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Quality Time and Mindfulness | Stephanie's April 2024

Happy first Sunday of May! I hope y’all are having a nice weekend and a good past month of April. My April was so eventful and I’m looking forward to reflecting together with you all. (Let’s hope I don’t end up writing an essay again). 

— Stephanie


Lifestyle, Lows, Lessons:

I started the first week of the month with a bang, doing all of my favorite things. Professionally I had signed up for extracurriculars that’s really spiced up my day to day, I’ll chat more about it as it progresses but I’m thrilled to combine my passion for nonprofits and social good in my day to day corporate role. Fitness wise, I’ve gotten even more addicted to Pilates lol not for the exercise itself -- but how it’s really helped me connect my mind with my body, I feel stronger both physically and mentally. And of course my month was filled with heartwarmng connection. 

Pearl was in SF so we had a lil reunion with Sadie, the hours just flew by from our restaurant week event to chatting away the night at Arcana. (It’s funny because on the last week of April, we had a surprise reunion with Sally, o how time has passed since we all met at the internship) That same first April weekend I was also able to celebrate a dear friend of mine Tammie’s birthday, it’s crazy how many years have passed by and birthday’s we’ve celebrated together. How our younger selves once talked about growing up. An old HS friend also Christina W reached out to catch up (we said we’d try to catch up more often but oftentimes months pass us) and I am so glad she did because also yapped the evening away for hours lol. It truly is a privilege to have people from different walks of life, and to be able to still have a mutual connection as we speak no matter how time passes. Instead of feeling drained, it’s something about those people that we spend time with and we’re left feeling even more full on life. It’s not something I take for granted. 

And then came my long awaited, (almost) 2 week trip to LA and reunion with Jin! It’s always a given fun time when we reunite. This trip was truly the gift of time together. This year’s coachella, it was nice spending quality time with Jin and her friends -- not crazy rushing to lines and sets, but just enjoying the vibe, music, and each other’s company. While the lineup could’ve been better, I do appreciate the chill pace of this year as well. We spent the rest of the week WFH together and it was fun integrating our daily lives again, while I enjoy the big events together like Coachella or a trip, I also enjoy the day to day time we get to spend together. Working together, going to yoga classes, eating together while watching netflix, many coffee moments and long talks -- reminds me of our times living together in SB. Enjoying time together regardless of what it is and being able to talk about a multitude of topics, a friendship connection like this I am truly thankful for. I am also thankful to her bf and all her friends the past 2 weeks for being so welcoming to me in LA and allowing me to join in on their usual outings, I likewise enjoyed getting to spend time with them again.

And of course ending my time together with Jin with a bang, celebrating her 26th birthday! It’s an honor to be able to celebrate with her each year and be a part of her life, being able to grow together and separately, and having more memories and experiences together to be thankful for. We talk about this all the time, but it truly is rare to find a friendship where we continue to connect deeper with each passing year, while also genuinely being supportive of one another.

With my LA visits to Jin, I’m also lucky to get to reunite with Pearl and Thuan! Both reunions went better than expected, leaving me more full. I am also grateful for them always driving out to come pick me up and ask me what I want to try, I never have to worry about how I am going to get to where they are because they make an effort to make time for me whenever I’m in town. I think about a lot of the inner work I’ve done (and still have to do) and how I have good friendships in my life and how it’s also due to what energy we let in to our lives and the effort we have to put in as well, so our good friends feel like we are also being a good friend. I derail, but back to the reunions. With Thuan, its interesting to see how our relationship has evolved - from big/little in college to now friends, but a part of me will always feel like an older supportive figure so I was like taken aback when she kept fighting to treat me out lol. In this particular hangout with Pearl, I am not sure how the topics started but I felt understood and it led me to open up. We were supposed to be ‘WFH’ at a cafe but we ended up doing and conversing about so many other things lol from the topic of kindness and compassion, how if we all could be kinder to one another even when it’s tough, it may lead to someone else being kinder to the next person. That is something I recently have been feeling strongly about, how we can all make our world a kinder place if we can be the bigger person at times. I nearly teared up when she told me about the stories of her mother (who is a psychiatrist) and the patients’ stories of underprivileged and resiliency. It made me passionate again about what I want to do in life and also made me feel open to share a bit more about myself to her that I haven’t before. To end the day with a bang, I didn’t expect to reawaken my inner child and love for creativity by writing song lyrics about everything that was on my mind that day. Pearl and I joke about this (but not really) that we will come together and create a song next time lol.

As high as this month was, reality is filled with ambivalence and duality. I had known my grandma gotten more ill in April prior to my trip, but reality made an explicit appearance the day I flew back in SF -- my grandmother was admitted to the ER early that morning. I had flown back to SF around 7am and after a couple hours of rest, I found myself visiting her with my mom in the ER and communicating to nurses and doctors about her condition, and my family coming to me in how to make decisions. While unfortunate and upsetting, interestingly I am taking the whole situation a bit better this time around. Perhaps it’s been the impact of mindfulness in my life, but I am upset not at the situation but just worried for my mother and family seeing my grandmother like this, and I am not resentful about having to help out the family. We don’t have to force ourselves to try to see the bright side of the situation we are in, but we can still accept it and move forward in life. 


My pick of the month: Mindfulness

I’m not sure how but somehow this month I’ve really attracted mindfulness in my life. It is this mindfulness that makes me enjoy the moments of this month even more, appreciate the people in my life, and not get so down on a bad day. 

From taking my favorite Pialtes instructor’s class who always creates time for us to reflect, to the books I’ve been reading, to even random takeaways from things I’ve watched lol -- pasting a couple quotes from the month I’ve really enjoyed. 

“To forgive is to grieve—for what happened, for what didn’t happen—and to give up the need for a different past. “
“I wanted to show the nuances of the human condition, really. I wanted to show that people are a mixture of good and bad and I think stalker stories usually tend to be one person is good, one person is bad. And I wanted to kind of get away from that.”
“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”

With all that has happened in April, I had a fulfilling month. Even on the not so good news, it was overall such an eventful month filled with love and people. Thank you for reflecting with me and I am wishing everyone even better days ahead ~

Chat soon in June,



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