Sunday, January 31, 2016

'embrace feeling stupid.'

At the end of every year, I'm pretty convinced I haven't really learned anything. Which isn't true. There are "big picture" lessons I do take away from the year, but I often forget some of the other details of a week or month, lessons I should be taking with me as the year progresses.

So I'm going to start keeping an advice log for myself on this blog because it'll hold me accountable to not fall into the same old traps and the same old pity parties that generally tend to grab onto me and drag me down halfway through the year.

Also, blogging and writing is good for me. It makes me go less crazy in a day, and it also helps me sort out the thoughts that I tend to word vomit at Kristen every day.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

'mark my words.'

Do you ever feel taken advantage of because people assume you aren't a leader? Or they look down on you because of your age, gender, ethnicity, etc.? In those instances, what would you do?

Or, rather, WWMKD ("What Would Mindy Kaling Do?") -- the answer, which I've found upon some Googling, is this:
"I love women who are bosses and who don’t constantly worry about what their employees think of them. I love women who don’t ask, 'Is that OK?' after everything they say. I love when women are courageous in the face of unthinkable circumstances, like my mother when she was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. Or like Gabrielle Giffords writing editorials for the New York Times about the cowardice of Congress regarding gun laws and using phrases like 'mark my words' like she is Clint Eastwood. How many women say stuff like that?"
So... it's nice to be liked, but it's not so nice to get walked all over. Time to grow some thicker skin.

Monday, January 25, 2016

it's not you, it's me.

I'm dreadful at responding to phone calls, text messages, emails, etc. from people. You'd assume I'd be right on top of things because having a cluttered inbox makes me anxious and I've bullied my staff into responding to emails ASAP.

But in my personal life, the graveyard of unanswered messages is my biggest shame. Not because I don't want to respond. Often times, I'll read something and then forget to write back. Or, I'll tell myself I'll "get to it later," but then get distracted by something else so incredibly mundane, you'd wonder how I'm able to put my shoes on the correct feet every morning (except for this morning, when I put on one snow boot and started pulling on a regular boot on the other foot -- oops).

You're probably thinking, "Geez, why don't you STOP BLOGGING and write everyone back," and you're probably right that I could be spending my time more wisely. I think, when it comes to answering all of the people I've now unfortunately neglected because I'm a dummy, I want to make sure I set aside the right amount of time to be thoughtful with my responses to them. I want to make sure I have something witty or heartfelt to write. I want to do more than send three sentences and a smiley face emoji, like I'd been doing for the past six months because I haven't yet figured out what "work/life balance" means.

Also, even though I didn't really make 2016 resolutions, one of the things I've been trying to do in my life lately has been to admit when I'm wrong or bad at something and not make excuses for it. Just...acknowledge, apologize, and find a way to fix it.

Anyways. I have a communication problem. I'll be better, I promise.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

what I watched: 'meet the patels.'

Disclaimer: OK, so ... I don't know if I'm going to blog about every film I watch, re: this year's movie-watching goal, but I'm going to try. These aren't even really "reviews," more like... reactions. With a coffee cup-inspired rating at the end. I'm not a film critic, I just have opinions.

Meet the Patels is one of those films where you know the tensions, and you can probably assume how it will end. But even if you're right, it's still one of the most delightful journeys to go on because you've become drawn into the hearts of the characters you get to know through the camera.

Although my own family has never been one to pile pressure on regarding marriage (although my mom did say half-jokingly to my grandma last year that neither my sister nor I were going to get married, causing complete panic and anxiety in my poor 92-year-old grandma's heart), I definitely get the cultural conversations in the film. Like how parents don't want you to date at all while you're in school because "it's a distraction," but then the second you're in the working world they want to know why you aren't married yet? Been there.

When I was little, my parents used to say things like, "Just marry a Chinese boy. It'll make things easier."

"What do you mean easier??" I used to ask.

Their answer: "He will understand our food, our traditions."

It was like we were on another planet.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

'yes, thank you.'

I'm better at giving compliments than receiving them -- not that I receive a ton, nor do I necessarily want many. A "good job" once in awhile is always nice to hear, but anything more makes me uneasy.

