Wow hi there, I can’t believe it’s December aka end of the year already. It’s so fitting that November is when thanksgiving takes place because I sure had so much to be thankful for this month (and year). Here’s the breakdown -- Stephanie
Each week of this month was such a different lifestyle! I started the month catching up with old work friends, then had a nice bday weekend getaway with Jin, had a friendsgiving, and then ended the month with my Family for thanksgiving weekend. I must say, a very fulfilling month with people I care about.
Work wise, since it’s November, I finally started going back in office. It’s nice that so far I get to choose what day and I’ve only been going in on Tuesdays. I was super anxious I must say (and I still do get anxious every now and then) but I did have some specific call outs to share. On my very first day back, I had to pick up an ID badge and while in the waiting room some random stranger sparked up a convo with me. I didn’t think much of it but now that I’ve been going in for a month, I’m very thankful for this stranger turned friend I can hit up each week. Another call out was my second week back. I knew my manager and most of the people I work with would not be in and I really wanted to back out but I also said I would come in Tuesdays and I don’t like backing down on my word, so I went. And it felt like even though I was in a room with people on my floor, I felt like I was stranded on my own lil island by myself. I didn’t like that feeling so I ping’d someone I rarely rarely knew but just wanted to say hi in person if they were in. This person ended up going to my desk and introducing me to the whole floor, I’m so thankful for his kind gesture. While i’m not tight with anyone he introduced me too, it made me feel included and seen. The rest of the Tuesdays after were fine as I grasped my groove, to just throw myself out there, and that even if I feel like I’m on an island, my efforts are enough to keep me company. With that being said, I do hope we remain hybrid and not full in office work weeks.
[Here is a collage of my work fits just bc I had images at hand so why not share them lol]
Friendships wise, I had a very eventful month! I turned 23 and I try not to make a big deal out of my birthday, but this year I got to celebrate with friends which made it extra special. I finally tried omakase, I was able to revisit Cheesecake factory with Ashley (haven’t been here since HS!) and to top it off with a mini getaway with Jin. Jin ended up coming to SF and we went out with my friend Diana (a v eventful night, too eventful that I’ll always remember), a mini trip to Napa, and then San Jose/Great America. It means so much to me when people spend their time to hangout with me, especially post-grad because everyone’s on their own journey. I’m super thankful that Jin made her way up here :)
[Pictured above: Fun times with Jin :') ]
Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving. Always reminders how lucky I am to have a family and friends to celebrate with :) I drove for the first time with a friend and we went all the way to Brentwood to celebrate friendsgiving, I must say I was also v anxious because I’ve never driven a friend and I feel very responsible for their lives which is scary. Brentwood was also kinda far (tho not terribly far) but far enough where I was anxious. However all went well and I had such a fun weekend. I drove Tammie back home and then I was left all alone to drive myself home from Daly City to SF which doesn’t sound like much but let me tell u I’ve been licensed for 4 years (yes 4 lol) and I was never allowed to drive myself so this was a big deal for me and I am glad all went well. Here’s to growing :) As for thanksgiving I had hotpot with my family and then went shopping in person for the first time in ages. Both were just great reminders on how I’m thankful to have family to thank and celebrate with during these pauses.
[more fun mems above :) ]
1. Feeling like I’m on a stranded island
I briefly mentioned this in the beginning of this entry but its the same low. Coming in a filled room of people in office, yet feeling lonely on my own island. Though I have slowly built my mini village here so I am not that sad anymore!
2. A Good work-friend leaving
The person who was so kind and introduced me to everyone, ended up leaving the company this month. I didn’t expect this and wish we had been friends earlier or that he’d stay longer. While professionally I am sad he is leaving, personally I am happy for him to have found his next play.
