Anna’s Summer 2019 Favorites: Turning 23 & Celebrating My 1-Year Work Anniversary

Anna’s Summer 2019 Favorites: Turning 23 & Celebrating My 1-Year Work Anniversary

Summer Recap: June, July, and August Favorites

I’m almost ashamed to post this because it’s literally almost been half a year since I last did a Favorites but in my defense I had this (half) ready but didn’t get around to editing it ? (For old-time procrastinators who can see through my bull-shit….alright you caught me.)

It feels like time passes by faster and faster as you get older (and actually according to my math-major boyfriend this is mathematically proven to be true) and honestly when I looked back at what I did in June, July, and August I was pretty surprised. 

But a lot did happen. I met new people, made new friends, learned how to adjust to adult frendshipping, from keeping up with my college friendships to turning work friendships into life friendships. I went out of my comfort zone, literally and mentally. I flew across the world to reunite with Praisella and it felt like no time passed by since we last hung out in person. This past summer was a period of reconnection, rediscovery and growth that didn’t feel like it until after the matter. Oh and did I mention I turned 23? Haha.


June started off with LOTS of socializing: a Hogwarts-themed BBQ, more BBQs lol, and birthday celebrations in particular. One of the more exciting ones was with one of my good work friends who rented a cable car (yes you read that correctly) and we spent the whole evening cable car-ing throughout the hills of San Francisco with bubblies in hand, stopping only to catch the sunset at the Golden Gate. 

Leading up to it I was hesitant about it since it was a four-hour long ride with a lot of strangers and I wouldn’t be able to excuse myself early if I wanted to (anybody else actually an introvert at heart?). But that didn’t happen — in fact the four hours flew by and everybody I met was great to chat with. It was a good reminder for me to be more open-minded to experiences that take me out of my comfort zone.

It wasn’t all parties though, I attended a professional event called the Pan-Asian Executive Panel. I’m a huge sucker for professional talks but was a little nervous to go. This was my first post-grad professional event hosted outside of my company and contained a reception beforehand for attendees to chat with other Asian professionals. 

The idea of networking always daunted me — it was that mixture of strangers and the idea of having to have a professional front that made me always view these kinds of interactions as ingenuine to myself. I much preferred getting to know people one on one in more intimate settings. I had told myself that month though that I would start to accept opportunities to go outside of my comfort zone otherwise, how else would I grow? 

I remember not telling any of my work friends or friends in the area I was going because I wanted to try networking by myself, without falling into the comfort of just chatting to the friend I come with. And it ended up going really well! I met a really interesting lady there who just came from her last day at work — she had quit her job. We talked about a variety of things including why we started our current jobs. I ended up bumping into a mutual friend of my co-worker at the event and it turned into a nice bonding session.

Following that same burst of random motivation for self-improvement that I got at the start of summer, I decided to apply to a social impact program that my friend recommended to me called YCore. 

For the longest time I was itching to be involved in my community again — just like how I was back in college. I missed working towards a cause and surrounding myself with people passionate about the same cause. I was thinking of volunteering but wanted to venture into something more like pro-bono consulting, something more like strategic planning. YCore was the perfect mix of everything I was looking for. It’s a nonprofit that connects young professionals who want to make a social impact to other bay area nonprofits who do not have the resources to hire more people for their initiatives. I’m so glad I ended up doing this because it ended up being an amazing experience and I gained some new friends. I’ll talk more about my experience in YCore in a separate post.


I think the biggest highlight of my summer though was reuniting with Praisella 🙂 For my July 4th company holiday break, I flew to Hong Kong to meet up with her before we both flew to South Korea. Words can’t explain what an amazing time I had. It felt so nice being in the same time zone again (long distance friendship problems lol), chatting the night away about our hopes, fears, uncertainties and dreams and just exploring new places together. 

I also stayed behind in South Korea for an extra 2 days which was my very first taste of solo travel. I was pretty nervous about it since I’ve never done that before plus it unnerved me that I wouldn’t be able to speak the language if something happened but I honestly really enjoyed it. It was nice setting my own pace and making last-minute changes to my day’s plan depending on what I was feeling and what I wanted to do without needing to consult someone else. 

Overall, this trip was definitely unforgettable and it gave me a travel bug that still makes me itch for another international trip soon. 

And did I mention that I decided to dye my hair and get bangs for the first time in my non-teen life after my 14 hour flight? 

Nothing like keeping myself on my toes.


The summer wrapped up with some pretty big adulting milestones. We finally held our housewarming party (yes it took us three months to get our apartment to look decent and it may or may not have been because we couldn’t decide on what color rug to order).

I also had my one-year work anniversary — not just at the company I work at now but just ever haha. The day didn’t feel any different and it honestly still feels surreal that an entire year has passed where I became a real Working ProfessionalTM. I still remember my first week and how anxious I was from all the little thoughts I had — “Would I get along with my coworkers, would I like the job, would my manager like me, how can I talk to customers who are my parents’ age”….. And now I look back and smile. I love my cohort and can’t imagine how different work would be without them. My cohort and I had a really sweet and wholesome dinner celebrating our anniversary with drinks, sushi, and toasts sharing our reflection of the past year. Feels were definitely had.

