Measuring Myself Today

Health:
Physically, I’m in pretty good shape. I’ve been trying to work out almost every other day, and it really helps me wash out the negativity and the mind wormholes I get into pretty often as someone with a head that has trouble not thinking. While being in shape is important, the need to exercise for me I feel comes mostly from the endorphins and relaxation (rewards!) I feel from getting an engaging workout in and having it demand all my physical and mental attention. It quiets my thoughts, and I really love that.
Food wise, I haven’t been eating healthily and I need to change that. I’m pretty tired from work most of the time, so I need to make sure I’m not eating foods that support lethargy or a weakening of the immune system.
I’m also struggling a lot with memory. Short term and some long term memories are really joggy and it’s getting concerning. At first I thought it was because I’m all over the place, and I’m just someone who needs to implement check lists, plan and such in very concrete, written ways. But I’m beginning to think it’s not just that. I keep forgetting things at an alarming frequency. Something to address and commit to going to a doctor for before it gets worse.
Physically also, I’ve been exploiting my youth by running on a bad foot for a while. The fractures keep recurring, the pain never goes away, and yet I’m still running. A conversation with a physical therapist last weekend really woke me up because she warned me that while my body is giving me all it’s got now, it won’t ever do that as I age, and that this could quadruple into a really serious issue if I’m not proactive and don’t make the decision to stop running as I’ve avoided so now. It hurts my young self: my passion and love for the rush of BREEZE I feel when running, experiencing nature at that kind of speed, and my pride as a 26 year old woman, but I need to work on being okay with stopping.
Work:
Work is pretty intense. I’m realizing more and more in hindsight that there were and are parts that are more intense and hard for me, as I’m still struggling a bit with resisting the unbalance that comes with being entrepreneurial. I kept fighting it. and I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that I’m supposed to be sitting alongside the minion that is crazy startup life and embracing it. Not all of it, but some of it. And that my understanding and personal definition of what it means to be “balanced” is a little rigid and maybe open to revision. It’s crazy hilarious and exasperating just how much I’m resisting the startup life. It’s perhaps very foolish of me. A developing thought, and not a belief yet, but sharing nonetheless. Business this early stage is also not going well at any point in time, and as a small company it’s hard to take the gains and losses of the company at arm’s length. Everything hits me.
I need to mentally be there, in that everything I am doing is understood [by me] that it was the best I could do at every given moment, with the best interests in mind and that I need to be better at bouncing back, being more openminded, and adapting even more so when the variables and circumstance change around me.
In terms of network and and professional life, things are going really great. I’m coming into my own as a professional and as an individual who is really curious, has a lot of things to say and craves deep connection. I’m continuously building upon and defining this multi-faceted, yet-to-be-determined creature that is my public self. I’ve been freelance modeling, started lecturing as a guest lecturer at NYU, consulted a few consumer brands, and advocating for mental health & my main work, ATEM. Life is very good on that front, and it’s amazing being part of a new tribe that’s full of many beautiful, bright, and well-meaning people, and thick in with the entrepreneurial, founder, business-women & men community.
Love:
The love is great. Not without some bumps and minefields thrown onto the plane I live in, but man is it great:
My love for God is amazing right now and rising.
My family, as colorful as our dynamics are, is trending up in the most beautiful, and wholesome ways I’ve never seen!
My romantic experiences, while colorful [in part to my overthinking myself], have been wonderful in their own ways, and I’m growing and learning more about myself: exploring the good sides, examining the needing improvement sides, and am interfacing and growing to know, see and share in the promise of love with someone that I believe and am grateful I have such a natural connection to.
Friendships are great. I’ve really seen this arena defining itself in the past 2 years and friendships are sifting and solidifying in their places as I feel they should be. There is the constant influx of new and old characters of course, and navigating that and my changing feelings and our changing positions is sometimes verging on the disorienting (hello people pleaser Susan, but short on time and life Susan), but this sphere’s developed into something that’s very much a solid ecosystem of peoples that are very loving and awesome and just solid, solid, lovable, trustworthy friends.
Play:
Play for me from experience (and I only have twenty-some years of this thing, experience) is doing or seeing something very creative or emotionally provocative.
That usually means for me seeing art, going to see an opera, being in some very high-nature habitat, maybe going horse riding? (it’s on my bucket list, I’ve never done it!!).
Reading is for certain for pleasure, but most recently I’ve been reading a lot to learn with the intention of helping myself develop as a professional and in more public facing contexts, and I’ve not honestly been allowing myself to pick up much reading for sheer “valueless” (whatever that means) pleasure . Learning though is a direct pleasure channel for me, so this is a little murky. I love to read to learn. But I suppose the topics I would be reading on would slightly change if I was only reading this past season for sheer pleasure. I would be less focused [by my nature] in my choice of subject matter, and would be reading anything from surfing, to horseriding, to vinoculture, to wines in Paso Robles, to the history of an art I have my eyes newly fixed on, to reading on photography, to reading on sculpture making, to reading all the books I have in my personal reading to do list, and rereading Jane Austen on replay over, and over, and over again.
As Bill Burnett and Dave Evans define it in Designing Your Life, play eliminates any and all consideration of “work” that is colored even with a drop of something that is not pure joy:
“Play is all about joy. If you observe children at play, you will see the type of play we are talking about. Play is any activity that brings you joy when you do it. It can certainly include organized activity or competition or productive endeavors, but when those things are done, “for the joy of it” they are play. When an activity is done to win, to advance, to achieve– even if it’s fun to do so– it’s not play. It may be a wonderful thing, but it’s still not play. The question here is what brings you joy purely in the doing.”
While work has required me to pull down on the play, I’ve managed to stay really committed to a really concentrated number of “play” activities I consider my top most priorities and most consistent sources for sheer Susan joy: reading, nature, and art 🙂
In an ideal world, I’d like to have even more leisure to explore more and see if other play activities would actually bring me more pleasure, but unfortunately exploration does require new commitment and more time allocated to things that are uncertain and at best to be determined in their joy-value adds in my life.  At least for now 🙂 And that’s okay.
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Some Experiences of 2018 and Goals for 2019

