October 31, 2011 § 6 Comments
Here are some reasons why life is good today:
1. I have some furniture now! A beautiful/comfortable/spacious sectional sofa I got for a sweet deal, a dining table that is slowly turning into a work table, and a chaiiirrrr!! …I still don’t have a bed, but that’s okay. Sleeping on the floor serves as a good reminder for me to not get too comfortable with life *^^*
2. Lunch with two college friends + a new friend who were in the area this weekend! After a week of posting on online forums (yes, I’m the type of person who does that -.-;;) and visiting the grocery store for pathetic attempts at socializing (from which I’ve learned that either (1) people who work in grocery stores do not like small talk, or (2) I suck at small talking to grocery store employees), it felt nice to talk to real human beings with shared connection <3
3. Got my car washed and gave the people a nice tip and they were happy about that so that me happy too
4. Heard my brother is being almost stupidly persistent, but I really respect that and am inspired because he’s a lot more brave and persistent than I ever was/am
5. Yesterday I went on an organized hike led by a super-super-fit-old-man and we climbed/”scrambled” so many rocks so I felt like a squirrel and I took a nap on a warm rock which almost made me feel like a cat so it was all fun because sometimes pretending like you’re an animal reminds you that you essentially are an animal and that you don’t have to take yourself too seriously all the time.
6. First day of work tomorrow! I’m a bit nervous because I want to make a good first impression to my new manager, but I may or may not have semi-ruined that already with a wordy email about being nervous. I sent that email a week ago. He still hasn’t responded so…good job Song-I, good job. :D
October 28, 2011 § 3 Comments
So, I adore positive attitudes and inspirational quotes (I have subscriptions to quote blogs, books filled with inspirational quotes, and maintain lists of them on paper and on laptop)…but these UN-inspiring posters made me actually lol in the middle of the bookstore. Enjoy!
And this last one seemed highly appropriate :)
All images from www.despair.com
Enjoy the upcoming weekend and Happy Halloween to those who celebrate it. And to those who don’t, have a good time boycotting Halloween :)
October 23, 2011 § 6 Comments
Okay, so. I’ve moved into my new apartment a couple days ago and it is very empty and lonely. I have a lot of cupboards but nothing to put inside. Rooms but no furniture. No internet (I currently live at the local Whole Foods for internet). And now…no money. COOL. But my currently empty life is not what this post is about (and PS, don’t worry too much, my life is not that empty. I’m just being dramatic. I have electricity, heat, plenty of frozen dinners, and I recently purchased a fork).
Oh, but before I get to my actual post, here is a picture of my current living situation:
I don’t have much but I have plenty of (sparkling) water!
Anyways. Onto what my post is really about. I’ve been getting a lot of questions from you people and apparently my vagueness doesn’t help to get all up-and-personal. But people, please understand that sometimes my vagueness isn’t an attempt to be mysterious and keep you at a distance – sometimes, I’m vague because I have no idea what is going on either.
One particular question I’ve been getting asked often these days is something along the lines of Song-I, what the eff are you doing with your life?!?
Okay, no one’s actually been that sassy with me – you guys are actually very polite and respectful. The questions are more along the lines of, Song-I, what company will you work for? What will you be doing there? What is your job title? I just like adding profanity sometimes because it makes me seem EDGY and gets the main point across.
According to Google Images, this is what you need to be edgy. Upon reconsideration, I don’t think I can pull it off.
* * * * *
Let’s do this one at a time.
1. Song-I, what company will you work for?
Come next week, I will be a full-time Zappos.com employee. Zappos.com is an online retailer whose competitive edge is their exceptional customer service and mission to deliver happiness. The CEO, Tony Hsieh, is one of those young online genius entrepreneurs and his business philosophy is what drew me to the company. His stance on business practices and company culture is quite in line with my personal ideology. You can read more about his story and company in his book Delivering Happiness (no, I’m not getting paid to advertise or whatnot. These are my personal opinions and I am in no way shape or form accepting a bribe).
2. What will you be doing there?
It seems that I will be doing a variety of tasks.
One of my foremost tasks will be website design maintenance and updates using an online platform called Drupal (think of Drupal as an upgraded version of WordPress, which is what you’re using to read this blog). I’ll also be contributing to the website’s style guide to ensure that Zappos.com has a cohesive aesthetic across the board as the company continues to expand into new ventures. [For those of you who are interested, key words and concepts that I’ll be working with include Usability, User Experience, Interface Design, and some Information Architecture.]
Other tasks will include (1) being a translator between the hardcore techies (software developers) and the hardcore fashionistas (merchandisers) while keeping the needs of the bottom line in the back of my mind, (2) assist management with stuff (aka coffee fetcher?), (3) other stuff, (4) more stuff, and, most importantly, (5) be an enthusiastic and passionate and hardworking and all-around awesome person to work with. That last one will probably prove to be the most difficult because sometimes I like to ignore people lol.
