Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category
I don’t really talk about certain things about my love (or lack of) life, but here’s some things I’ve learned in the past year or so.
Crazy passion and chemistry don’t make up for lack of compatibility and the pain. Don’t get me wrong. When it’s great, it’s REALLY great, but it was a roller coaster. I don’t think I ever really knew where I stood because of the way his personality was and how hard it is for him to really open up to others. There were just so many glaring comparability issues that I had refused to acknowledge. It wasn’t healthy and frankly, I spent more time being emotionally played with than those moments of happiness.
Don’t settle for good, not great. Dated this guy who was really great to me and really nice. But ha! Therein lies the problem. Girls don’t want a guy to just be nice, right? That’s boring and that’s emasculating to the guy. It wasn’t just that though. There’s wasn’t a spark. I wanted to like this guy. He looked great…on paper. In person, it just didn’t click and the spark was missing. I knew there’s was a problem the moment I realized I was much more excited about the places he was taking me to–rather than him.
Don’t date an Abercrombie boy. “Gilly Girls Date Hollister Boys.” UGH. Gilly Girls date real guys. Never again. It wasn’t so much the whole Abercrombie thing, except that he acted exactly like the type of guys you’d think would work at Abercrombie. It’s too bad, ’cause there are a lot of great guys I’ve met through the Company, but are super down to earth. He treated me like shit, was insanely jealous, and then tried to say I was the crazy one. And, though I didn’t know it then, he was controlling. So really, we never saw eye-to-eye in about almost everything, haha. He did teach me more about what I want in a guy. I’ll be honest, I’m a pretty big tomboy and a guy’s girl, so for me, I want a super guy guy, not just some dude that will always bend over backwards for me. (He was neither, but he did act like a girl). That’s not even healthy. Challenge me.
*Above & Beyond – “Thing Called Love feat. Richard Bedford”
It’s crazy that’s its already been a full year since I moved back from HK. That was an incredibly stressful time, but I grew a lot from the entire experience. Just even in terms of looking out for myself and doing what is best for ME and knowing I had the guts to go through with my decision.
I started my job in January and that in and of itself has been a little crazy. My first real corporate job (excluding internships) out of college. And above everything else, I get to work with one of my best friends. (when we do end up on the same project / in the same city, which is almost never. haha) :)
Everything has been a little stressful lately, but just taking it all one day at a time. This was the first weekend in a very long time that I’ve been able to have almost completely to myself. I spent all of Friday night coding up my website (it’s pretty much done! All that’s left is cleaning the code up, optimization, and more content. I may eventually code the site back into WordPress, just as a CMS).
Tonight I had my first dance performance in maybe a decade (scary that I can even write that now). So happy that my friends made it out to watch me! I was talking to one of my friends earlier today and I realized that I really haven’t known them all that long. Less than a year. In Joanne’s case, really only around five months. But the thing with me is that if it’s a friendship worth having, I’ll go out of my way to help my friends. My friend said that’s the reason they all warmed up to me and really accepted me into their group–because I was willing to sacrifice for them. And I guess that’s just my personality. Some may find it too intense, but that is the only way I know how to be. Don’t ever change. This is me. (thanks Imagine Dragon lyrics!)
I was able to drive up to skyline after going to Tea Station with my friends (Ma-Cha Ice Cream Green Tea! So yummy!). I’m not sure if it’s the driving while blasting Imagine Dragons / Dash Berlin’s EDC 2012 set or the view of skyline that really lets me unwind. Either way, puts me a little more at ease. Before I got my job, I was driving a lot. It just puts me in this cruising zone where it’s just me and the car.
Seriously though. Walk The Moon (WTM) and Imagine Dragons are my two fav (newly discovered) bands of the year thus far. WTM’s full length CD drops on Tues and Imagine Dragon’s EP is on iTunes right now. I can’t believe they’re touring together. Perfection.
*Imagine Dragons – “It’s Time”
I realized that as I grew older, the people who I consider to be my best friends–or even who I would consider friends–have evolved. I didn’t realize it in all my trips back home until I had to actually live at home. That’s when I realized just how different this was all going to be from my life in Chicago.
A lot of my friends here in California, I’ve known since high school, or even elementary school. And all of our experiences in college have shaped us. It’s not necessarily a bad thing and it’s great to have friends that are different. But I think it also opened my eyes as to people I’m not quite sure I want in my life anymore.
In college, and life after college, it is definitely easier to find friends that had more similar interests and are more aligned with my values. A lot of this comes from going to a college in a state where I knew absolutely no one else before going there. It’s not like high school where you have only 4,000 kids in the school that you’re interacting with. These are campuses with 40,000 students. Spend four years there, and you can pick and choose exactly the friends that you want to keep in your life.