Experiences of 2018

1. loved

2. made life long and diverse friendships from my time in California in the summer

3. tested myself as the CEO of my own company– and dealt with and am continuing to deal with the everyday prospect of rejection and personal rejection and observing myself responding to and living these moments, well, or not so well.

4. saw the fruit of my strong relationships with the women in my life

5. revealed a personal long term trauma of mine from childhood to a room of 60+ colleagues and strangers > which unintentionally sparked a wonderful and effective road to recovery, healing, closure, and peace in my life. It was a mixture of owning the experience and being of the age and emotional maturity to really own it. I’ve talked about this trauma to other people before and when I was younger, but I was never “there” emotionally and mentally to free myself from the burden of my experience. This time, it seems I was.

6. actively sought to support, pray for, and aid the people in my life and colleagues I met once or more than a couple times through my work.

7. experienced very little depressive thinking and anxiety

8. had the opportunity to travel and experience the most wonderful new things nearly every month

9. lots of family loss and pain because of health problems + dealing with the painful history my immediate family shares.

10. learned to love my body and myself even more. Not over exceedingly. Just accurately.

11. practiced killing my pride and the areas of my close-mindedness

12. Experienced both the bliss and fortitude of not comparing myself to anyone and the pain of putting myself down or making myself insecure by comparing myself to others throughout intermittent months

Goals of 2019

1. Be a better listener. More actionably, stop interrupting and learn to put pen to paper if my thoughts keep overruling my desire to listen to the other and overwhelming my head and tempt me to interrupt conversation.

Enforce the mindset that a conversation with ANYONE = a precious time to show my appreciation for and understanding of them through LISTENING – action.

2. Stop my pattern of mumbling.

3. Last year to become fluent in French

Take it as a black or white scenario. Winner takes all.

(This kind of harsh mentality might not work for everyone, but I’ve found that for me, when I deal with mental absolutes when setting expectations for myself, I end with half or half + the expectations I set myself. )

4. Be increasingly there for my family members, H, W, J, and J while keeping boundaries for the life and identity that I am uniquely constructing for myself on my own terms.

5. Learn how to say NO – two reasons – 1. protect my wellbeing, and my limited energy (if I keep saying yes, I’ll run myself to the ground) and 2. check bullshit from others as the first sentence is uttered or written. Find a way to stay kind and respond or ignore messages without feeling guilty and without bile to people who seek to take or have an agenda that is not wise or in service to you or others?, or… I feel like there is a wiser way of going about this. But I haven’t come to the answer yet.

6. Have ATEM succeed

7. Work better to protect the marginalized and misunderstood, particularly those with issues I am personally passionate about:

  • sexual harassment
    • check people, even if they are people who are more powerful than me or men I have a personal attachment to.
  • gender discrimination
    • grow as a woman who denies expectations prescribed to her present and future (be independent! Be a wife! Don’t be a wife! Don’t quit your job! Quit your job! Be more dependent! Be less dependent!). Grow as a woman who determines what it is to be herself on her own terms. Grow and inspire by example. Currently, it means being secure and proud of the fact that I want to 2. continue doing fulfilling and meaningful work, and 1. [In the future] devote all of my resources to be the best family woman there ever was. I want to have a wonderful husband and I want to have children. I want to devote myself 100% to my partner and am okay with throwing myself 100% to support my partner’s career aspirations (if and when a family exists), so long as when the time comes that I am asked to make a sacrifice, the changes are decided on “together” with the mutual understanding that it was needed not because I am a woman and it’s the responsibility of the woman to fulfill the family rearing needs, but because it was my choice, my honor, and my joy to take that choice for the family; I am 100% supportive of any partner making career changes or stepping back from something for the family as a whole. That is my definition of being a woman and a person on my own terms.
  • racial discrimination
    • be more vocal in the public sphere and during my day to day commute when I see this happening for example on NY subway platforms.
  • domestic violence
    • explore and identify projects I might want to get involved in either with my resources with time or finances
    • think proactively about the future: while there are not many in my personal network that are married, the numbers will rise with time, and it is important to be diligent and create a strong foundation for my female (not excluding males too) relationships now of openness, compassion, and willingness to listen, so that if the time ever comes these people (or even me) have someone to fall back on and trust or send an SOS too.
  • lack of access due to socio-economics – financial/human capital
    • immediately actionable: use the professional and personal network I have to nurture and help individuals in the ways I can.

8. Visit my mom in Korea

9. Go back to France. 🙂

10. Find a new system to reincorporate an optimal rate of reading and doing/seeing art (things I love) as I continue to build ATEM – system I continued into 2018 with and worked with throughout the year doesn’t work anymore due to the immense time suck I’ve had with my personal time due to work demands and stress (stress, because when super drained, it is hard to read, even if you do have that hour).