Ambitious Awakening with an Authentic Approach

How 2021 will awaken a San Franciscan’s ambitions with an authentic approach

Before getting started, I hope that any reader can take a deep breath like this guy:

Background of Taraval St. and Great Highway in San Francisco with my personal Samsung AR Emoji

From San Francisco, I hope that you all are having a good start to 2021! Please affirm yourself as we have survived the throws of 2020.

Filled with enthusiasm, I wanted to write a lot of content for today’s initial post. Yet, I thought about what you all may be thinking:

FIRST OF ALL, WHO IS THIS GUY?

  • Natively San Franciscan from the Sunset District, I currently reside here. However I have lived and traveled extensively over a stretch of time in which I hope to open up more about what I have experienced.
  • I have coined myself as a Super Overseas Chinese American. Every time, I’ve explained my family history to other people of Chinese descent, they are extremely confused. I actually consider this a unique gift that my parents have given me.

2020 ALLOWED FOR MORE INTROSPECT THAN I EXPECTED

After trying to launch on Medium last year (articles have been deleted since then), the spread of the coronavirus happened. Not a fan of disruptions, I had an opportunity to reflect.

Throughout the last decade of “adulting” and working, I experienced multiple times where many respected professionals in various industries were optimistic about the prospects of last year. Probably because it sounds like the numerology of “perfect vision”, 2020 was supposed to be the year that we’d have a clearer vision of ourselves and the world. However the universe struggled and learning how to handle a disease that was first traced to nation where I have ancestry — adversely, the society that raised me dealt with much grief to the extent that racial attacks on certain groups are still ignored.

While I have not had a case of COVID-19, I am sure that all of us were faced with challenges. Personally, I was challenged with some unprecedented personal and professional obstacles. Normally a place where the heart is, home became foreign to me. I had to get used to introverted activities such as journaling, reading, and indoor workouts. While not as exhilarating such as traveling or going to a bar, I was becoming the parts of myself that were not as authentic as I had thought.

I kid you not that when there was a Blue Moon on the night of Halloween, that things started to make more sense. While I am not a night owl and did not turn into werewolf that night, I literally became a bright Hi-Liter the next morning.

(Left) My night out during Halloween 2020 at Lost and Found (Right) My Hi-Liter running gear

Perhaps the Old Fashioned that I had at San Francisco’s Lost and Found allowed me to access memoires of my five year old in me who dealt with a speech impediment. There were countless moments that I was frustrated in communicating with loved ones, classmates, and teachers. Yet these problems became fuel to strive being genuine and effective in communication today.

For countless weeks after the Halloween Blue Moon, I witnessed some unprecedented experiences in which I wanted to share more of my authentic self with wider audiences. While, I find consistently curating content through Medium is ambitious, I feel like this will be an opportunity to approach these pieces like an awakening.

AM I GOING TO ALWAYS WRITE ABOUT MYSELF?

NO! There needs to be a diversity of humans and topics a part of any narrative in order to connect with audiences. When you think of podcasts or blogs, many successful ones focus on one topic such as politics, entertainment news, or maybe a mukbang. Yet, it should be noted that I intend to show what topics are covered. Hence, the six topics that start with a “C” are:

  • Culture: Showcase the beauty of different cultures and subcultures is important. One thing that quite a few friends have told me is that I can bring up a unique perspective when analyzing culture and hope that you’re able to witness this as well.
  • Culinary: My mother’s upbringing in Taiwan and father’s upbringing in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Alabama, have bestowed upon me an appreciation of food. While I’m not a Yelp Elite or a Michelin fanatic, I do enjoy when the food and my munching does the talking
  • Civics: We should open the conversation on how anyone can comfortably identify and express our stances on civic issues, so as long as we do not harm. I pledge not to be a political pundit.
  • Career: As a “young-ish” professional, many of us experience the anxiety of having a successful career - I admittedly, still struggle with this. Fortunately, I have been honored to help guide a couple of people to further find solace in their career paths. I would like to share some thoughts and ideas especially as I am based in San Francisco, one of the world’s tech capitals.
  • Challenges: Our society is getting increasingly more competitive. Not only with others but with ourselves. I am a firm believer of finding ways to improve through healthy challenges.
  • Care: In recent years, my definition of care has changed so much. Especially with a traditional Chinese upbringing, I used to believe the care was solely a collective matter; yet this definition has extended to individual basis. While talking about mental health is taboo in the cultures that I’ve grown accustomed to, I want to open the dialogue here too!

From time to time, I will share backdrops of San Francisco from a local perspective. For today, I would like to show the Sunset Reservoir:

Photo of the Sunset Reservoir

This is San Francisco’s largest Reservoir for the City’s Regional Water System and probably one of the most underrated places in San Francisco. Firstly, without this reservoir, many San Franciscans would not get clean water from the Hetch Hetchy. Secondly, you can get some of the best view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Ocean here. Lastly, this reservoir is right across the street from my high school, in which to earn your A’s in P.E. you would had to run around the mile-long reservoir perimeter in less than six minutes and thirty seconds.

I look forward to sharing more in the future.

View of the Golden Gate Bridge from the Sunset Reservoir

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J.S. Chan

J.S. Chan

Native San Franciscan with Super Overseas Chinese roots. Unleashing an authentic presence through channels such as Medium is my 2021 New Year’s Resolution.