I feel blessed to live another year. It's a year that has been filled with many life lessons. It's the first time that I've stayed put in my house for an extended period of time and only stepped foot outside to run errands or walk my dog. Social distancing and limiting interactions with people, including my immediate family, have been such a huge lifestyle change. I have seen so many friends not following these guidelines which had put me in an awkward position. I felt like a bad person for not attending birthday or baby shower celebrations with 15+ people without a mask in sight. But, hey, I'd rather not catch COVID-19 and risk passing it on to someone else. We still don't know the long-term effects of this virus. It's like that quote I saw before that the people who are actually following the rules are normally the same person doing all the work in a group assignment. That is how I have felt all year. Nonetheless, I'm finally vaccinated and things are looking up. I hope we will reach herd immunity by the end of the year, and we can return to normal social activities again.
These are such strange times we are living in. Who knew this global pandemic would have lasted this long? Who knew we'd get more involved in social activism to speak up and out about BLM and Stopping Asian Hate? Being an advocate for social justice and equity came at a cost of friendships, which is still quite surprising to me. Everything nowadays has become so political and controversial. I got into TikTok thinking that the content was just all dancing but learned that it's actually an underrated app. I'm constantly getting inspired, educated, and entertained by real people around the world. The rawness and authenticity of the content people are sharing is what makes me so glued to this app. Cryptocurrencies continue to rise in popularity, and many normal people are becoming investors and building generational wealth. I think it's pretty cool to see how quickly the world is changing. We are living in such dynamic times and inventing new products and services that we've never dreamed of having before. Working-from-home or telecommuting has become the norm for many corporations and businesses. 3 years ago, I had hoped for a telecommute position and it seems that my wish has finally came true. I love saving time and money from not having to get ready and commute and having that freedom and flexibility to incorporate more breaks and eating more home cooked meals. It's been a positive life change.
By 26, I bought my first house.
By 30, I traveled to over 16 countries.
By 31, I got my master's degree, graduated from a leadership program, and became a senior-level in my position.
At 33 years old, I am still not where I want to be in my life. I know that's hard to believe because I am what you call "success". I've always been so laser focused on "what's next" that I haven't taken the time to truly appreciate the simple pleasures in life and nurture the relationships around me. I have struggled to live in the moment and practice gratitude daily. I've kept wanting to build onto a foundation that's already been built. I am experiencing the "refugee reflex" which is the constant need to survive. So, success to me is currently being redefined.
I'm thankful for the opportunity to reflect and see how I want to take the next few years of my life. This has been a huge turning point for many people around the world. For me, I don't want to miss the moment to live a happier and more fulfilling life.
If you've made it this far, thanks for taking the time to read about my birthday reflection.
Cheers to another year older & wiser,
It's crazy how quickly one year goes by even during a pandemic. Celebrating my birthday this year was drastically different from the previous year in a sense that I'm dealing with so many surprising life changes. I am grateful for my mom and sisters for being in my life and making me feel special over the birthday weekend. I kept myself busy with community events, like attending the UW KhSA's Khmer New Year celebration and the White Center Seattle Swap Meet. Jasmine & I hosted our first live podcast show, and our mom got to sell some of her homemade snacks and desserts to help raise money for kcskc.org.
Due to being drained from all of the weekend activities, I decided to take the whole day off from work on my actual birthday to relax and hang out with my pup. That's how I usually roll. I love to treat myself once in awhile. On the 1st Monday of each month, the Selfie Museum in Downtown Seattle welcomes furry babies, so I thought to myself, "why not have some fun & preserve the memories of turning 33?"
On this past gloomy, rainy and cold Monday, my dog and I set off to Pike Place Market to trek through the gum wall and explore everything that the Selfie Museum had to offer. We were lucky that it wasn't busy and only ran into a few people during our 1-hour block. I would highly recommend bringing a tripod for your camera phone, which made it so much easier for me to take photos. There were two separate levels with about 18 different backdrops. It's a cool place to go to with family and friends and capture colorful and vibrant photos. It's definitely worth going to at least once!
At the end of the day, I picked up some sushi for dinner at a restaurant called Bentoya Goemon. Originally, I wanted to order this amazingly prepared bento box and have a picnic at the Washington Park Arboretum but this is what us Seattleites have to deal with all the time. On the next rare warm and sunny day, I'll make sure to have a do over!