But enough of my ramblings (why do I write an entire essay each time). Here are some songs and shows I tuned into over the summer (yes even during a period of socializing I made sure to make time for my Netflix binging)…. And I may or may not have created a Spotify Playlist called “Guava’s Bops” after my housemate’s dog for our house-warming but you don’t need to know the link to that.

? ♪ ♫ Bops ♪ ♫ ? 

Songs that make me feel like I’m the main character of a music video:

Hide and Seek – Steve Void, BEAUZ, Carly Paige

That Way – Xiutcasecity

Wildfire – Mia Vaile, James Mercy

Feel Like A Fool – Kali Uchis

Walls Could Talk – Halsey

Go to Sleep – Bearson, Kailee Morgue, Oshi

Between the Words – Devault, Matt Maeson

Songs that make me wish I had the skills to choreograph a dance to it:

How Badly – In Real Life

Love Me Less – MAX, Quinn XCII

Songs that are relatable af:

Cherry Lambo – Evalyn

Remember This – NF

Songs that make me feel badass:

Leave Me Alone – Flipp Dinero

ZEZE – Kodak Black, Offset, Travis Scott

Songs to play in the background:

Charcoal Baby – Blood Orange

Songs that make me feel warm and fuzzy inside:

Habit – Still Woozy

Goodie Bag – Still Woozy

Corduroy Dreams – Rex Orange County

Oh, the Moon! – AJ Abdullah

Songs I just like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

Later Bitches – The Prince Karma (Honestly was debating if I should add this song bc the whole time it’s just one wild trip….and honestly straight up weird. But in a “I dig it” kind of way. You’ll see what I mean ?)

Throwback songs I rediscovered:

Slow Jamz – Twista, Kanye West, Jamie Foxx

Audio – Sia, Diplo, Labrinth 

Slow Down Love – Louis the Child, Chelsea Cutler

Myself – Bazzi

??Eye Candy ??

It’s Bruno!

Plot: A guy in Brooklyn who loves his dog Bruno very (very) much. Yes. That’s the plot. 

Ya’ll do I need to say anything else. Ok sure maybe you’re thinking “wtf can be so interesting about this” BUT — if you want a quick laugh and you appreciate dogs, THIS is the thing to watch. You will not regret. Trust. And yes, there IS a story, it’s not a docuseries on an actual pet-owner pairing, although I’m sure that has merit too. 

Extreme Engagement

Plot: An engaged couple travel around the world for a year to experience extreme marriage customs from different cultures in hopes that it would bring them closer together — but does it?

This series is a great combo of a documentary and reality show format. I’m usually not one for docu-series but hats off to the couple in it . They filmed and produced this documentary themselves with really — and I mean really — beautiful cinematography and shots. AND they went through honestly some really insane trials and customs from remote villages that are not for the faint of the heart. Not only was it incredibly interesting to get a peek into the most diverse and extreme marriage rituals from around the world, but it was also really fascinating seeing how these situations revealed certain sides of each partner that the other partner somehow never confronted with before which led them to question if their engagement was a good idea after all. It also led to lots of entertaining moments where my boyfriend and housemate and I would shout at the TV screen going “WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT”. But that’s part of the fun of reality TV right?

Schitt’s Creek

Plot: An incredibly rich family suddenly gets scammed and become broke af. The only thing that the government leaves them with is a small town called Schitt’s Creek, which they bought a long time ago as a joke.

I love love love this sitcom. Didn’t think it would be so entertaining to see a family so out of touch with how normal people live try to adjust to a different kind of lifestyle. Granted, the family is a caricature of wealthy people but that’s the fun and charm of the show — it doesn’t take itself too seriously. The characters really bring this show to the home base — each dealing with the transition in their own overdramatic way. As the viewer, it’s interesting to see how the characters react in an environment where they are so out of their element. My favorite characters are the mother — Moira — and her daughter — Alexa. Their acting is amazing and I can’t get over the intonations and catchphrases they created to convey their characters’ personalities. 

Last Thoughts

I’m still kind of blown away how this much happened in 3 months — it never feels like you’re doing a lot day to day but I appreciate moments of reflection like this where I think it’s okay to pat yourself on the back and say — that was a good time. 

Oh and I turned 23. I keep forgetting ?(Oh god is this the thing people talk about where you keep forgetting until you get to an age where you just don’t want to remember anymore….) 

My 23rd birthday was actually really nice. As a summer baby, I’m used to having very lowkey birthdays since school would be out by then and my few friends who didn’t have family vacations or summer school would just grab a meal with me. This was the first time where I spent it with lots of people (because of work + people visiting), had THREE cakes (hello diabetes), and had a nice wholesome all you can eat KBBQ with some of my closest friends at a mom-and-pop joint that played a really cheesy but cute birthday song/powerpoint for me over the speakers and monitors when they spotted my party hat (yes I am a kid at heart). 

Another birthday highlight was having some of my best friends from college in town, including my roommate from back at UCSB who flew in from LA. Lots of brunching was involved haha 🙂 

Aside from becoming closer and closer to realizing that I’m a real adult now (how many times do you think I’ll need to say this until I believe it?) and don’t have excuses for things anymore, I think I can say that 23 is off to a pretty good start.


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