Coming home though, has been in many ways, a shock. My friends here are fun to hang out with, but they don’t feel like they hold as much substance. I realized that our lives are back from when we left high school and losing those four years in between when we’ve all had time to grow and develop in different ways has left an almost empty space in the friendship. It’s like a relationship that has gone on for far too long and it’s comfortable, and you know they are there for you, but it’s not exciting and just not the same.
In all my trips home, they were never for more than a week or a couple days at time. Therefore, I never really took the time to evaluate some of my friendships. What I found is that there are people in my life that if they did the things they did in college, I would have already dropped them. It’s much harder to drop these friendships, because these aren’t people that I have met for only a year or two–these are friendships that are now six, seven, or even ten+ years long. But I think there comes a time when you have to stand up for what you believe in, and friendships are sometimes just of the toxic kind and it’s better to “naturally” drift apart.
There are still a lot of friends that I would consider my close friends, just maybe not my best friends anymore. It’s a little sad to think about, but I think it happens; it might have even happened to me in Illinois if I had stayed long enough. And who knows, these are people I would love to be as close with again, and it could happen in the future still.
*Queen – “You’re My Best Friend”
Let’s see, I last ended with the end of August…
August is the official start of Back to School season, which almost runs seamlessly into Holiday season. Not too big of a deal, except I realized how much more different and crazier things are from the leadership side of things. This month brought along so many changes, but the most important one is my new general manager. She’s someone that I had heard about for a long time, worked a little bit for one day, and was definitely someone I wanted to work with more. She hit the ground running with our store-which is something the store desperately needed.
It wasn’t an easy thing to adjust to at first because I while I’d continued to challenge myself, I really wasn’t being pushed or acknowledged by my peers or by my immediate manager. It was a lot harder to stay motivated when you continuously see certain members of your team always taking shortcuts and knowing you’ll pick up the slack. The whole experience made me learn a lot more about myself though–how to stand up to “mean girls” and how to figure out who you can really trust.
The biggest thing my new boss taught me wasn’t about how to run a store via the day-to-day stuff. She really taught me what it meant to be a true leader; to lead by inspiring others. Aka, be aspirational (which apparently, is an AnF term and not a word that can be found in the dictionary, haha). One of the first things she’d noticed was that I wasn’t really connecting with the girls. I mean sure, I was nice to them and they were nice to me. However, I really didn’t have relationships with them–I never got to know them. I’m so grateful that’s one of the things she really pushed me on because a ton of these girls are my friends now that I’m no longer their manager. And a lot of times, I do see them as my younger sisters who I want to be there for if they need help. I’m completely floored when they do ask me for recommendations for internships/awards/study abroad since I know I am making a positive impact on their lives.
HOLIDAY SEASON 2010
Insane. I think that one word really does suffice. This was the first Thanksgiving I hadn’t gone home for, ever. Tour (CEO’s visit) was on Black Friday–a blessing and a curse. So much to prepare for ahead of time, but the dream team kept me sane (love you, Nic and Britt!). At the same time, if it hadn’t been for that visit, I’m not sure the store would’ve been as immaculate as it was. And if he didn’t know I wanted the Hong Kong Hollister store, he does now and I’m sure my DM was making sure everyone else that needs to know will know.
November 1, 2010. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS ARE WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS. I flew home for NLCS Game Four and it was worth every penny.
Had my first boyfriend and breakup. Terrible timing, I mean. Holiday season? Really? Life is hectic enough working mall hours of 7am-11pm without trying to get to know someone and spend quality time with them. Recipe for disaster. Thankfully, my friends and roommates were my rock and helped me understand that I shouldn’t have stayed in that relationship long enough to have gotten dumped. Haha. I didn’t want to just give up on my first relationship without trying! On the plus side, I know a lot more about my deal-breakers and what I want and don’t want in a relationship. I also learned a lot about balance of my time between work, relationship, and friendships.
I GOT MY OFFER TO OPEN THE FIRST HOLLISTER CO. (first of any Abercrombie & Fitch brand) in HONG KONG! It was amazing; dream come true. Not only that, but I also go promoted to Store Manager (SM), which is pretty amazing because you normally have to already be a SM before interviewing for an international spot. And I got both at the same time! I did get some flack for that. At the end of the day though, they interviewed their candidates and I was the one that they picked to go to HK. The move was incredibly sad. Saying goodbye to all my Chicago friends, knowing I’ll never live in Chicago again. I really wasn’t expecting if this early. I thought I had a couple more months. Nothing I could do about it though.
