Not sure how to start this post. On Monday evening, dad messaged us that Xiao Quan (XQ), our family cat, has passed away due to illness. It still feels unreal to me and I honestly have no idea how to cope with this. It came too suddenly. He was only 8 years old. And EVERYONE, loves him. And it hurts me so much that I cannot be with my family and share our grief together.
If you’re reading this, and know me personally – this may come as a shock to you, as I probably have not mentioned it, because I don’t know if I’m ready to have a conversation about this yet. I struggled to tell people at work, because honestly I’m not sure if I want all the attention and all the “my heart is breaking for you” messages. I just want to be able to lick my own wound and escape. I know everyone means well, I really do, but as a society, especially in a professional setting, we don’t know how to deal with grief. So part of me wishes I can pretend nothing happened and keep this as a secret – so that I don’t have to expect people to show they care about me personally, and I also don’t have to face the awkward “i’m so sorry for your loss” can messages.
Where do I even begin? I know I tend to say this after every trip, but my recent trip back to Taiwan was truly one of the best. Maybe there wasn’t the excitement of seeing the panoramic volcanic view in Santorini, being surrounded by fairy-tale castles in Prague, or sipping (chugging?) mezcal on a beach in Tulum, this trip left me feeling more centered – I might even say, it helped clarify some questions I’ve been pondering on and is guiding me towards a direction I want to go for my near future.
Sounds unreal? I would argue that’s the power of being “home”. As a TCK (Third Culture Kid, a term used to refer to people raised in a culture other than their parents’ for a significant part of their life) who has lived in various countries and attended schools with people from 50+ different countries, for the longest time I have come to accept that “where are you from” is not an easy question to answer and that I won’t feel 100% fit-in in any culture. Although this sentiment still rings true (for which I feel grateful for and it has hugely shaped who I am today), I can confidently say that I feel much closer to and proud of my Taiwanese heritage. After all, this is where I was born and spent all my childhood years in.
Anyways, I guess I can go on and on about how touched or enlightened I’ve felt on this trip, but for the most part, this trip was so endearing because I got to visit places I frequented as a kid, eat food that brought back my childhood memories, and look through piles of albums that mom neatly created and organized throughout the years.
As mentioned in my recent post, one of my goals this year is to be more purposeful with my time and life outside of work, and spend more time to learn, read, and write about the topics I’m interested in. Recently, I came across some learning opportunities that address how we can pivot our mindset at work (especially as junior members on the team) to help us succeed–and feel happier.
One challenge that I sometimes face at work is how to feel motivated, accomplished and valued, when I work with people who are evidently more experienced than I am. Most of the time, I feel grateful and inspired to work with many smart individuals (this might sound silly, sometimes I even feel my eye light up just observing how brilliant some of my co-workers are…). But I have to admit, it does get to me sometimes and makes me doubt myself. The below tips are inspiring to me, and I’d like to continue to remind myself throughout my career:
I’ve been feeling pretty lazy this weekend, so I thought I’d focus and write a post to feel more productive. (Although – I did do my taxes yesterday and went for a beautiful run this morning, so I should give myself kudos for that ;))
In my last post, I mentioned one of my goals this year is to be more intentional with my time spent outside of work. With all that being said, I probably haven’t been as “intentional” for the past 2 weeks (especially weekends – did I mention I felt pretty lazy this weekend?), and admittedly, one of the reasons is “Terrace House”, a Japanese Reality TV show on Netflix.
Ok, before I lose you here…hear me out for a couple of minutes. First of all, I’ve never written about a TV show before. But the fact that I’m spending time writing this out…you gotta know there’s something more to it.
I’ll admit, when I first heard about this show, I was skeptical. Even after half-watching and skipping through the first few episodes, I was still skeptical, and mentioned to Jimmy that I’d stop watching. But for some reason, I continued to click “Next Episode” to find out what would happen next…
Once in a while, I would come across this blog, and then get lost in nostalgia. I would come across the learnings I’ve shared on this blog from books or workshops, and then realized how relevant they still are in my life. I would come across my travel diaries, and then smiled at the memories that I have almost forgot about. I also remember how motivated I was when Nora and I started this blog together 5 years ago, since we wanted this to be a place where we can continue to share our lives with each other given we live on the opposite coasts.
Recently, a couple of things sparked my interests to start writing again…
Last week, I finally convinced myself to watch the Super Bowl for the very first time. I was never a huge fan of football, but this time- I figured I had to join the bandwagon to support our own Seahawks team! 😉 It was super fun and to be honest, I love how the whole town celebrates together- it just feels so great seeing everyone so happy and so excited for the same thing. 🙂
Another thing I was really looking forward to was the Super Bowl ads. I mean…seriously, I learned about the big deal about Super Bowl in my marketing class (yes, I know this could be a shock to some of you and yes, this is a little embarrassing, but I had to admit it :P) Unfortunately though, I didn’t really get to watch a lot of ads during the game, because people were just too excited even during the commercials (very understandably so ;))! So I decided to go to the Chalk Talk event hosted by AAF Seattle with some of my colleagues and see what the experts had to say about this year’s Super Bowl ads. I was also curious because out of the ones I did see during the game (or online before the game), I wasn’t as impressed as I thought I’d be.
Although thousands of people have already discussed the Super Bowl websites on the internet, and it’s been a week since Super Bowl…I thought I’d still chime in some of my personal opinions:) :
This might sound cheesy, but I just want to make a confession-
As I’ve said to many people, one of my favorite things about my job is the people I work with. And out of all these amazing people, Alice, who works on the same team as I do, has become one of my really close friends. This is something I didn’t expect, but feel so lucky and blessed to have- a colleague that I can call a good friend. 🙂
Anyways, so she knows I’m kind of…a rookie in the kitchen. So after I commented on how good her lunch smells, she typed out her recipe for me- To be honest, I was so touched when I saw this email at work. And I gotta say this is the most humorous recipe I’ve ever seen…I mean, how many times have you laughed reading a recipe? 😛
This recipe is easy, relatively fast, and really delicious (I’ve got my roommates’ approval ;))! I really love this recipe and the way Alice wrote it, so I asked for her permission to share it on my blog- Thank you Alice!! 😀 ❤
So, you say you’re doing “client services” in an ad agency. What exactly do you do?
Now that I keep telling everyone how much I love my summer internship experience (and my current job!), I get this question a lot. In Wunderman, we call ourselves “strategic client partners,” but to folks outside of this industry, it’s sometimes hard to grasp what we actually do. In fact, some people just assume the stereotype that all we do is deliver messages and “make clients happy.” So, what’s so hard about this job?
….Continue to read here on the Seattle Wunderman Network Blog to learn about what it takes to be a good Account lead. 🙂