3. What is your job title?
…Don’t tell my boss. -.-;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
It’s because they recently changed it!!! -.-;; …and when I was talking to my future leader-person I was really nervous and scatterbrained so I didn’t hear it clearly and then the moment passed for me to ask him what it was again because I didn’t want to appear stupid. Soooo…now I don’t know what my new job title is and as a result look stupid to all of you guys. But that’s okay because you guys aren’t my bosses so I don’t have to impress you or something mwahahahahahaha.
…But seriously though, (1) I care a lot about your opinions and input so I hope you don’t think I’m stupid and (2) the original position I applied for was titled ‘Site Experience Coordinator‘ and now it is…something along those lines. I think the word “merchandiser” was in there somewhere. Email me in a week if you have a giant itch-in-the-pants-need to know.
* * * * *
So, nosy people, I hope your curiosity has been satiated. Wish me luck and keep me in your prayers – sometimes I act obnoxious and that’s usually when I’m feeling the most insecure so I appreciate your time and interest :)
Jia you!! (to my non-Chinese/Taiwanese friends, that literally translates ‘get gas!’ but indicates a sense of the American-English ‘You can do it!’/the military ‘Hoorah!’/the Korean ‘hwaiting!’/etc)
…omg. I just re-read my post and realized I am lame because I basically just interviewed myself puhahahahaah.
Goodbye friends! Enjoy your week, smile lots, and breathe more :)
October 20, 2011 § 1 Comment
So, I stuffed my life into a car and I’ll be driving off to my next adventure – my first full-time “adultlike” job out of college!
The next chapter of my life will take me to a very…appropriately inappropriate location for me. This city needs no introduction as it is world-renowned for its ridiculousness.
Hello Las Vegas, my new home :)
* * * * *
I said a lot of goodbyes. It was odd. There was such a sense of finality to everything – the last hike, the last meal, the last hug, the last goodbye, the last bit of eye contact…I’ve moved around a LOT in the past and I’ve never felt such a weighty lightness of apprehension when saying goodbye, but this time around was so…oddly momentous. Oddly final. Weird.
Special thanks to the following people who’ve made my short stay in LA a little less lonely a lot more friendly:
CS+GC: Our friendship makes no sense sometimes but I love it. And sometimes I don’t understand why you guys are so nice to me but I really appreciate it all – the love, the laughs, the edibles, the gifts, the time, the presence. <3!
YN+NP: We’re goin’ to Greece and I am so happy that we all agree that it is perfectly normal to sit on trees at nighttime for fun. Let’s squat and stare at wormholes next time :)
BC: You are the best Republic-of-Chinese guy friend a Korean can ask for. I hope to see your tooly business picture covered in a gold frame next year :)
DJL: heheheh diaper buddy. Enough said. I’m happy we reconnected :)
JL: I lurve you and your openness and your energy and your heat strokes and your ability to make me speak and your ability to expand yourself. You are truly precious.
LW: We only met up once but you enlightened me. Spread that to others :)
KS: We’re not even really friends and I don’t think you read my blog but your warmth disarms me and I appreciate your kindness.
HL and company: You guys + me = odd bunch of awkward Koreans. Twas good :)
EC + IH + SP + DC + EL + CO + CC+ MC + HL + JL + YW + BN = <3 & thank you :)
KY: I’d be a mess without you. Thank you.
* * * * *
Goodbye, pre-adulthood student life and wanderings and ability to remain unaccountable for anything serious. I enjoyed our time together.
* * * * *
…Okay, I should’ve ended the post there but I’m about to drive off soon and I’m feeling oddly scared and sad. Here are some quotes that will keep me afloat and brave today:
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” – Ian MaClaren
“Don’t take any of it too seriously.” -Cher
“Life is like one big Mardi Gras. But instead of showing your boobs, show people your brain, and if they like that they see, you’ll have more beads than you know what to do with.” -Ellen DeGeneres
“You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” -A.A. Milne
“Fill yourself with silence, you will find life, And your body shall flourish upon earth.” -Amenemope
“Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming swimming swimming.” -Dory
[Added quote thanks to JHC: “Shut up and swim” -Michael Phelps. lawlz.]
October 8, 2011 § 1 Comment
I’ve been in hiding for the past couple of days because I’m facing a lot of uncertainty about stepping out into the real world AND I AM CONFUSED!!!
You know, here’s the thing about life – it’s a relentless circle of ups and downs. Just as you think you’ve reached a happy place in your life (e.g., graduating high school, graduating college, landing a cool job, etc. etc. etc.), you realize that what you actually come across is ANOTHER uphill to climb! And the higher you go, things become more complicated and convoluted and the roads start twisting and intersecting and intertwining and some roads are well-traveled while others aren’t and you are like WTF am I supposed to do?!?!?
So now that I’ll soon be employed (my first day is November 1st!), here is my current “adultlike” preoccupation:
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ MONEY $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Honestly, I’m not a big fan of money and the way that it skews people and taints relationships. That’s why I’ve tried to avoid it as much as possible. My family didn’t have much money as I was growing up and money was a touchy subject that we avoided because it bruised egos and begot worry lines on my parents faces. Naturally, I avoided the subject of money and I hated asking for money, negotiating for money, being in need of money, talking about money, and even thinking about money.
