Friday, February 17, 2017

25 Lessons for 25

I can’t believe I turn 25 tomorrow! Here’s are some lessons I learned this year…

1.       One of the biggest things I learned at 24 is that your intentions – with your career, love, relationships, travel, etc, really help define your reality. Whatever you set your mind to, you’ll work towards. If you believe you can achieve your goals, you’ll do what it takes to make sure you succeed.

2.       I learned how to use excel: V Look Ups, H Look Ups, pivot tables, and SUM IF formulas. I also learned how to take raw data and format it into data you can read.

3.       Now that I’ve gained more technical experience, I learned I don’t want to work in finance. I did two rotations in it, learned the importance of acknowledging a period expense from a recurring expense.

4.       I tend to relate my self-worth to the work I do. I think a part of this is because I’m driven to achieve. I tend to fall into blogging slumps where I don’t feel confident in the content I’m producing or if what I’m doing is relevant or even enough.

Being confident in what I do is an ongoing battle for me. At 25, I’m going to list accomplishments to remind myself of where I started and what I’m doing now to show myself how far I’ve come.

5.       This year my boyfriend Brandon got a puppy named Boone. I absolutely adore him and I learned that getting a puppy is like bringing a baby into your life. He’s finally just sleeping through the night and we’re taking him to puppy school.

6.       It’s been on my bucket list to go to New York Fashion Week. This year I actually did it!

7.       I learned I’m the type of friend you don’t talk to for months. But when we finally hangout, it’s like no time has passed. Specifically, I love how I’ve stayed friends with all my friends from Pepsi. I had two girlfriends visit me in Seattle this past year and I’ve seen two friends in New York who’ve moved there since we’ve left Pepsi.

8.       I learned how to date someone in the same city. I didn’t know how to date someone who lived in the same city as me because I was in a long distance relationship all through college. This could be an entire blog post lolol.

9.       I learned that I wanted to expand Emma’s Edition into lifestyle posts this year. I’m learning that I have a platform and a voice that does matter. I was afraid my political opinions and thoughts may turn people away, but this is my perspective and just my version of the truth. As a blogger, I’m here to give you a little perspective even if you may not agree with it.

10.   I learned I want to make travel more of a priority into my life. I loved visiting the Philippines, Thailand, Hawaii, and New York this past year! This year I’m dying to go to Europe!

11.   I learned to embrace the blogger community. It’s been incredible to work with the local Seattle bloggers for the We Are the Northwest project. I also have loved bouncing off ideas with my friends!

12.   I learned that Corporate America expects you to know certain things as a new grad/entry level employee. I’m going to start writing more about these things as well as career related posts because it’s something people have asked me for.

13.   I learned a lot about my family history in Hawaii. My family emigrated from the Philippines and first settled in Hawaii. I learned my great aunt (I just call her grandma though) was born on sugar cane plantation in Kauai.  I used to visit every year in college for fun but now that I’ve learned about my family history, visiting Hawaii has become so much more important to me.

14.   I learned that I love podcasts. My favorites are: the Lady Gang, Modern Love, the Lively Show, and Blogging Your Passions.

15.   I learned that I wasn’t ready to start an MBA program this year. So instead I decided to take a Marketing Management Certificate at UW. I’ve learned a lot with this certificate program and I’m happy I didn’t commit to an MBA this year because I don’t think my heart would be in it.

16.   I learned that I shouldn’t ignore injuries… my IT band and quad tendon have been bothering me for the past year and I’m now going to physical therapy to strengthen muscles and work on flexibility.

17.   I learned how to take a step back as an older sister. My sister and I are four years apart so I’ve always acted as a third parent in the household. This year I really made an effort to let her make her own decisions and let her know I’m here if she needs advice.

18.   I learned that I face imposter syndrome as a woman of color. This is a future blog post.

19.   I’m learning that as a society, empathy, kindness, and understanding are needed more today than ever with our political, economic, environmental, and global climate. I’m learning that if we let our fears of the unknown dictate our decisions and policies, we will create literal divisions between cultural and religious groups.

 I’m learning that you cannot take the human out of humanity. Humanity struggles to learn the lessons of the past and humanity will always be face the challenge of bias, prejudices, fear, and discrimination.

So the question I pose to myself and my community around me, is how do we become aware of our biases, not let our biases and fear make our decisions, and create a more inclusive society?

20.   I learned that I can be technical in my profession and creative in my passions.

21.   I learned that cooking isn’t as daunting as I’ve made it out to be. I only learned a few dishes: baked salmon, different salads, quinoa, and homemade pizza, but I’m excited to learn how to cook more meals!

22.   I’m learning that I’m constantly asking myself what I’m doing with my career, if what I do matters, and how I’m going to change the world.

23.   I’m learning that I have to check my champagne problems. My iPhone battery dying and my flights not taking off on time are truly first world problems. I went to Thailand and the Philippines this past year and was reminded that I live a nice comfy American life.

24.   I’m learning how to be an advocate and educator as a woman of color. I’ve had conversations with my family and friends about bias, racism, and discrimination. I’m afraid to write about these topics on my blog, but I’m feeling called to do so.

·         Do you know what implicit and explicit bias is?
·         Do you know how these biases affect society’s attitudes towards people of color, women, and people with disabilities, the LGBT community and other marginalized groups in society?
·         Have you ever had a conversation on what white privilege is?
·         Or that as a college educated, young, woman of color, I also benefit from privileges?

If you have any interests in these topics, please let me know. I’m passionate about these things and would love to give you some perspective. I’m just afraid that people don’t want to hear this or are not open to listening to views different from their own…

25.   Every day, I’m learning to be grateful for all the blessings in my life. I’m healthy, have an incredible group of family and friends, a supportive, caring boyfriend, a puppy, a career, a blog, and a voice. 

Photo: Ashley Jacklyn 

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