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Turning 26 | Jin’s April 2024

I turned 26 this month! Ahhhhh How does time fly so fast! Here's a little recap of my life:


Lifestyle: What I've Been Up To

Stephanie in LA

Stephanie did her annual visit for my birthday and her second year doing Coachella with me. I can't say how grateful I am for her and our friendship over the past few years. They say long-distance friends are hard to upkeep but I feel like our friendship beats a lot of odds - even from how it began! They say you won't find your best friend at college orientation, but here we are. I know people say that because the chance is rare, but I also know our friendship only blossoms because we're constantly watering it. So, thank you, Stephanie for taking care of our friendship I'm also hoping I'm doing and I can't wait for our next trip together.


My third annual Coachella recap:


This year was truly so chill as the schedules of artists we wanted to see weren't as back-to-back as in previous years. It also helped that everyone we went with had already been to Coachella before as well as the record-low sales, which made it feel less packed. Some highlights were - Lana, Bebe Rexha, Lesserafim, ISO Knock2, & Sabrina Carpenter.


I could not have gone to Coachella with a better group of friends. We were all caring and had so much fun together. It was also my first time going with a boyfriend and it was so much fun! I loved how nicely everyone got along together. I can't wait to be back next year with the same group of friends!


I turned 26 this month. I didn't want to have to plan anything this month and it worked out great because my boyfriend decided to plan a little get-together for a celebration. It turned out to be the most intimate group that I've ever done for a celebration but I quite enjoyed it! We ended up going to Chichi, which I've been meaning to check out and I had so much fun playing the games. My boyfriend also ended up surprising me with a Cinnamoroll cake and it truly was the cutest cake ever. I felt so loved and blessed.

We also did a birthday freebie day where we wanted to get all the birthday freebies on my actual day. The best thing I got from the day was the boiling point hot pot (free pot + drink)! It was honestly so much fun and exactly what I've been wanting to do forever. Overall, I had so much fun celebrating.


I ended up getting a raise this month at work. It's because I ended up getting another job offer but my current company was able to make a counteroffer. Although it was not an exact match, I realized that I would be happier to stay in my current job. I truly feel like I found my group of people at work this year. They are such supportive gals and I know it's hard to come across such genuine coworkers that get along so well together but also work so well together. They also surprised me with a card and gifts at work, which went a long way and I felt so appreciative.


Lows: Birthday Gloom

It's been a while since I truly got the birthday gloom, but for some reason, it hit hard this year. I remember driving back to my apartment after the full day of birthday freebies and I couldn't help myself from crying. Why did I cry? It was truly a mix of emotions - feeling grateful and loved by my friends, not wanting the day to be over, sad over getting older, and just a weird sense of sadness that I wasn't sure where it was coming from. My boyfriend was in the car when I was crying and I appreciated that he didn't think I was crazy and just tried to comfort me. I ended up staying over at his apartment because I wasn't ready to let the night end and go back to normal by myself. Although it was as simple as watching a Korean drama at night, it comforted me to have him do the simple things. I also ended up going to a cafe with him on Monday, which was the best Monday I've had in a while. Therefore, I'm so thankful to have him cheer me up and make the end of my birthday celebrations a happy one.


Lessons: Everything I've Learned at 26


My frontal lobe fully developed at 25, so what happens at 26? I would say my confidence in myself grew a lot at 26. I put a lot of time and effort into myself and I think it's truly starting to pay off. It's the most confident and comfortable I've felt with my body, thanks to the hours I put into going to yoga. It's the most confident I feel at work, thanks to my hard work that's paid off with the promotion and raise in the past year. It's the most confident I feel with how I look because I know what I like and what suits me. It's the most confident I feel with my friendships because I know I surround myself with people who truly love me and wish the best for me as I do for them. It's the most confident I feel when I don't constantly feel like I have to compare myself to others or my peers. Overall, there's been a lot of growth in confidence. Now I think it's something I can continue working on and there'll be days where I don't love myself. However, I have to acknowledge the immense growth I've had within myself through my hard work on working on myself.


My boyfriend truly came out of nowhere in my life and now he's someone I can't imagine my life without. I honestly didn't think I was going to ever find love again, but I'm so happy that I was able to keep myself open. It's been hard and scary to be vulnerable again, but I also realize so much strength and power it comes with.

As I've said before, I've been miss independent & miss don't need no mans. Therefore, I try to do things by myself instead of leaning on others (which I'm learning to do a lot more of). But, he truly taught me the power of leaning on others and allowing him to help me out whether it's small or big. A good example is when he stayed with me after my birthday freebies day because I was feeling the birthday gloom. He truly made me feel better that night as well as the next day. I would've normally just suppressed my emotions and maybe just cry by myself in my room lol but by deciding to let it out to him, he truly helped me to feel better.


As I mentioned, I know I surround myself with good friends. I'm so glad I have so many ranges of friendships. I have friends who will go watch a movie with me on a weekday after long work days. I also have friends who will fly and celebrate my birthday with me. I have friends with whom I can catch up over a meal. I truly feel like I've solidified my friendships over the years so I'm so happy to see it get even stronger as times pass. Overall, I'm so glad I have friends who reciprocate back the energy and who truly want to know what I've been up to.


I would not be where I am without my family. Although I spend a lot less time together after moving out, I try to make time for them when I can. I still treasure family time so much and try to plan family trips throughout the year. I think we might have one coming up in May for my dad's birthday so I'm so excited for it!


I still struggle with imposter syndrome, but it's still the most confident I've been at work. I know what I'm doing on a day-to-day basis, yet there's still so much to learn. I'm so thankful that my manager is also so kind and inviting. She's always helping me to grow in my career and helps expand my knowledge. My coworkers and I also get along so well and I'm so thankful to have them so we can struggle together at times. I did not think I would be at the place I am even a year ago so I'm so happy for the growth I've been able to experience through luck, hard work, and confidence.


Songs on Repeat:

Top Songs -

26 - Lauv
Espresso - Sabrina Carpenter

My Pick of the Month: Boiling Point

I keep telling everyone about this but Boiling Point gives out free hot pot and drink on your birthday (has to be your actual birthday and you don't need to sign up for anything, just show your driver's license)! It's quite the best deal ever and I can't wait to make this my annual birthday event (until they get rid of the deal). So yum!


This month was truly filled with so much love from everyone in my life. It's honestly getting scary getting older, but I'm also so excited for what it comes with - more wisdom and confidence. I would not be where I am without all the people in my life so thank you to anyone and everyone who's made me feel special, feel like I belonged, and feel like I should be loved. Cheers to 26.

Talk to you next month,

-- Jin


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