It’s been about a week since I’ve been back in Boston now. Today is of course Thanksgiving. As much as I should be happy to be here, I feel like I hate Thanksgiving more than usual. I’m partially mad at my family for leaving me home alone on Thanksgiving. I feel like a fool to even be here in hopes I’d be able to sit down with my family and have a nice meal. Nope. I am angry and a bit bitter. I absolutely hate the holidays because my family will always leave me to tend to their own needs. Perhaps this is the first and last time I consider coming home for Thanksgiving. I’m relieved I didn’t book tickets to come back for Christmas because I’m sure this shit is going to happen again. This is why I fucking hate the holidays. I could’ve just stayed home alone back in Cali than to fly all the way over here to do the same shit. I was so pissed that I was ready to change my flight to go back to Cali because what’s the point in me being here if you don’t even spend any time with me? At least I was able to have a nice Thanksgiving potluck dinner with my friends…
Fuck the holidays.
Currently on my flight home back to Boston. Only 3 hours and 45 minutes left until I touch down in Boston. It’s been a very hectic day …well week before I boarded this flight. Today I was literally all over the place and barely got any sleep. I’m sleepy eyed at the moment, but I don’t sleep well on flights. Anyways, when I arrived to the airport, checked in and waited at my gate to board my flight, I felt really sad and nervous. This all goes back to my recent post (Homebound Blues). I was already scared and whatnot, but now it’s really kicked in. I don’t know what to expect when I go back. The thought of seeing my parents and friends is making me feel so awkward and nervous. Don’t get me wrong I am excited to see them. It’s just been a long time coming. I just have very strong mixed feelings of this trip. For whatever reason I just feel like I shouldn’t even be on this flight going home. A part of me doesn’t feel ready. Is that so weird? Maybe I feel as if I have more to prove than just a job promotion. Despite my job promotion being the reason for me even visiting home, I feel like I don’t deserve to go visit home for 2-3 years. I sound crazy since I know I deserve it, yet at the same time I don’t. I don’t know. I’m just overthinking things. I should be happy and looking forward to seeing my loved ones. This is the moment I’ve been longing for the moment I got to Cali. I just find it really hard to believe that day is here.
Yesterday was my company’s off site. It was taking place down in Monterey, which is an hour south of San Jose. I’ve always heard great things about Monterey, but since it’s a beachy/touristy town it definitely reminded me a lot of Cape Cod back on the east coast. Drove down yesterday morning with one of my colleagues so it was a fun little road trip together. Checked into the hotel to drop off my bag. I was surprised how nice my room was especially with the view it came with. I miss it so much!! After I dropped off my stuff I met up with the rest of my colleagues there and had lunch before we got split up into these Thinking Teams. The whole point of this off site was to bring the company together and have our voices heard as to how we can improve ourselves and the company itself. There were a total of four teams: Communications, Processing, Career Development, and Culture.
I was on the Culture team. Everyone got split into their designated groups and we collaborated with other employees of the company to discuss what’s working and not working so well at our company culture wise. It was a great discussion and a relief to know that us UX team weren’t the only ones that felt that way. But also my team has already paved a path to improve the culture not only for within our team, but to hopefully influence the other teams in our company. I met two great ladies that was at my table and I spoke passionately about the type of things our team does to collaborate and to interact with each other. For example, I mentioned how we have UX Happy Hour to discuss certain topics where we have drinks and to share ideas with each other. Other people are invited to these happy hour’s so we’re very welcoming in that sense. Yet people don’t really know about these sessions that we have, but my team tries our best to spread the word.
After I shared that example as well as a few others with the two ladies in my group, one of them was going to be a speaker to share with the entire company of what our thoughts were. We were the last Thinking Team to present and for a second I was cringing hoping that L wouldn’t call out for me. I totally jinxed myself haha. She got into mentioning how a member from the UX team shared these examples with her. I was thinking ‘dammit not me!’ but it was haha. I had a mic passed to me and I spoke so confidently to a room full of nearly 300 employees waiting to hear what I had to say. I was being pretty goofy when I was speaking and my boss and colleague was cracking up from what I had said in response to someone’s question to me lol. One person asked if we can do the UX Happy Hour any earlier and all I heard was “early” so I replied with “breakfast? mimosas” haha. The whole room laughed from my silliness, but I really had no idea what that lady said haha.
When that entire session was done and we were regrouping with my colleagues, my boss complimented me that I spoke well and drew a lot of attention to our team (in a good way). I got compliments from the rest of my team as well. It was just an awesome feeling. I felt very proud and just even happier to have the job that I have. I felt very grateful to work with my team of smart and talented people. It was a total confident booster.
After all the discussion and what not, it was time to unwind and have some fun. We started drinking at 6PM until 2AM haha. It was open bar and the food was great. My team was definitely the loudest ones during dinner haha. My boss made two great speeches and we kept clinking our glasses. Then we got obnoxious and kept toasting to whoever walked through the door hahaha. It was really funny. Then we decided that we needed to do a collaborative dance off with the rest of the company haha. We were the first ones on the dance floor and screaming “UX” hahaha. That’s how hard we were representing for our team. It was so much fun dancing with my team and boss. Later that night after the music ended and open bar was closed, we migrated to a colleague’s room to hang out. We were goofing around and just having a great time. After all the fun, I returned to my room to take a late night bubble bath. My current place only has a shower so of course I took advantage of this great, free room. It was very relaxing and something that I definitely needed. So many funny things happened in Monterey, but I guess whatever happens in Monterey stays in Monterey haha.