Hong Kong was simply amazing. I wasn’t there for very long, but starting to go through the process of opening a brand new store is one of the most exciting things there is. Being the first of our brand, I establish contacts and relationships with the local universities. It’s harder than you’d think since I had to use Chinese or I wouldn’t get the respect or attention at the universities. I’m very grateful now that my parents had made me learn and maintain my Chinese throughout the years. Recruiting was tough too since we had to learn the area–not just what I knew as a tourist, but where locals like to go to relax and have fun. I’m sad I wasn’t able to be there for the day the store opened, but everything happens for a reason.
My biggest takeaways from HK was knowing that I could succeed in and adapt to a new environment and my friendship with Carol. :) It’s crazy how HK brought us together and how she’s one of my closest friends now.
*2PM – “Take Off”
This weekend was definitely a disappointment in terms of college football. I knew that Cal couldn’t possibly stay undefeated until we had to play USC. Basically just waiting for the ball to drop. It was just unfortunate that it had to once again be against UCLA…at the Rose Bowl (on the irony of that!) Bye bye Rose Bowl berth! And then we lost to Michigan which was the real punch in the stomach for an already shifty game.
However! At least Steele came down from Chi-Town and there was lots of fun all around Campustown.
I’m going home in less than a month! :) I do want to work on black friday since I don’t care much about shopping on that day. Anyway, there was a kid at JKaye’s party who really wanted to play with my iPhone. As if saying no wasn’t enough, he kept trying to drag me away from my friends to bother me some more about it (more like begging actually). Just ask nicely? Jerk.
*Jimmy Eat World – Open Bar Reception
So I really have not blogged in a super-long time here (sorry!). This year has definitely been a lot busier than i thought it would be. In between all the schoolwork, Illini Pride events (’cause I actually go to most, if not all the events now), 13 hours of work a week, it doesn’t leave much time for anything else. And it’s going to just become tougher (homecoming float building, barndance, extra online courses to fulfill my dual degree requirements, and the overlap of fall and winter sports…) Yeah. Sounds exciting doesn’t it?
I’ve been REALLY excited about football season though! We were finally ranked / receiving votes so it’s been an amazing season. With one more win, we will be bowl-bound! But not to get ahead of myself here, no matter what, NOBODY thought we would even be 5-2 at this point in the season. Week 8 is just around the corner now so I can’t wait for Michigan and UCLA! (Cal was SO close to #1, but hey! at least the Rose Bowl is still looking great for my favorite golden bears!) Sadly though, basketball season is starting up which I hate ’cause that always means it’s the end of the football season. And it’s nearing the end of baseball season. Cubs have done extremely well and Giants are finally rid of Bonds next season :) Some one take me to Wrigley and Fenway!
Enough about sports…
The semester is halfway done with and my grades aren’t exactly where I want them to be. But I’ve been learning to study more lately so I should be able to have something decent by the end of the semester (hopefully…if I wanna keep my James Scholar Honors status. haha).
*Jimmy Eat World – Chase This Light
I really should post more in this, but I don’t end up getting any sort of inspiration for doing so anymore. I think it is because the layout isn’t mine. Hence, I don’t feel like this domain/blog is mine. That would explain why it automatically directs to my photolog right now. And of course, it’s not updated at all anymore either because I don’t even have my camera with me here in SoCal (I know, sad, right?)
I’m not really sure what I want to say about this past year. It’s been really hectic and complicated (I guess, about the latter). But all in all, it’s been pretty awesome. I’ve really learned to love Illinois and I’m really excited to start my second half of college (kinda scary though that it’s already been two years). And this summer has already been really crazy ’cause a lot of my friends are graduating and whatnot, so it’s kinda like their last hurrah before the year is over and they have to move on with their lives.
I guess sometimes I’m concerned about my future. Like there’s the ever-elusive pastry-shop dream. But then again, who knows if that will ever surface. I mean, hopefully, yes. But I don’t even know if I will end up back in the bay or even in LA. It would be my hopes to, but it’s not like they actively recruit at UIUC for jobs back in CA. My grades aren’t exactly up to standards anymore either (sad, but true. oh well, it’s not like I regret the lifestyle I lead this past semester). Truth is, I haven’t had TOO much fun the first three semesters because I was afraid I wouldn’t get into the College of Business. And now, all that has kinda caught up with me. I’m scared of what the future holds, but at the same time, I can’t wait to graduate so I can get closer to my real dream job.
So another question…why am I not sleeping at 4:30am?! haha. Well, I basically couldn’t sleep ’cause I’m soo excited to finally go back to UCLA. Even if I just chill there, it’d be still so much more fun there knowing that my friends and sister are there. And I get to see / lunch with Kim tomorrow, so that should be exciting! :)