At every monthly reflection I keep thinking about how fast the month passed. July did indeed go by fast, yet as I look back, it also felt long. Maybe because a whole variety of emotions and situations experienced, or the variety of things that went on each week, something about eventful days can feel both fast and slow. Here’s the recap on how my July went down. -- Stephanie
I started off the first week of July with a nice week off! Thanks to my employer, we had a summer week of shutdown. Something I definitely appreciate and do not take for granted. I decided to spend that week with my family, road tripping down California to Las Vegas. While I always went on trips with my family growing up, and we’ve been to Las Vegas various times, this one was different. It was a mix of driving with my dad for once, instead of him always doing all of the lifting, which in return not only helped my family but also gave me more experience. This trip was also much more of my sister and I planning, splitting things, instead of our parents. It was like roles reversed and we’re bringing them places while they follow. It was a feeling of growth and that we can take our parents on trips now.
Aside from the feeling of growth, it was also nice to just have family time. Yes we all are based in SF, but we’re often occupied on our phone or something else. This trip helped us all stay present with one another, and to enjoy the time I currently have with them because I don’t know when the day will come for it to end. A lot of people at work asked me about my summer shut down week once we returned, and the more I answered, the more I truly am grateful for the time I have with family to go on these trips and enjoy one another's' presence while we’re still able to.
To top it off, Jin also had a family trip to Vegas planned for that same weekend so we were able to have a mini reunion! Like mini mini, 6 hours mini -- but always a fun time with never ending conversations. It’s like we never left off and can have fun with just about anything anywhere. I am very thankful for this overlap!
When I came back from shutdown the first week of July, work was on full speed this month which was to be expected. We actually had a new team member join and so I am no longer the newest person on the team. It’s strange to say I am 4 months in, I feel both old and still new at the same time.
After about 3 months, my grandmother finally returned home at the beginning of July. So after we came back from our trip, my family and I have actually been visiting my grandma once a week or bi weekly. It’s been nice seeing her mood go up vs when she was in the hospital, and how excited she is to see us and talk to us. This was another moment that humbled me, to really enjoy the current time I have with loved ones because who knows when and what might happen. When she fell ill in March, we definitely did not expect her to be hospitalized for months after, especially as I always saw my grandma as a strong character. It was also my dad’s birthday in mid-July, and it felt nice celebrating him the way he’d celebrate us as kids. This month really showed me how much everyone means to me.
I feel like this lifestyles section can go on and on with random topics for this month. So bear with me as you read this messy entry.
When I came back form shut down, I was able to catch up with my usual go to's Ashley and Sadie, but I was also able to catch up with three friends I usually don't see as regularly. I didn't think much of it, maybe because these friends are more of the ones I see irregularly and I thought they thought the same. However when I hung out with them on two separate hangouts, I was surprised both were quite long (if anything stalling to make the hangout last even longer) and ended up in spontaneously making more plans. In both hangouts it was nice hearing how my friends were, and I think especially since I don't consistently see them, I didn't expect them to share so much about their lives with me, the good, but also the bad. It makes me happy when people feel comfortable opening up to me, I like making people feel heard and I also am just genuinely curious on how they're doing and feeling. All three of my friends are a couple years post-grad now and something else that was a recurring theme I heard in both hangouts was how lonely they can feel while living in the city in their mid-20s, even when surrounded by people. I didn't expect these friends to get so raw and real with me since I didn't think we were that close, but these hangouts showed me the power of my weaker ties and how I enjoy spending my time hanging out with a mix of these good friends vs always with my go-to's and best friends.
This month I also picked up reading a fiction book, Verity. I haven’t read for fun in a while, so I had extra fun reading this one. It was a nice break from the usual things I read, mostly for educational purposes. I loved the process of getting hooked on a story, guessing what’s going to happen next, and discussing open ended endings with friends after. I very much enjoy debriefing after a read, so a thank you to Jin for the book recc and discussion after.
This month, I surprisingly came across a lot of tiktok videos about crime in the city, which I kind of became desensitized to after the pandemic but it seems like there’s a flare again. Additionally, a very random short story during my time in Vegas. One morning I was gambling with my mom at this one machine at my hotel lobby and I noticed a strange man was eyeing our machine. Then, after Jin and I separated our ways, I decided to go back to that same machine at my hotel lobby to play some more. I again notice a suspicious man. I am not sure if it is the exact same man so I was just making assumptions. However I started to feel very uncomfortable when he kept staying nearby, but not using any of the machines, and the machine area was a bit to the side so I decided to just get up and leave because my gut feeling was telling me to do so. That is all end of the story but thought I’d share. Nothing bad happened that night and maybe there really was nothing to be afraid of, but I am glad I listened to my gut feel.
No sparks and Walking away
So I have been off Hinge for half a year or so now, but during my reunion with Jin we decided to be open minded so I went back on and talked to a couple people. There was this one person I matched with who usually isn’t my ‘type’ but he seemed like a really nice guy so I decided to keep talking to him. Many paragraphs of responses later, and a ton of time spent to replying, I felt bad if I didn’t meet up with him because of all the thought put into the messaging -- but at the same time -- the more I talked to this person to be honest, the more different I felt we were -- and the less interested i was because I already wasn’t that attracted to his looks. I know it sounds harsh but that is how I feel. I was at crossroads of trying to be open minded and just meeting this person, because maybe I am the problem with too much expectations. But at the same time there wasn’t a single thing I was really interested in him tbh… conversations were long but dry, we were different in most topics we talked about, and i wasn’t the least attracted in looks.. I felt like I was forcing myself to go once to be open but I also felt like I was doing it out of sympathy. I overall just felt bad on the inside, and if I went I felt like I’d just be wasting both of our times because I just didn’t see a single aspect that would interest me in this guy romantically. He really is a very nice person though, so I decided to reply and be honest that I didn’t think we are compatible and to stop wasting his time. I then started talking to a couple other people, still am, and tbh idk how these are going to go. I don’t need to be mind blown but I do think I deserve to at least find someone who I feel a bit excited about when talking to at least. So I’ll try to keep going until I find that person.
Health and Death
I’ve been facing my own health problems this month, especially when I go to the bathroom but I won’t go too in depth about it. It continues to remind me how important it is to take care of your health, and how more problems will arise as you age.
This month my aunt (dad’s eldest sister) passed away suddenly. This wasn’t expected and while she was old, she was still able and walking. It’s crazy how no symptoms showed a week prior, she was living her normal life, and then a few days later she’d be in the worse pain of her life and pass away. This year my dad was planning on visiting her in Canada too…and he hasn’t seen her in person since 2010. My family and I feel sad about her passing, but I am especially worried about how my dad is taking it in internally. This month continues to humble me about health and those around me.
My pick of the month: Omega Mart
Hands down one of the best experiences I paid for! My sister and I spent 2 hours in here and honestly we could’ve stayed for another 2 hours if not more. Everything at the Omega Mart was so well decorated with crazy attention to detail, and also tons of aesthetic photo spots. For those we do not know about the Omega Mart, it is essentially like a modern museum with a plot. On the outside, it’s disguised as a grocery store, and then you end up going across mazes and doors to solve the mystery, all along seeing the most aesthetic art pieces along the way. I would do this again!
It’s the night before this entry is due and every time I’m doing these reflections late at night, I think about wrapping up soon. But I always somehow end up writing a mini essay here, that goes off in tangents. This was a month with both many highs and lows, but I choose to stay in the high and I hope that means we all have a wonderful month of August. Rooting for y’all!
Cheers until September,