2018: Year in Review


My favorite time of year: REFLECTION TIME!

This year, I did normal shit.

I gave up on projecting perfection and I gave up trying to impress people. I didn’t go on exotic trips or meet celebrities. This year I put down my phone and looked at the world around me with my eyes. I believe the buzzword is mindfulness.

This year, I learned to love things that can’t be captured in a beautiful image. The feeling of endorphins entering your body as you rise up from another burpee, the messy kitchen after you cooked yourself a full-on meal for the first time, getting lucky enough to grab your favorite seat on the Bart train, when the rice finishes cooking right as you finish cooking your dish, when your device detects the Chromecast on the first try, when random Spotify playlists bring back nostalgic throwback songs, when you pull up your shirt and see the faintest outline of a second ab beginning to form (I think?).

This year, I patched my life together as I learned to be independent. And it was boring as hell. But I’ve learned to truly enjoy it.

  • I actually learned to cook.

  • I learned to live with minimalist physical possessions.

  • I actually started saving money.

  • I developed a gym routine.

  • I found a home in the Bay Area. Bought my first piece of furniture (a bed frame!)

  • I learned to be a designer and got a big girl job.

  • I read over a dozen books.

  • I illustrated my diary.

  • I learned to love being alone and support myself emotionally. With that self-love!

  • I learned to work harder at loving the people I care about in my life.

But don’t fret! Always one to make time for fun, I also enjoyed seeing friends graduate in SLO, 4th of July in Foster City, making pizzas with friends, rediscovering secondhand, doing body combat at my local gym, lounging at my sister’s pool in the summer, splurging on the perfect balayage, successfully climbing a rope, shooting my first wedding, surviving really freaking hot steaming yoga, sleepovers with friends, doing my first escape room, spending time with family over the holidays, summer concert nights, a long weekend in Salt Lake City, wine tasting with friends, spring break in Joshua Tree, roadtripping to Yosemite and Fresno, and turning 24 at an arcade. I’m so grateful to be able to finally have the emotional and financial freedom to grow into my own person, explore the world around me, and do things I love to do with people who love me back.

This year was also a phenomenal year entertainment-wise and beyond. Thank you to Kim’s Convenience on Netflix, Crazy Rich Asians, and subtle asian traits for giving Asian-Americans/ Canadians/ Austrailians/ Etc a platform to share our story, bond in our experiences, and recognize we’re not alone. I also appreciated all that Asian American representation at the Winter Olympics, then seeing all the athletes at Stars on Ice later in the spring. Also, shoutout to Friends on Netflix and the Try Guys for being the perfect videos to put on while I wait for my food to cook. Last but not least, I loved being a part of the Blue Wave and getting to exercise my right to vote in this growing community of more open-minded, worldly, and understanding generation of young Americans.

Creatively, I learned so much. I realized product design isn’t all that different from architecture design, decided to pivot, and taught myself to become a designer (although there is still more much to learn). I discovered amazing talent and put art on Dribbble, attended dozens of workshops (thank you designers of the Bay Area for putting on events), learned to fly a drone, learned basic animation, learned to use Procreate, continued freelance web design and fashion illustration work, did really fun photoshoots, and designed and launched an app!

I also did all them Bay Area things! Attending Facebook’s F8 developer conference, trying VR, the women’s march, visiting every museum in SF, attended (and won at) a handful of hackathons, exploring Filoli, Muir Woods, and beyond, getting over my fear of roller coasters at Great America, eating Asian everything in Cupertino, going to a cat cafe, seeing the Chinese New Year parade, falling in love with Mixt salads and poke bowls, spending long afternoons working at Philz, and walked in the SF Pride Parade! Thank you San Francisco / Silicon Valley for cultivating so much innovation and allowing people with good ideas despite their backgrounds to flourish. Last year I wrote a list of Why I’m Inspired & Intrigued by the Tech World and I look back on it every time I start taking things for granted. Isn’t it so amazing we can literally change the world in real practical ways? Getting to create products, invent things, imagine infinite possibilities, and work together to make things happen instead of selfishly competing to be the best. There isn’t an industry as entrepreneurial and refreshing as tech, and I love being in the midst of it all.

Most importantly, 2018 would be nothing without the greatest of friends, family, and mentors for making this year a phenomenal one. Learning to be adult isn’t easy, but doing it with loving people is the most amazing thing I could ask for.

In no particular order, here are some of the things I want to accomplish in the new year.

2019 Resolutions

  1. Don’t buy chips.

  2. Train for and run the 12k Bay to Breakers race in May.

  3. Take the GMAT.

  4. Get into grad school.

  5. Keep learning the things I’m curious about without fear of not being good: guitar, Spanish, cooking healthy, food and nutrition, skincare, digital illustration. Explore my interests and just play.

  6. Get back in photography and creative personal work. Keep creating. Keep blogging and publishing.

  7. Travel somewhere new in the country and out of the country.

  8. Work on finishing things: books, diets, illustrated journal entries, blog post drafts. Actually stick to a routine for more than three days.

  9. Don’t take on more than one freelance job at a time. Only take jobs I genuinely enjoy.

  10. Stop giving myself a million things to do and remind myself “I am enough.” Don’t try to juggle all the balls and free myself from the obligation to impress my parents.

  11. Try or work towards something I’ve never done: do the splits, get abs, body combat instructor certification, a sugar cleanse?

And with that, I wish you all so much pure, honest happiness, immense amounts of self-love, and crazy success beyond your wildest dreams in the new year. Cheers!