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Yesterday my team threw a farewell party for one of my colleague’s who will no longer be a part of the team. Despite all the sad news earlier in the week with what’s happening in the company, we still had to do something for him. My boss had asked what we should do for the party. Somehow we decided to get uni and have whiskey haha. It also turned into a Japanese themed party. My boss had removed these Indian movie posters we had hanging and replaced them with these Japanese prints, which were awesome. One of my colleague’s has this newfound connection in getting freshly caught uni so he made arrangements in getting that. Cool part was they prepared it and delivered it to our office. Best thing ever! The night before I was sent to the Asian market to pick up some quail eggs, ponzu sauce, scallions and lots of Japanese snacks. I picked up a bunch of roasted seaweed snacks and crackers.

Also, the day before the party my boss had asked me to put together a poster (kinda sorta) for the event. I’m the go to person that designs a poster for when our team has an event and they’re generally these bright, playful and very funny posters that I put together in less than 5 minutes haha. Although this time required even less effort. I basically had to print out this ninja looking character that my colleague had designed. He only wanted that character printed and nothing else said on the flyer. The only thing that’s on the poster besides the character is ‘Destructive Action Modal’, which is related to some design stuff we did. We didn’t want to draw attention that it’s a farewell party on it and thought it would be funny to confuse people. That was a bad idea lol. As we were about to set up the party, my boss came up to me and told me HR spoke to him. I instantly thought, “oh shit, what did I do?” lol. I guess some people in the company reported the poster to HR and thought something bad was going to happen at the company. Some apparently even Googled the ninja character who also had Japanese writing on the belt. Long story short, people looked too much into it and freaked out especially during this sensitive time in the company. HR had asked my boss who did the poster and he said our team did and went into explaining what it was about. HR laughed and we got off the hook. Later during the party my boss had said to me that he was glad that we got in trouble with HR and I agreed. Our team is definitely the trouble makers in the company, but what fun is there if there isn’t someone like that in the company? We laughed it off and high fived each other lol. Best boss ever!

So while other people started to join the party, my colleague was preparing these uni shooters. Everyone was forced to have one, which they all ended up loving. That uni shooter was delicious and extremely fresh. I’m so glad we decided to get the uni. It was fun to see people’s reaction eating it since it was a few people’s first time trying it. There were lots of laughs and great conversation happening throughout the night. There were even some dancing on desks happening haha. It was a lot of fun and we didn’t leave the office until 9PM. When I had got home, my boss texted me and thanked me for helping with providing the snacks and helping out, which was nice of him. Despite the sad news in the company and a lost of a colleague on my team, it was really nice to get our minds off of the bad and to come together to have a great time. I love my boss and team so much and will be forever grateful to be a part of a team full of amazing and talented people.

After a fun night out with my colleagues on St. Patrick’s Day, my boss and colleague were having some interesting conversations. One consisted of how my colleague J that I work close with vents to me about his wife and random things. I joked around telling them how J is like my gal pal. Then my boss said you know there’s a term for that: work wife. We all cracked up laughing and I said hell no haha. They were saying there’s nothing wrong with that since we work closely together and we talk about anything together. So there’s definitely a formed friendship there. I disregarded that comment on continued my way home.

Last night our team went out again since two of our team members that work remotely were in town. J never comes out to have drinks with us, even if it’s in the office. So yesterday he actually came out with us to this Japanese whisky lounge close by to our office. We all ordered drinks and took advantage of the happy hour specials. As we were once again having really funny yet interesting conversations, we somehow got to talking about me. We were discussing about my makeup, which is bare to none. I mainly wear blush, eyeliner and fill in my eyebrows. We started joking around about my eyebrows and it was really funny yet so random.

Suddenly J brought up this one time how I came into work with no makeup on. Oh boy that was the start of it lol. He started going on about how I looked good with no makeup on and looked so natural. I apparently “keep it real” LOL. Everyone was cracking up, but E was laughing extremely loud and looked at me. E was one of my colleagues that was in the car with my boss and I the night before. After J was done complimenting me A LOT lol, E looked at me and I was laughing and yelling shut up to him lol. Soon J left to go home and E and I started laughing. He was saying how I’m definitely J’s work wife and how he was hitting on me lol. J is an attractive, MARRIED man and a young dad, but I would never say the things he said to me to him lol. I still cringe during that moment, but it was hilarious lol.