This truly isn't me fishing more compliments, if that's what it sounds like. I've been thinking about this topic for the last month or so, and then today I had a meeting with a lovely individual that ended in her saying wonderfully complimentary things and my gut reaction was to say anything but "thank you."

Why is it so hard sometimes to just say "thank you"? I think a few reasons go through my brain when someone says something complimentary: "I don't deserve that," "Is he/she sincere?," "I can't look like I just agree with the compliment because it'll make me look cocky."

Sunday, January 17, 2016

watch this: 'crazy ex-girlfriend.'

Confession: my biggest pop culture-related regret of 2015 was not watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend from the start.

So, if you know me, you know I'm terrible at keeping up with television shows. Sometimes it's because I forget. Other times, I'm not home. I also don't really know how to use the DVR in my apartment (I know, I know). I often will watch season/series premieres, and then wait until weekends to catch up online on what I've missed.

Truthfully, I didn't tune into Crazy Ex-Girlfriend when it premiered in October on The CW because -- well, I couldn't really grasp what the show was about. The subway ads and the trailers that ran before web videos didn't capture my attention. Also, October was the month where all I did was wake up, work, go home, work, fall asleep while doing work...

The buzz kept growing for the show, and I kept putting the show on my "to watch" list, but didn't get around to actually watching until the Thanksgiving episode which featured a Filipino-American Thanksgiving. I found the show charming (My kind of dry humor! And it's partially a musical too! How could I not love it!) and bought the iTunes season pass for the show and made a mental note to binge-watch it.

After a lot of procrastination, I finally finished watching the eight episodes released this past weekend, and good Lord -- why did I wait this long to finish it??

My three main takeaways:

Sunday, January 10, 2016

how not to network.

I'm no stranger to people getting close to me because they want something. This isn't a "I'm so successful in my career, everyone wants to be me" blog post, nor do I think that at all. But I get it -- if you have the ability to talk with someone who has a career path you're interested in pursuing, then you'd want to pick their brain, ask for opportunities, etc.

But the one thing that really pisses me off is when people try to take advantage of that.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

'make it by any means.'

When I got my first paycheck from Albertsons in college, my mom deposited the check in my account, withdrew a dollar, and framed it. She did this with my sister's first paycheck to, and said it'd be something we would want to look back on someday. "So you remember where you came from," she said.

I made $7.60 an hour pushing grocery carts and cleaning bathrooms. It wasn't glamorous, but I was 18 and I needed a job so I wouldn't have to go to my parents for every single expense: for school supplies or for that extra coffee. We had loans for tuition already, and I wanted to do my part to contribute, and also to start saving up when I could.

I left that job in January 2008. I hadn't been doing well -- personally, academically, mentally. After a series of events and the right people in my life, three years later by the time I was ready to graduate, everything had changed, and it's been changing ever since.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

oh well.

I wanted so badly for my first blog post of 2016 to be one of reflection and sprinkled with a little bit of hope. There are drafts and ideas jotted down on my phone for several posts -- there's one about my four-year anniversary of having moved to New York, and one about my most-listened-to music according to Spotify from last year. There was also one that was sort of a love letter back to California (I know, I know).

But, nope. This post is going to be how you probably all know me best: full of anxiety, insomnia, and too many thoughts to fit into my brain in a proper and orderly fashion.

I mean... we're barely into the new year and about 45 minutes ago I've just had my first "crying because you're too stressed and frustrated to do anything else" moment.

I wish I could say my New Year's Resolution is to put my foot down more. To be confident. To stand up for my work. To stand up for my ideas.

To basically prove to everyone who's suggested over the last six months I'm un-fucking-qualified to do what I'm doing that they're wrong.

Whatever. Here's a list of things that make I'm currently doing to make me happy when I'm feeling blue:
  • Binge-watching favorite shows (old and new -- I just blew through The Comeback)
  • Watching something I know will make me laugh (currently switched to: The Late Late Show)
  • Talking to Kristen
  • Drinking water 
OK. I'm fine.