That’s not to say I don’t like buying stuff and all the pleasures money can provide for you. Don’t get me wrong, of course I’d rather have money than not have money – but money is just a weird and uncomfortable concept that I placed in the backburner of my mind in favor of more idealistic pursuits like “learning” and “passion” and “beauty” and “love.”
I still maintain my passion for idealism, but as I encroach my first full-time job and face financial independence, money is not to be ignored. Like, at all. Like, as in money is screaming in my face. It screams at me in many tongues and volumes, but I’ll pander on about one issue today.
* * * * *
So here’s a common transgression of conversation that I’ve been experiencing these days:
Them: So, what are you doing with your life?
Me: I got a job
Them: Omg congratulations!
Them: What are you doing / What company will you be working for?
Me: I’ll be doing tech/designy/businessy stuff with a cool online retailer
Them: Awesome! Are they going to be paying you well?
Me: Uh…yes? no? maybe so???
That last question really bugs me. Because, well…I don’t know how to answer it. I’m not talking about the objective numerical value here – what perplexes me is the underlying principle. What does a salary mean? What does “being paid well” indicate?
…so I went for a run and started thinking about what it means to be employed.
What exactly is the company paying me for? Why are they giving me money?
The obvious answer is “you’re working for them.” Duh.
But let’s look deeper here. What is “work”? Work and employment comes in various forms, but essentially it is an exertion of one’s energy and time. This can mean physical labor via picking shrubbery, washing dishes, busing tables – or it can mean mental labor via interpreting the law, keeping numerical accounts, strategizing business plans, and so on.
The type of work I’ll be doing is of the latter sort and it got me thinking about the relationship between me and my employer. Essentially, employment is an of exchange of different commodities – I give my brainpower, work ethic, creativity, analytics, and time in exchange for a monetary amount we call “salary” (along with some other stuff) from the employer.
So “salary” means what exactly? I guess it indicates a tangible value the company puts on my brain and my energy. And for a business to thrive and from a numerical/HR point of view, an employee is valuable if and only if he/she brings more value to the company than what they pay you. In essence, the company needs to profit off of you in order to keep you around.
…Where am I going with this? I don’t really know.
But it’s weird isn’t it? Once you’re employed and kind of in the real world, you can be seen as a commodity. And your value is represented numerically by “salary” or “net worth” or “assets minus liabilities” or whatever other fancy terms people like to use. Oh, my favorite is the “credit score” which is basically like your SAT score for life and personhood in the United States.
But the thing is, how are you supposed to know what your inherent value is? How do you put a price tag on your brainpower? What factors determine your market price? Is it relative to what your peers are making? Is there a “Big Man” up there that stickers a price tag on you? How does this system work?!?
…And then when I think about who I’m making money for…which, in essence, are the big investors and stockholders and etc…I get super weirded out because I start wondering how much are they making? And who are they working for? And round and round we go~
* * * * *
Anyways. Okay, let’s get a bit more grounded here. I’m super stressing these days because I’m apartment hunting and thinking about personal finances and how much I’m supposed to spend on housing vs. saving. vs. investing vs. buying stuff vs. taxes vs. utilities vs. wondering about my parents retirement vs. brothers college vs. blahblahblahblahblahblah omg. And with parents who are not really in tune with the American monetary system or multi-generational relationships with family-friend tax accountants and lawyers, where do you start?!?
Le sigh. Sometimes, I do wish I had the benefit of a rich uncle who knew all the answers. Or the networking-savvy personality who can sliver his/her way into insider circles and whatnot. Unfortunately, I don’t fall within either of those categories so off to the shelves we go!
If anyone’s as confused as I am about finances, here are three books that serve as a good entryway into the intimidating world of personal finance and investment strategies:
1. On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl’s Guide to Personal Finance by Harvard MBAs Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar. A good start for personal finance newbies. An no, you don’t have to be a female to reap the benefits of this clean-cut simple yet extremely informational book (image via manishathakor.com).
2. My next recommendation for finance newbies is The Random Walk Guide to Investing by Burton G. Malkiel. I haven’t personally tried any of the methods in this book (uh, you kinda need money to start investing. darn.), but apparently this guy knows what he is talking about when it comes to safe investing (image via tower.com).
3. And for a less conservative and intriguingly bold approach to personal finances, superseller Rich Dad Poor Dad is quite a juicy read. Author Robert Kiyosaki’s methods make my money-conservative heart beat a little quicker, but the author is quite compelling and persuasive. Again, I haven’t personally tried his methods so I am in no way recommending you go out and start buying/selling houses and whatnot – but it’s a different perspective so it’s worth reading (image via wikisummaries.org).
* * * * *
And one last thing before I go. Goodbye and thank you sir Steve Jobs.
The man’s words and actions I really took to heart. They fueled my gap year of amazing randomness, they imbued confidence in me when my parents were discouraging, and encouraged me to really follow my inner voice which led me to get hired at a cool company. And who knows where else they will guide towards.
Thank you Mr. Jobs. You continue to inspire.
“Keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”
“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”
October 2, 2011 Enter your password to view comments.