Don’t think my team will ever let that go. Sighs haha.

San Jose Municipal Rose Garden

The past couple weeks has been very stressful and emotional for me. With all the things that were happening, it was nice to finally have some company. Last Monday I had decided to work from home. I wasn’t ready to put myself back into the office and I’m glad I chose to work from home instead. One of my old colleagues who recently moved and was once my neighbor had contacted me to grab lunch. It was nice to get away from my computer and out of the house to never ending orders of beer and sake on a Monday afternoon. Both her and I needed it. It was nice to vent to someone that understood how things are at my company. I had chosen to remain offline the remainder of the day after lunch. It was much needed. I wasn’t going to force myself to attempt to do any work when I was still in a funk.

Later in the week friends from Boston were in town visiting. It refreshing to see a familiar face during this stressful time. As exhausted as I was from work and commuting, I sucked it up to grab dinner with them 2 nights in a row and to take them out. It was the least I could do. Plus, I hardly ever go out so I might as well take advantage while I have visitors around. I felt like my old self again joking around with my friends and having great conversations. That was something else I craved for so much during this stressful time. I wanted a piece of home so badly to cheer me up. It reminded me of how my lifestyle in Boston used to be. To dine out or grab drinks after work with friends and it didn’t matter how long our days were. We always looked forward to being in each other’s company. That’s what I miss the most.

Saturday afternoon I got a surprise call from friends from Stockton, CA that were headed to San Jose. I was excited to see them since it’s been quite some They had asked me to join them in getting their engagement photos taken. I wasn’t so thrilled on getting dragged around nor was I in the mood to mingle with their photographer/friend, so I told them to hit me up when they were done. All I wanted to do that afternoon was to lay out in the sun at the rose garden here in SJ and do nothing besides people watch, read, and tan since it was really hot out that day. It was nice and peaceful at the park. It’s one of my favorite places here in SJ to just chill. It was perfect. Eventually I met up with my friends and we grabbed dinner. It’s always nice to catch up with them since I hardly ever see them.

Overall, seeing all these people this past week has been really great. I needed to socialize again and be around some good company. I think there’s only so many Facetime/Skype sessions I can have with friends now. I need that physical interaction with friends. I don’t want to stay cooped up in my room with all of these thoughts and stress. I finally feel like I was able to let go of a lot and to clear my mind. I feel much more relaxed. Anyways, I have 2 remote colleagues that will be in the office this week, which I’m excited. That means the whole team will be in the office and we’re going to have a pub crawl in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. I can’t wait. I feel better good again. It was nice to disconnect myself from my computer this weekend (well, besides right now writing this post haha) and to have good company around during this stressful time. I’m ending the week with a bomb sushi dinner and a good book. 🙂

My birthday was last week on January 21. Prior to that date I was dreading each day that got closer to my birthday. I felt unhappier this year turning 27 compared to the past 2 years. When I turned 25 and 26 I was sad, but my friends made it bearable. I tried my best to be as optimistic as I could, but it just got to a point where I felt like I was forcing it too much. Like last year, the night before my birthday I made a birthday to do list. I make this list so I can occupy myself without having to remind myself that I lack any company. My to do list this year consisted of:

  • Go to temple and pray
  • Enjoy a good meal throughout the day
  • Pick up free gift from Sephora
  • Have a drink
  • Have some cake
  • Buy flowers
  • Go on a photo adventure
  • Go to Treasure Island Flea Market
  • Order sushi
  • Read a new book at a cafe or outside
  • Build new terrariums
  • Get Starbucks free birthday reward
  • Have a wonderful day & be happy

I pretty much accomplished everything on my list. I completed each activity from Wednesday and into the weekend. I had work on my birthday so I could only do so much. I had left work early on my birthday since my usual daily meeting got cancelled so I figured I might as well head home than to sit in crazy traffic if I lingered around the office any longer. First thing I did as soon as I got home was to go to temple. I felt a sense of relief and calmness when I was there. There was no one else, but me. I was in this peaceful place letting go of my thoughts and sending my prayers to my family and friends. Before I had left, I decided to do the fortune sticks just for the hell of it. I had sent my parents a photo of the lot number I got and it was a good one, which was a relief.

