Three years since we last posted real content on this blog. Three years is a long time, and many things have changed since then. We would like to re-introduce ourselves.
Hi, this is the 2017 version of Annie and Juliet.
What have you been doing since graduating from college?
Annie: Since graduation, I have moved four times, gotten a US driver’s license (within a month of “practice” and one 2-hour lesson with a driving school), bought my first car, worked in the architecture industry, went to many Boston Red Sox games at Fenway Park, found my love for snowboarding, made long lasting memories with friends, learned to love in a romantic relationship, and travelled to other countries. I currently reside in Taoyuan, Taiwan. I’ve gotten back into fitness and regularly going to the gym (I fell off the wagon after learning that I was moving back to Taiwan – BUT THAT’S OK because I’m back!) and finding new hobbies.
Juliet: Work-wise, I stayed in Boston and started working for a corporate company as part of a rotational program. I have been through 3 rotations and just moved into my last rotation – so far, I have been a training coordinator, a developer, and a program operations analyst. I am liking my last rotation so far because my manager is challenging to learn new things related to data science, starting with D3 and Tableau.
Romantically, I am still single. I did go on a couple Tinder dates, but nothing’s really happened.
Other things, I started making videos and posting them on my YouTube channel, anuggetofchuang. I started making videos to have documentation of my memories. Also to let my parents know what I am up to because (I admit it) I am not the best at phoning home or texting them. Sometimes Annie helps me with my videos with the graphic design and artsy stuff!
What was the biggest challenge you faced since 2014?
A: The biggest challenge I faced since 2014 would be moving back to Taiwan, the country where I’m from, but never lived in. It didn’t hit me that I was not ready to move back to Taiwan until after being here for a month because it felt like a vacation in that first month. Not only was I not ready to move back but also most of my supporters in life were back in the States/other countries, so I had to deal with my emotions on my own. Granted my family lives in Taiwan, but it’s not the same. I’m not fluent in Mandarin like I am in English (conversationally I’m fine, but my vocabulary is very limited and I have an accent), so it made me feel even more like an outsider than I already did in a country I was supposed to call home. I hit rock bottom when I didn’t deal with my emotions of sadness, stress, and loneliness. But I’m slowly pulling myself out of this hole and finding who I am again with help from the amazing people in my life.
J: I’ve been quite lucky to not have to face major challenges – by major, I mean lose a job or racked up too much debt or anything of the sort. The challenges I have been facing are more of first-world problems, like keeping up with people I care about. For example, the former director of my team left the company several months ago, and I should but haven’t reached out to him lately. It’s on my to-do list.
What have you watched, read, or listened to recently that you would recommend to others? Why?
A: The TV show “The Good Place” starring Kristen Bell, is about a woman named Eleanor Shellstrop, who wakes up in the “good” place of the afterlife. However, she learns that she has taken the place of another woman with the same name, who coincidentally died at the same time as her. Throughout the series, Eleanor finds ways to keep her morally imperfect personality a secret from everyone, in hopes of staying in the good place. I really enjoyed this TV show for its length (20 minute episodes), comedy, and plot originality. It’s a great show to watch when you want to take a quick break from work or to destress.
J: The podcast episode “#219: Lessons from Warren Buffett, Bobby Fischer, and Other Outliers” from The Tim Ferriss Podcast. It is an interview with Adam Robinson, who is an American educator, freelance author, and a US Chess Federation life master. He was talking about how he realized that he had 3 goals in life: make a connection with everyone he meets, have fun and delight others, and expect every moment in life to be magical. Lately, I have been thinking about how to describe what my goals are as a person, and I think his response sums up everything I believe in and live by.
What is one way in which you have changed over the last couple of years?
A: I’ve become more self-aware of my emotions and feelings. For as long as I could remember, whenever any negative feelings started creeping in, I would push them aside as if they didn’t exist. I think I wanted to pretend I was okay so I didn’t have to deal with the pain that came with those feelings. But doing so only created more stress for myself. I’ve learned to embrace the good and the bad, it’s okay to FEEL!
J: I became more self-confident. I went into college with braces, and that scarred me so much. When I needed braces at the end of junior year of high school, I told my orthodontist that I did not care about the pain, I wanted to make sure that I was not wearing braces when I go to college. I had it in my mind that nobody would want to be friends with me because I would look like a dork, and I would not be able to reinvent myself even after getting my braces off. All I wanted going into college was to be a cool girl. Although he did heed my request and tightened my teeth so much each time that I passed out several times from not being able to eat anything, I still had to wear braces going into college.
My self-esteem took a nosedive – I remember trying to not talk at all (and for those of you who know me, that is almost impossible) because then my braces would be seen by the world. After a couple months, I just lost myself and it took a long time for me to feel good again. Through it all, I learned to be better and kinder to myself, and it’s something I stress to my friends whenever they are having difficult times in their lives.
Rapid Fire Questions
What TV show are you loving right now?
A: It’s hard to pick one because there’s so many I love! If I had to pick, I would say the one that gives me the feels every episode is “This is Us”.
J: I can only choose one?! Hunted – it’s about 9 teams of two that try to evade capture for 28 days in order to win $250,000. I’m learning how to hide if I ever need to go underground.
What is your current favorite song?
A: It Ain’t Me by Kygo and Selena Gomez.
J: Touch by Little Mix.
If you won $1,000 right now, what is the first thing you would do?
A: It’s tempting to say buy a plane ticket back to Boston to see my friends, but that’s not even enough money for a round trip ticket haha. As lame as it sounds, I’d probably put it in the bank.
J: I would bring 1 friend and go to that fancy (read: expensive) sushi restaurant in Boston.
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– Annie & Juliet