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Monday, October 5, 2020

26 Years Young

Wow, I'm already 26!

I entered into the new year of my life feeling great. Indoor dining opened a week before my birthday, I closed a high profile restructuring deal, and most importantly, I took the weekend off from work to finally see my family for the first time since last Thanksgiving. Only in investment banking do you have to request to take a weekend off...

My mom and family friends in the NYC area all came to visit. We did the usual shopping and eating, but the most special part was my mom cooking a full Korean meal in my apartment! I never knew such aromatic scents could come from my kitchen...

One of the main things my mom cooked was seaweed soup (mi yeok gook), a traditional Korean birthday meal. The soup is cooked for mothers after child birth, because it is jam-packed with nutrients and helps purify their bodies as they recover. The soup is then served on the child's birthday every year. Given that I have been living away from home since I was 16 (I went to boarding school), this was my first time eating seawood soup in TEN years. How crazy is that? I missed it so much.

If I had to describe this birthday in one word, it would be wholesome. After being in quarantine ALONE for the past 7 months, it was amazing how different my apartment felt with people actually in it. A home that felt lonely and quiet (aside from Zoom calls on speaker) actually felt warm and bright for once. I barely took any photos the entire time, because I wanted to be in the present as much as possible.

When I turned 25 last year, I was glad to be getting older and spent a lot of time reminiscing about the first half of my twenties. As I turn 26 this year, I am reminded of, and excited by, how young I still am. I've been active pretty much my whole life, but there is still so much I want to do, so many people I want to meet, and most importantly, so many things I want to learn... and I have the time and momentum to do them!

A silver lining of this whole pandemic experience for me is that it helped me count my blessings and recognize my privilege. There is a saying in Korean, "I must have rescued a country in my past life (전생에 나라를 구했나보다)," which means you accrued positive karma from your past life to live a blessed life now. While not every day of my life is a breeze, I realize I am extremely privileged to be able to focus solely on my personal and professional growth - and for that, I am incredibly grateful.

This birthday weekend was a much needed time for me. I feel so grateful and rejuvenated. My heart is so full.

26, be good to me :)

Thanks for reading,


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