Life Updates- The Good, Bad & Ugly

Hi friends,

I’m going to start with an apology – I have been sucking at giving life updates this year. Truthfully, I’ve been trying to shrink back from putting all my thoughts and feelings to the public. I’ve been feeling all sorts of feelings this year- some of the feelings included some really high highs with equally matched feelings of low lows. But as this week was approaching, I’ve come to realize that I missed writing and I missed sharing and so I will share with you all what I’ve been up to besides just food postings.

As I was leaving China, my personal life was crumbling before my eyes, but coming home I was beginning to become somewhat hopeful. A month before I left, I was offered a promotion from Scholastic headquarters. The new role included in helping develop learning curriculum for the Asian countries and train teachers to be familiarized with Scholastic teaching strategies. I debated about the offer for a week, but after Bre, (my former summer roommate from grad school) sent me a long message about how she strongly advise me it was a bad idea cause somehow she knew I was ‘just settling’. Call it weird but I was waiting for some sign or someone to say it’s not for you and she did. Till this day I am very grateful for that strong push and friends like that in my life.

Coming home, let’s just say job searching was a definite learning curve. It was met with unrealistic expectations and the harsh reality of the job market. Simultaneously while job hunting, my grandmothers’ health had begun to decline rapidly. That is when I started observing the difference between good and bad healthcare and it sparked a former interest I had with serving the elderly community. The next thing I knew I was applying to all these senior facilities for any mid-level position. After a month, I found a restaurant manager position at an upscale senior facility. Once I started, I didn’t have a life (like literally). I liked the adrenaline of that go-go-go mentality and of course being around food and genuinely good and hardworking people. But after a while, it began to wear on me and I soon came to realize that working that many hours with never knowing which days were my day off, I knew I was a few fuses away from being burnt out. I remember sitting in my car for a half an hour late at night so my feet could stop tingling from all the walking. On average I walked 8-9 miles a day in the restaurant.

Well, I don’t really have to say what happened next as I felt resigning was my only option. I call the next phase the do-nothing phase for three months. I would wake up, eat the same breakfast and pretty much just lounge the whole day. The most interactive thing I did was go to the gym and hang out with my boyfriend at the time. Going from having structure and having a stringent schedule for the last six years of my life, to this phase was brutal on my sanity. Confused was not even the right word, to sum up, the whole experience. It was also accompanied by feelings of disappointment, embarrassment, guilt, and sadness. It affected me in many ways. I began to shrink back cause I felt really small and my perspective on life became limited.

It was hard reconciling the go-getter Sam that I knew I could be and the Sam that felt all those defeated feelings. In that season, my faith even grew dim. Eventually, after a few months of that phase, I jumped into another role at an another senior facility. I just knew I had to get a job so I could put my hands to work. And during that timeframe, I experienced another disappointment and that is when I finally hit a wall- a wall that I knew it was an inciting sink or swim moment. I was sulking and sinking for a few weeks, but I finally surrendered those thoughts and prayed for strength for Jesus’s mercy and grace to help me face whatever ill feelings I had towards myself and others.

& guys it’s been a process and though I’m not that close on the other side yet,  I am so thankful for the grueling trials that have molded me to be able to share these struggles honestly. I still have many days or many hours where my mind just eats me up and I beat myself up with the same exact thoughts consuming my mind over and over and over again. I am a broken record in my own head. But this year, through the trials, I have become more vocal that I needed help. See, I’ve always I knew I needed to talk to an objective party but I was trying to suppress those feelings for so long. I started seeing a counselor and it’s helped me tremendously sort out those feelings and experiences. Side note: If you can relate to those feelings, I would encourage for you not to fear to look for help. My only regret was not doing this sooner.

Additionally, I’ve come to learn how I’m not as self-sufficient as I like to think I am. In this particular season in my life, I am learning that apart from Jesus I really cannot do anything. And it’s taken so much to get to this point but I’m here now- and to know that I need Jesus in every way has made this process well worth it.

But enough with the sad gloomy tones. Within this year I was blessed with a few amazing experiences/opportunities such as graduating from grad school in the fall and having random spontaneous trips to visit friends this year.

In February I was a guest on the show Check Please Bay Area. It was at the time, I was not working, so I remember it was a great encouragement for me to keep pursuing my passion for sharing my perspectives on food with others. I remember just feeling the nervousness in the beginning of the filming but later being confident of what I had to say mattered. It was a very special moment- a moment I will hold dear to my heart. I will also post the link to the video so you guys can check it out 🙂

https://ww2.kqed.org/checkplease/2017/04/27/check-please-bay-area-season-12-reviews-farmhouse-kitchen-ovo-tavern-eatery-anatolian-kitchen/

Another opportunity involves my participation in the Miss Asian Global and Miss Asian America pageant on August 12, 2017. It has not been easy with juggling work, other activities, pageant practices, and deadlines, but I’ve been having the best family support system ever. It honestly takes a village to be successful and my family has been extra understanding and supportive of my needs and making sure that I am taking care of myself in this time. I will be posting an introduction video very soon in the next few weeks. Please make sure to like and share the video. The most votes do earn a finalist spot. Also be sure to check my other pageant sister’s introduction. What you’ll find is that were all so unique in our own way and it’s worth digging into each one of our stories to get to know us behind the pretty face.

So this pretty much wraps up the blog post. Thank you all for reading and letting me pour my heart out. I know I’ve already apologized once. But as I am typing this, I want to also apologize if I have given off the impression that my life was somehow perfect. I am not and in fact, I am far from it. I hope what I wrote today would shed some insight of how human we all are. I just thank Jesus for sustaining me thus this far. Feel free to comment or send me a message.

With the deepest appreciation and love,

Sam

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