When I got home from temple, I relaxed and tried to get some rest but only ended up Facetiming with my close friend. It was refreshing catching up with her. As soon as I hung up, my landlord knocked on my door and handed me a small box. I asked what it was and she’s told me it was my gift. I was really taken back, but grateful by her generosity. I felt so bombarded by her as she forced me to have dinner in the kitchen, popped open a bottle of champagne, and surprised me with a cake. I really wanted to cry because I was overwhelmed by their kindness. I haven’t had a birthday cake in so long. She picked out my favorite candle color which is yellow and turned off the lights only with only that one candle lighting up the room. I was surrounded by my landlord (husband and wife) as well as my roomie and their guests. They sang happy birthday to me and I just didn’t know how to react. I think my mind was still trying to get a grip that any of this was actually happening. I made my wish, blew out the candle and cut the cake. We sat around the kitchen, chatted and had a few good laughs.

I opened my gift from my landlord which was these small bottles of Burberry perfume. Luckily I’m in need of a new perfume, but I opted to keep one in the bunch that I liked and mailed my mom the rest since I wanted to share my gift with her. One of my roomies came into the kitchen with this big box of egg roll cookies. I asked her what she was doing with such a big box of it. She handed to it me and said it’s my birthday gift haha. I laughed so hard. She had said she didn’t know what to get me but knew that I don’t like chocolate. It was very sweet of her. We aren’t close at all, but we are cordial. It was a kind gesture on her end. Plus they’re my favorite cookies growing up. That night I went to bed really happy. I was really relieved that I didn’t have to have a drink or cake by myself again and that I was able to share that with the people in my household.

My friends from home were good to me as always from afar. I got an early birthday card and photo cube from my cousin and friend. They sent me a really funny birthday card that definitely suited me. I had received this two days before my birthday. I came home from an exhausting day of work to a box with my name on it. I was wondering what it was. As soon as I opened it I teared up. I started crying because I miss how silly us three were together and the good times I’ve had with them. At that moment I had wished I could’ve given them a big hug. I texted them saying thank you and these jerks asked if I cried after opening the gift haha.

The next day I had received a book from another close friend. Man she got me good because I was searching online for the book like a crazy person after our discussion about it. I had forgotten about the title of the book, but she remembered and knew it was a book I’ve wanted to read. I was really excited since reading a new book was on my birthday to do list. Once again I teared up and texted thank you to my friend. My friends has officially caught onto how truly of a softy I can be when it comes to sentimental things. That’s when you truly know how I really am.

On Saturday since it was getting really warm in the Bay Area of the weekend, it was a perfect day to go to Treasure Island Flea Market, which is my monthly activity to do. I was excited to bring my new book with me as well as to purchase new succulents for my room. I’ve become someone with somewhat of a green thumb. I find it relaxing to build terrariums. Anyways, as soon as I got to the flea market I headed straight to where the usual vendor I buy the succulents from was located. Her selections gets better and better every time I purchase from her. I’ll post up pics of my terrariums in another post. Considering on adding more stuff to it after it’s now been depotted and arranged. I got kinda cranky while I was there since there was obviously a lot of people. I bought my succulents, got myself lunch from the food truck and found a perfect spot under a tree with a great view of the SF skyline. It was relaxing laying there in the sun and enjoying my lunch and book. I felt at ease with everything again. It’s something I need to do more often again. When I had gotten home I received two more birthday cards. One from another close friend and one from my parents. My parents never send me one and wanted to because they didn’t want me to feel lonely. It was really comforting to hear my mom say that to me.