3. Passive Aggressive
This is not a piece I feel comfortable publicly sharing since it does involve someone I’d rather not name, but this month was a lot of navigating how to communicate with this person respectfully but still standing up for myself
This month, what i’ve listed below here is not so much lessons but more or so reminders
1. Quality time is important (and not easy to have)
This month was A LOT of quality time with quality people. I love it. And I feel so thankful to have had it. From reuniting with Jin, my work/elementary/high school friends, to my family -- it was so nice having quality time with everyone. And it goes both ways, I feel thankful for those that made time to spend time with me. Blocking off time for people doesn’t cost any money, but it is so hard to actually follow through with because of all the things that come up in life, so I am truly so thankful for the quality time I was able to get this month.
2. People love thank you’s (and it doesn’t hurt to send them!)
On Thanksgiving weekend I like to write up emails to everyone who helped me out professionally, and this ranges from people I see as mentors and are tight with to people I only spoke to once for 30 mins. With that being said, I was surprised to see responses! Especially those from the people I only spoke to once, many months ago. I wrote these emails because I truly am thankful to these people, but I was super happy to hear that my email made their day. Kindness doesn’t cost much, and it doesn’t hurt anyone, so extend kindness if you can.
3. You really never know how someone is feeling on the inside (so don’t assume, and be kind)
This month there was actually two people who left the company. One was the guy I just started getting close to, and another was a distant team member (who I enjoyed meeting a while back). Neither had attitude or many days off or delayed work, they were kind and did what was assigned to them with a smile. Sometimes you assume someone is leaving but these two, I really didn’t see it coming. And with that being said, you really never know what is going on with someone’s life and how they’re feeling on the inside! I think this goes beyond work but to just never assume and be kind because you never know how your kindness will reach someone. This ties with my point #2, but this month really emphasized to me the importance of kindness.
4. You will find a way to smile :)
This month I was anxious about returning to office, and when I did I felt so out of place and unseen. I didn’t enjoy it and I ping’d that kind person, and little by little my island is starting to feel like a village/community. Tbh I was lucky, that guy I ping’d could’ve ignored my message and I could’ve felt even worse instead of feeling better. With that being said, because I took a chance of luck and just put myself out there, I was lucky and found a way to smile. And maybe that’s what we need sometimes, even if we get rejected or sad, (much easier said than done but) to keep putting ourselves out there because as long as we do, we will find a way to smile :)
When this person left, he asked I be in charge of finishing leading his product meetings for one particular feature launch. For context, I am not a Product Manager (which is his role). I do parts of Product Marketing, which is a whole different role than Product Management. With that being said, I took on his offer and I will say I was very intimidated (still am) and again anxious and scared. He told me he gave me this opportunity so I will be at the forefront of the technical teams and they will be forced to know me (I never told him I initially felt lonely, but perhaps he had a feeling). After he shared that, I couldn’t back down. SO I went for it and I held the first meeting and while I barely knew the people at this meeting, nor what super technical things they were saying, it wasn’t so bad. This is a new domain for me (which I probably wont transition into lol) but it was nice having a change of pace and that the new product manager kept bringing my name up instead of disregarding/speaking over me. I was scared for this, but I found a way to smile and even get excited for it. And slowly build my technical village too, it’s all about the perspective :)
My overall message here is that even if life throws anxiety inducing things at
you, you have the power to make yourself find a way to smile :)
My pick of the month: Turning 23!
It’s the only time of the year I can be narcissistic and choose myself for my pick of the month so that is what I will do! LOL. Jokes aside, turning 23 was such a high this month because I got the chance to do so many fun activities and spend quality time with quality people. Wouldn’t trade these memories for a thing :’)
I had such a gratitude filled month you all! I am thankful for all aspects of life. From my personal life and friends I got to catch up with, from my family who has always been by my side, from the amazing mentors I have in guiding my career, and to the new friends I made at work. I was reflecting how one year ago while I was thankful for family and friends, I wasn’t able to see a lot of people due to covid, and I was terribly fearful at work (afraid I wasn’t good enough, afraid I would underperform, etc). And me this thanksgiving, able to see my close friends and family in person, and being able to face work situations without that terrible fear and instead find a way to smile, is more gratifying than I can put into words.
And of course, to say we’ve been doing KPC for OVER a year is an amazing feat. I look forward to sharing more updates with you all next month. Happy belated Thanksgiving and thank you for hanging out with me and my journey!