I really love my company, team and job. I’m one very lucky girl. 🙂
Next week I’ll be visiting home for the first time since I moved to California. I’m excited to go home to see my parents and friends. It’s much needed for my sanity sake that I see familiar faces as well as to be back in my hometown. I’ve missed everyone and everything about Boston since I’ve been here. I compare everything here to Boston. The moment I had booked my flight home I was thrilled. Now as the countdown to go home approaches, I feel so sad and a bit weird and nervous. I’ve been coordinating plans with friends and looking at my calendar on my phone has made my socialize look lively again. But as I kept staring at the calendar filled with plans to catch up with great people and making sure I didn’t forget anyone, I know how fast it’ll all quickly end. I feel sad about how quickly all the fun will end and how weird it’ll be to be back in general. A lot has changed since I’ve lived here and I’ve grown a lot since I left. I think a part of me is scared and nervous that even though I’ve changed, that everything back at home must’ve changed as well. I hope not. I know I’m not the same Connie from a year or two ago, but I hope everything hasn’t changed drastically. I feel like my hometown needs to give me the reassured comfort that I need before I come back to Cali as weird as it may sound. I feel that once I get back to Cali, I’ll feel more alone than I ever did. Despite the sadness I’m dealing with, I’m at least grateful I’ll be able to spend Thanksgiving back in Boston this year, but I’m sad that I’ll be alone again for Christmas. Seeing all the holiday decorations displayed and hearing Christmas songs on the radio has gotten to me. I’m dreading every minute of Christmas as it’ll approach so quickly after Thanksgiving is over. I wish I was able to stay in Boston for a month working remotely, which I’m sure wouldn’t be an issue with my boss but it’s probably best I keep it as a short visit and not get too comfortable.
Living here in San Jose for over a year now there’s still quite a few places that I have yet checked out. San Jose Museum of Art was one of the few places that I’ve had my eye on to visit. It’s close by to where I live yet I just never made the trip there. My friend from back at home that lives in the East Bay asked if I wanted to go to the museum on Saturday. I decided to take him up on his offer since he has a pass to check out a few museums around the Bay Area for free. I didn’t feel like heading into the city since I already commute quite often into SF. I opted to stay local and to check out SJ Museum of Art.
After we arrived I didn’t realize how small it was. I didn’t think it was going to be huge compared to the Museum of Fine Arts back in Boston, but maybe at least a little bit bigger. A few of things in their collection were okay. I was really intrigued by their “Momentum” exhibit that they had up. There was also a few of Chihuly’s glass sculptures hanging in the lobby which was nice. I’m still bummed out that I missed his exhibit when he came to Boston a few years ago. I’d love to check out his work in Seattle some day though. One of the installations from the “Momentum” exhibit was done by Leo Villareal, who designed the light installation for the Bay Bridge called the Bay Lights. It was really beautiful and clean.
As for my overall thought of this museum, I’ve definitely gone to better ones. I would only come back if there was a really good exhibit happening. Other than that I can do without coming here again. I wish their collection was curated better, which might improve the setting of the museum. I’m just glad I finally got to check it out and cross that off my list of things to do!
I hardly ever take any vacations and I rarely travel. I was just never in a position where I could take a vacation or the timing and funds weren’t efficient. I’m well aware that I’m a bit travel deprived and I would love to explore more if I had the necessary funds and time to, but the reality is I can’t because I have to be this lame responsible adult. Blah!! I thought to myself today that the last and real vacation I took was back in August 2008 on a cruise to Bermuda. Back in Boston, I usually consider my weekend getaways to NYC or anywhere easily accessible as a vacation. As happy as I am with my current job and the work I’m doing, I’m extremely burnt out. My work load has piled up and I’m handling multiple projects. It’s already exhausting to prioritize and to keep up with all this work. I’ve had more visitors from the East Coast recently which I can’t complain about, but lately I feel like I haven’t had any “me time”. As much as I enjoy spending time with friends from home, I’m so mentally exhausted to give them my full attention when they’re here. All I want to do when I am alone in my room is to lay in bed to some peace and quiet. I spend a lot of time collaborating with my team and when I get home from work I don’t feel like talking to anyone. I just feel so tired that I feel like I’m not contributing as much to these conversations because all I’m thinking about how good my bed feels.
My company is having an off site out in Monterey in two weeks, which I’m kinda looking forward to since we’ll be staying at a nice hotel. I do not mind spending the night at a fancy hotel at the company’s expense and bonding with my team as well as getting familiar with other people in the company. But I am not really in the mood to do some team building and collaborating things while I’m out there. I guess luring us with nice things is the only way to get the company together and it’s definitely working. But I don’t see this little getaway as a vacation. It’s definitely more of a quick business trip.
I’ll be visiting home later that week after I return from my company’s off site. I’m excited to see my parents and friends, but making plans with friends is already exhausting me. I’m going to literally be all over the place since my friends in Boston are all scattered. I’ve been considering for a while now that I really need to travel somewhere and relax. Maybe after I come back from Boston I’ll consider a trip, but there’s a lot of things factoring in as to if I can even travel anywhere. For now while I stay daydreaming about a much needed vacation, I’m trying to play catch up on both work and sleep. These next couple of weeks is going to be chaotic for me. Ugh!! Lately as soon as I get home from work I head straight to the shower and to my bed afterwards. I haven’t been eating dinner because that’s how tired I am. Today I’m working remotely from home because the commute has gotten exhausting and I feel 100x more tired than I did the past 2 days. I need to get more rest and to take better care of myself. I swear Daylight Savings is really fucking me up and it doesn’t make any sense since I gain an hour of sleep. WTF?!