January 29, 2016



Today is my 28th birthday, and I guess I don't really have many thoughts on the matter, but I what I do have, I will share them in this space.

I have to think twice about my age these days-- like, asking 4 year old how old they are and they hold up 2 or 3 fingers? -- yea, like that.

One thing I have noticed a change in is my physical appearance, mainly in my face. In comparison to old selfies (can't believe I just said that), I've noticed that my face has a mature look to it, though my eyes haven't changed much. 

I have noticed that I am a little more slow to anger, and much less likely to hold a grudge... neither of which were good for my well-being anyway. 

I have gained a bit of weight over the past year (much to my displeasure). I am in a weight bracket that I have never been in my life, but plan on not keeping it this way.

Sometimes, I look at pictures of other women on social media. They look all glammed-up and gorgeous and I end up feeling like a plain Jane. So, I have been on a matte-lipstick buying spree, and sometimes I throw on a bit of medium-coverage foundation. But I am still just a 2-coat mascara girl most days, and I guess I am okay with that. 

I think about motherhood a lot more lately, but not in the "broodish", "baby-feverish" way I did in the past. I think long and hard about how life would change, what kind of mother I would want to be, and how sometimes this whole parenting thing scares the crap out of me. However, I am glad that we are able to think through these thoughts before making that big leap. 

All in all, this has just been a year of self-observation and self-learning for me. I finally feel a little more grown-up. A little more in tune with who I am as a person. 

December 31, 2015

2015: Year in Review


I am not sure what it is about year's end that causes us to reflect, dream and plan. Maybe it's the idea of starting afresh. That start of a new year is a do-over of sorts. A year to finally get things in order. Maybe it is a sort of subconscious clock within our hearts, similar to that of the changing seasons, that there is a time in our lives for something new. I don't know what it is, but I think it is beautiful.

I remember entering 2015 on a bit of a sad and hopeless note. I did not know what they year had in store, and I was not expecting it to be great, since everything I seemed to have hoped and wished for in the last few years did not come to pass. It was not a matter of not trying. I guess those things were just not meant to be. I wish I could say that I have new dreams now, but I do not. I do not know what I want anymore, and frankly, I am kind of tired of trying. For the coming year, I think I will just keep my expectations at a minimum and see what comes from it.

All melancholy aside, 2015 has had some moments that have helped to shape and build me to the person that I am at this point. It has been full of first time experiences and character-building processes. The low times were not always low and the joyful times made my smiles big and my heart full. I am sure I will reflect back later in life and and think 'that wasn't so bad'.

2015 Happenings

27th birthdaywhat an awkward age! I guess it only gets more awkward from here)
Meeting my half-sister,Akelia, her husband and my niece. -- finally! we have been in contact on and off for about 10 years and I finally got to meet her. it was crazy seeing how many similarities we had.)
Weekend getaway at the Jersey shore -- it was so nice for us to get away. It helped to refresh us and take away some of the stress and tension that had been lingering. I think this is something we need to do more.
5 year college reunionfive years already! ... another reason why 27 feels so odd.
First car accident. major bummer! but no injuries and minor damages.
My brother-in-love's wedding in NY-- this was Beau's first time seeing his brothers and parents since our wedding in 2012!! It was also such a small and intimate ceremony/celebration. I really enjoyed it.
Expanded my photography -- I considered making it a business venture, but realized that the market is already saturated with really good photographers. So, I just enjoyed the opportunities that were offered to me. I was able to shoot a sweet 16, a wedding, a baby christening, and my dear blogger friend, LaNeshe, allowed me to hold a fall photo shoot of her and her adorable family.
Home furnishingsWe are finally filling in the gaps in our home. This year, we paid off on our sofa, got a rug and a gorgeous wood TV/console table set. We even hung a painting in the dining room. Things are finally coming together. Little by little, we are filling the living room with pieces we love and I couldn't be more happy.
Our 3 year wedding anniversary. Beau and I saved up throughout the year and decided to go away for our anniversary in November. We flew down to Tampa, Fl and stayed there for couple days. We ventured out to the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area, walked the beach, drove through the cities, and enjoyed the warm air. It was a really nice stay for us. We are now thinking about possibly living in Florida in the future. The most special part of our anniversary trip was meeting up with Ashley from Ashley Holstein Photography and having a cheeky little anniversary photo shoot. The photos came out beautifully and I am so happy with them. This week was the highlight of 2015 for me!

Thank you for those who still check in every once in a while, even though my posts have been sparse. I look forward to sharing more of this journey with you all in the new year! 
♥ Jhan

October 30, 2015

On Being a Teller


Wednesday, October 28,  marked 2 years since I began working as a teller, and I don't quite know how to feel about it. On one hand, I feel great-- accomplished, if you will. This was my first real job post school and I think I have done pretty well. On the other, I feel a unaccomplished. I spent so much money on university and attaining a Master's degree in the sciences, but I found myself processing banking transactions for a living. I never wanted to enter into the realm of sales and customer service, but I found myself here and had to go at it full-force! I take my jobs seriously, you see, and although I hate offering credit cards, and pushing accounts to people who already bank comfortably in other places, I understand that it is a job requirement, so I do my best to sell our products and be cordial to our customers (even the rude ones).

As previously stated, I never saw myself in this position and when I started, I did not expect to be there long-- much less 2 years. But it is a part of life. So, I take it in stride.

I have been writing this post for months wanting to share my experience as a teller, but did not know how to go about an introduction. But this is the perfect opportunity. Here I will share a bit of what it is like being a bank teller:

slow days // staring at the walls. On a really slow day,  something like the black mulch spontaneously combusting into flames from the summer heat or a grasshopper sitting in one place for several hours will easily serve as entertainment that day.

"new girl".
*whispers* "Who's the new girl?"
- um, Jhan has been with us for almost two years now.
Some customers get a little nervous when they see someone new behind the teller line. But for the life of me, I cannot understand why some people think I am new. That question gets asked at least once per week. Even after working there for 2 years. And even though I work part-time, I still pushed 40 hours most weeks. I think it has to do with changing my hair often. I will be publishing a post on that later.

cash differences. Customers will eagerly notify you if you have mistakenly shorted them $0.87. Trust me, I know.  In the same manner, there are also customers-- though very few-- who will be honest and return the extra cash you have given to them in error. Bless their hearts.

safety concerns.  I would say that my branch location is in a pretty safe neighborhood. Unlike other branches I have helped out at, we don't have a ceiling-high glass panels separating us from our customers... but that did not stop us from getting robbed last summer...

the crazies.  From the guy warning you to "watch the 3 o'clock news" if he happens to "drop down dead" in front of you (on a Saturday no less) to the woman angered by the fact that the full account number for her mortgage payment was not displayed on the receipt-- you know, for her to lose the receipt and that number is accessible to anyone who finds it... We have our share.

relationships. My favorite aspect of banking is the ability to build relationships with customers. I get to share in the joys of first time pregnancies and the end of a long chemo treatment. I get to sympathize with those who have lost their parents and celebrate with those who are going on their first date in years. It's amazing how much people trust you enough to share bits of their lives with you just because you help them manage their finances. This is something I really enjoyed about being a teller and I hope to never forget.

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