I’ve been speed dating therapists lol but it has been quite insightful trying out different therapists as each have been quite a different experience. I feel thankful for my company benefit to give me the chance to browse and try. This month I decided to try meeting with an asian american therapist in hopes to feel more seen and understood. I wouldn’t necessarily say I had a bad experience, but I didn’t enjoy it as much in comparison to another session I had with another therapist. I won’t go too in the weeds about this, but while I think everyone deserves a 2nd chance, I also don’t think it’s worth forcing something to work out either. And I think I’ve had enough of a positive experience with another therapist than to keep trying to make this one work out just because we come from a similar cultural background. Something I’ve found empowering, whether it be in therapy or in my day to day life, has been being honest about how I feel. So I recently had a big presentation and I openly kicked off by saying I am both excited and nervous to share this. When I was upset about something a therapist said to me, I openly admitted I may be sensitively reacting. When I had ill thoughts about someone, I admitted it may be stemming from my selfishness. Openly admitting not so glamorous feelings such as nervousness, sensitivity, or selfishness in conversation with others wasn’t something I used to do, and it’s not something I always do because its uncomfortable lol but at the same time I found it quite freeing to be doing this more this month. It made me feel like I am allowed to be feeling these emotions even if they are not attractive, whether its nervousness, sensitivity, or selfishness. I didn’t have to always sugarcoat a story, I felt more genuine.  

Lastly ending the entry and my month with a bang, after over half a year of planning and formal processes -- I am happy to receive the news that I got the promotion I was going for. There was no guarantee and I was afraid not so much of a potential rejection, but how I would respond to my manager sharing the rejection, how could I react in an understanding and kind way? Luckily I didn’t have to, and that my manager shared only positive news. As ecstatic as I am, it’s currently led to a lot of thoughts. From what I will strive for next in career, may it be continuing to level up in this function or trying something new next. And shamelessly but admittedly, it’s also led to some darker thoughts as well. As I was researching the promotion process and collecting data (lol) as well as reaching out to mentors (shoutout to my og mentors fr especially one that I haven’t spoken to in years but continues to jump on and be supportive, I’m so lucky) I learned a lot about formal promotion processes at large enterprises and it had me thinking a lot, from who else on my team may have attempted a promotion but did not receive it? Did I make someone unhappy with my promotion? I received a mix of genuine congratulations, but also as more attention and shoutouts from leadership is coming in (which feels good) it’s also bittersweet, because now I wonder if there are people who feel upset. I also feel undeserving in a sense that I feel like some people work harder than me, and I could have worked harder in all honesty lol. Lots of thoughts coming in. While I put in the work and I’m fortunate to have a supportive manager, I genuinely think I got the promotion because I spoke up early and had amazing mentors who taught me a lot about how to play the corporate game. I don’t think it would’ve happened if I didn’t speak up, nor if I didn’t have my mentors to provided insight in their own corporate promotion experiences to help me best position myself. As this promotion was one of my goals for 2024 and since I reached out, I went in my wishlist and bought myself a gift - a vivienne westwood necklace. I’ve been eyeing it for quite some time, but to prevent myself from freely spending lol + motivators to work on my goals, I decided to create a wishlist for 2024 along with milestones and goals to reach before buying something. It’s been working quite well actually, I feel like now that I make my own money, it’s easy to just make purchases because I want to, but then things start to get blurry bc I just end up being down for a lot of things lol. This wishlist reminded me of the feeling of ‘earning’ something I bought. This Vivienne Westwood necklace reminded me to revisit one of my favorite stories, Nana. I refer to it often every now and then in my entries, but for this current entry -- I guess in time with the topic of career -- it’s really had me thinking of the power of stories. How I always loved stories and the power of storytelling. How the story of Nana and the book Educated (which I finished this month) have the power to inspire me when reading, but also continue to inspire and have key takeaways over time, really got me seeing how dynamic I can make my career if I put my mind to it. I joke, but who knows - maybe one day I’ll finally write a book. I don’t think my own story is anything special so I am not sure if I’ll write a memoir, but I always had a love for the written word, and this month I’ve left more inspired than ever to create a life where I can tackle all my interests. I hope one day I can write a book that leaves readers feeling empowered. 

My pick of the month: Classpass

Love a good workout, and classpass’s free trial is probably one of the best I’ve seen -- but what I’ve been enjoying most about this month of classpass is that it motivated me to both: 1) get outside my comfort zone and try something new despite being bad at it and 2) give previous classes a second chance and find a new love for it (soulcycle I’m looking at you). It’s also been gratifying how I could share these memories with Ashley as well. 

January was a month of sorts, productive yet also a pause. Being in a car accident was unfortunate and lowkey ptsd remains when I drive, but what good came out of it was being more appreciative of life and my 2 weeks of not having a car forced me to get around by other means and take a pause to notice other things around me. I have a new appreciation for it and will probably incorporate more public commute moments every now and then. I can’t believe it’s already February and while the month has only just begun, it already seems like it’ll fly by in a flash with Lunar New Year, seeing Mahalia live, and Jin visiting SF. How gratifying is it in life to have festivities to look forward to. I can’t wait for this month’s festivities and I hope y’all have a wonderful month too :)

Chat soon next month,

— Stephanie 


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