The weekend before my birthday a fellow Xangan who’s also a San Jose resident and a close friend of mines was really sweet to treat me out to lunch. It was nice to catch up and have that girl time that both her and I need, well probably she needs it more than me haha. But it’s always refreshing to just take a break from life and talk about anything with a close friend. An old coworker of mines had also treated me out to dinner as well. She had asked what I was in the mood for and I said sushi, but then again I can eat sushi probably 3-4 times a week. She made several suggestions and I had approved that we go eat Ethiopian food instead. I’ve never tried it, always heard good things and here was my opportunity to go. The restaurant was split up into two sections; one with regular dining chairs and tables and the other section was more traditional sitting on stools and this small table was the dining table. Of course we opted for the traditional seating area just to really make the best of the experience since it was my first time. The food was amazing! There was beef, chicken and pork in our dish. The restaurant also served this really good Ethiopian honey wine, which is a really sweet white wine. Overall, it was just nice to have those two meals with girl friends. I know I don’t see or speak to them often, but it was just really nice to just hang out like that. Having good meal and engaging in great conversations. I think that temporarily made me feel sane again.

Despite how lonely I felt, it was nice that to be a bit caught off guard with the company I didn’t expect to have on my birthday. Deep down that was something I wanted to include in my birthday to do list: to spend my birthday with some company and to not be alone. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The amount of silence and loneliness that I deal with on a daily basis with just eat away are your mind and your soul. It kills every bit of you and I hate it. For me turning 27 was a big deal. It was another reminder that I’m almost 30, still single, and renting. Granted that I have a great well-paying job and accomplished a lot in my career before 30, that isn’t as fulfilling as I’d like it to be. I want to buy property, settle down, get married and have a family. My close friend had said to me that I shouldn’t be too bummed out about turning 27 whereas she’s turning 30. That comment made me a bit mad and jealous. I kinda snapped at her and said well at least you’ve bought a house and you’re getting married. I wouldn’t mind turning 30 or any age if I had those things in my life. For now I’m really trying my hardest to find my happy and that doesn’t mean a significant other. As mentioned several times I’ve been very unhappy and don’t get me wrong I’m not ungrateful. I feel as if I’ve lost a big piece of myself since moving to Cali and having 2 birthdays gone by. It might not mean anything to anyone, but it’s made a huge impact on me. As for the future birthdays all I’ve always ever wanted is just a birthday card and a Carvel ice cream cake which is my favorite. Nothing fancy.

I’ve said enough. Good night.

Bye bye Boston

Finally back in Cali as of last night. It was an extremely long day of traveling. I was so tired when I got home and started feeling really sick. All I wanted to do as soon as I got home was to unpack, shower and go to sleep. Luckily I did my laundry before I left my parent’s house, which saves me the time from doing it back in Cali. I quickly unpacked and put everything in its place so I didn’t have to deal with it today when I get home from work. Smart move on my end. I woke up feeling sick but told myself I have to drag my ass out of bed and into the office. If I worked from home I’d probably be all mopey and sad about being homesick.

Saturday night I had a really hard time sleeping that when I woke up Sunday morning to get ready for my flight I felt like crap. There was a really strange mood around the house as I was getting ready Sunday morning. My dad was really unhappy as well as my mom, but I think my dad took it harder. I remember Saturday night when he sat there watching tv, he stared aimlessly at the tv telling me his chest really hurts because I’m leaving. I felt horrible when he said that to me. I just put on that tough front and told him he’ll be okay and I tried joking around with him. But even then I’m pretty sure he caught on that I was having a hard time hearing those words. On Sunday morning when my parents were driving me to the bus station, it was a very silent car ride. I sat in the back seat noticing my dad’s eyes getting red and watery. He then told me he felt like crying and once again I put on that tough front. I tried not to look into that mirror where I could see his eyes. I either was looking down at my phone or out the window. I tried my hardest to not cry and to continue being strong.

Soon we arrived to the bus station where my parents sat with me waiting for my bus to arrive which was to bring me to the airport. I tried to strike a much more optimistic conversation to lighten up the mood and that helped a bit. Once my bus arrived, I gave my parents a hug and walked onto the bus. I opted for a seat by the window that wasn’t facing them so they wouldn’t see me crying. As soon as I got on the bus I stared out the window silently crying wishing that I didn’t have to go back to Cali. I felt horrible to go back to Cali making my parents feel sad. I know it’s not really my fault, but I can’t help but feel guilty. Throughout my entire trip home I cried silently. I remember every moment at the airport in Boston I felt so unhappy and emotional. The moment the plane took off I felt so heartbroken to leave my home again. The closer I got to Cali I felt worst. I had a stop in Milwaukee, Phoenix and then finally San Jose. When we landed in San Jose I felt the sadness kick into overdrive. I felt so uncomfortable around the surroundings I’ve grown accustomed to during the past year I’ve lived here. I hated everything; from the streets to the people. It was and will never be anything like Boston.

