Reflections and Expectations: Now, you know how I feel

(clockwise from top left) San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge, ARTIC in Anaheim, Davies Symphony Hall

(clockwise from top left) San Francisco skyline from Coit Tower, Golden Gate Bridge, ARTIC in Anaheim and Davies Symphony Hall

Happy New Year, America!

2015 is already getting off to a cautiously decent start for me. Slowly but surely, everything that weighed me down in 2014 is fading away and becoming less impactful to my life.

The year is still young so I wouldn’t be quick to celebrate anything. I’m still committed to taking actions throughout the year to ensure this truly is a better year and that I would finally recover from a prolonged personal and professional slump that has entered its third year this month.

To look at how 2015 is getting off to a seemingly good start, let’s look back at the month that was in the latest Reflections and Expectations.

January 2015

Graduate school – My third semester and fifth class for the Master of Science in Transportation Management program at San Jose State University (SJSU) began earlier this month.

This current class deals with transportation finance and funding, taught by a former CEO of the transportation agency I used to work at as an intern and someone I worked extensively with. It helps to have that kind of rapport already established, especially when it crosses over from a professional to an educational setting.

Only five more classes and 17 months to go until I earn that master’s degree. June 2016 is just around the corner.

Also worth noting is that I earned an A minus in the two Fall 2014 classes I took. Adding those with the A that I earned in the two classes in spring semester last year, I have virtually earned all A grades so far. Only rarely in grade school and college have I ever earned an A in any of the classes I have taken. I hope to keep up this streak with my remaining six classes including my current one.

Get-Gutsy-Week-graphic#GetGutsy essay contest – Earlier this month, I submitted an essay through a blog post in this space as part of my good friend Jessica Lawlor‘s second annual #GetGutsy essay contest. This was my first year as a participant.

The post simply details my relocation to the Bay Area back in October and how it played into the narrative of getting gutsy — one of Jessica’s signature taglines and philosophical principles emblazoned on her wonderful blog. Give it a read as well as that of others. I enjoyed sharing my story for others to read as well as reading a few stories others have shared.

IMG_4204Mother’s visit to the U.S. – My biological mother from South Korea made one of her rare visits to the United States this week.

Last weekend, I hosted her visit in the Bay Area. For someone who is quite the world traveler, she has never visited San Francisco before. We went up there on Saturday and Sunday to visit many of the tourist hotspots in the city including Chinatown, Lombard Street, Ghirardelli Square, Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39 and Coit Tower. On that Friday afternoon, I gave her a brief tour of the San Jose area with a tour of the SJSU campus and dinner at a sushi restaurant I previously visited on my own a year ago.

This past Monday until Wednesday, I flew down to Orange County with my mother to visit my relatives in Huntington Beach as well as to spend some time with our respective friends in the area. I’m already planning on a second trip to Orange County late February, shortly before my mother flies back to South Korea.

IMG_4229Expectedly, the biggest challenge of hosting her visit was the language barrier that exists between us — she only speaks Korean while I can only speak English. Although we did our best to communicate through the Google Translate app on our smartphones, minor conflicts broke out between the two of us over not being able to fully understand each other. Cultural and personality differences also led to clashes between us, including her repeated insistence on photographing me with her. In general, I rarely like to be photographed and I am often selective about who I want to be photographed with.

Despite those issues, we made the best of our time last weekend and ensured as much positivity between us as possible.

After the show at Davies Symphony Hall

After the show at Davies Symphony Hall

John Mulaney – On Thursday night, I went to the Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco to see a stand-up performance from comedian John Mulaney.

My good friend Jon Negroni invited me to go with him to the show although he ultimately wasn’t able to attend. Nevertheless, I enjoyed John Mulaney’s comedy as well as that of his warm-up act, Ron Funches. The venue seemed unusual for a stand-up comedy performance as it is a classical music hall but it was a magnificent place to be in, regardless.


  • I’m still focused on getting my career back on track. After more than a year of being out of work and experiencing continued difficulties in looking for the right jobs, the focus in the last few months shifted from finding any kind of work to finding opportunities relevant to my goals, interests and background. Not before long, I hope to finally get there. I know I will.

How’s your start to 2015? What are your expectations for the coming month and year? Share your thoughts below. I would love to hear from you.


2 thoughts on “Reflections and Expectations: Now, you know how I feel

  1. I’m so happy your 2015 is off to a great start, Simon. Keep being optimistic! I swear, it does help.

    I’m also excited that you’re going well in grad school- I always found that when I was super passionate about a topic in class, I did much better, so it sounds like you’ve found your strong suit. Keep it up!

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