Today is my first day back in the office. I feel okay again to be around my coworkers who welcomed me with opened arms. I guess my work is my safety net out here. That is essentially why I’m even in Cali. This morning when I woke up I felt like I woke up from a long dream of being in Boston. It doesn’t even feel like I ever went back. It’s so strange. I felt so happy again to see my coworkers. Yet once I’m out of the office and back to my place, my mood changes to hating everything again. I become so hateful of everything because of the malicious people I’ve crossed paths with out here. I blame them for making me feel this way and making me fear to come back to this shit hole west coast. One day I’ll go back home for good. For now I have to continue doing what I’m doing. Like my friends have been saying to me, just do what you have to do and then come back.

Tomorrow I’ll be leaving Boston and heading back to Cali. I’ve been so spoiled with great times with my family and friends during my time here. I’m dreading the thought of having to finish packing and going back to Cali. I realized how much I really hate it there. I’m an East Coast girl at heart and I just find it even harder to adjust this time around once I get back. Boston is my home and all my loved ones are here. The other night was my last night hanging out with friends. We went to my usual yet once upon a time favorite bar. Got to see a lot of old faces and there were quite a few surprise faces that came out that night. My friends managed to get me drunk, which is an obligated duty of theirs before you’re gonna send me off back to Cali haha. But they also managed to make me cry.

Throughout the night a few friends were saying really nice things to me such as how they’re so proud of me for doing what I’m doing out there, how I’m a really good person and etc. I was so overwhelmed with the overload of love and support that I started crying. It still makes me tear up as I’m writing this blog entry. They comforted me as I’m burying my face into my hands sobbing and told them how much I don’t want to go back. I told them how scared I was to go back to Cali to the loneliness that I deal with on a daily basis. When you’re so alone every day with no one else but yourself, it has a really big effect on you.

Thinking about having dinner by myself, finding weekend activities to do by myself, remembering how mean and nasty people were to me in Cali, to not be there for my family and friends when we both need each other the most, and etc. … it does a huge number on you. Cali has made me so vulnerable and emotional and I try to not let my family or friends know too much about it because I don’t want them to worry. Everyone understands as to why I’m staying in Cali and I know from afar they’ll continue to support me. I had a feeling I was going to feel like this since it’s my first time visiting home in over a year since I’ve moved. It reminds me of how upset I was when I left a year ago. I sobbed like a baby but I don’t care. I felt so comforted to be surrounded by good friends as they tried to make me stop crying. I left my heart in this city with full of great people. Home is where the heart is and going back to Cali will never be the same. I’m just really homesick and always will be.

Despite how unhappy I am to go back, there were lots of fun highlights of my trip here:

– Annual Thanksgiving Potluck hosted by my close friend and I was the surprise guest

– Celtics vs. Portland Trail Blazers: Unfortunately we lost and it was a semi close game, but at least it was my first time to get on the jumbotron which was awesome lol

– Ate lots of yummy food in Boston. Went to some old favorite places as well as trying a few new places

– Taking the train and walked around Newbury Street and Boylston Street and realizing how beautiful the architecture and the city is

– Bar hopped with good friends and hookah lounge

– Got to see my dog 🙂

– Got asked to be my close friend’s bridesmaid!

– Watched “Theory of Everything” which was a really good movie. Must see!!

– Went to my once old favorite bar and had a blast with friends

– Confessed my love LOL. In reference to my previous post “Missed Opportunity”. Yes, I told my friend and it’s finally off my chest

– Unexpected plans with an ex-boyfriend who is still a good friend of mines. While we hung out it reminded me of how we were when we were younger and for whatever reason I feel like it’ll always be like that with him and I when we see each other.

– Hung out with yet another old flame. That was interesting lol

– Went to visit my 93 year old grandmother who raised me when I was younger. She’s so cute but doesn’t really recognize me which makes me sad but I understand

 

Overall it was a great trip and I got to see a lot of faces that I wanted to see. There were a few that I wasn’t able to see, but there will be a next time. 🙂

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. 🙂