Do I regret starting my writing journey?

I promised myself I’d write every day and post it online.

And I’ve been doing just that for the past 3 years. 

But I’d be lying if I said there weren’t days I wish I didn’t have to.

Because it’s 2AM and I just finished spending an hour on Tiktok (oops).

And I have to get up early for work tomorrow (again, oops).

I know it’s in this moment that I wish I could just sleep.

However, I also know future me will be grateful that I never stopped practicing my passions.

I was an industrial design major who knew industrial design wasn’t the right fit for me

So what did I do? 

I did what every other 20 year old does. 

Continue school till the end and graduate not really knowing what would come next. 

And then? 

Well, 2020 happened and the rest was world history.

For me, I was whisked into the family business learning the ways of mom and pops for the next 2 years. 

During that time, I learned something really important about myself. 

I love marketing. 

And I’m not too shabby with using social media as a business tool. 

Why this is important is because my above 2 passions has brought me more opportunities during these 2 years than the subject matter I studied for 5 years.

Not to say that getting an education isn’t valuable—because it definitely is.

All I’m saying is, I took a chance on myself and persisted in things I loved and was curious about. 

The end result is that I’m wholeheartedly happy doing what I do. 

And I’d love to help others do the same too. 

Putting in 10,000 hours is the cost of entry to pursue your *thing*

The math is straightforward, so I’ll use words instead.

People who write for a living write a lot. They write every day, for hours and hours.

Athletes, people who play sports really well, got really good at playing their sport because they put in a lot of time to practice.

And, all Michelin star chefs have been cooking for the bulk of their lives. It’s not by accident that they achieved their status. Rather, it’s the time and energy they put towards their art.

If you want to become a successful illustrator, designer, photographer, podcaster, freelancer (or anything else really), putting in hours of practice isn’t optional. 

The cost of entry in whichever field, is the amount of hours you’ve spent doing.  And like any investment that grows over time, the best time to begin is now. 

A Short Letter to My Future Self: What Are We Doing this For?

Lately I’ve been giving more thought into what I’m currently doing and why I’m doing it all. 

Parts of me say I don’t know, and other parts of me are so certain about my work and why I can do it 365 days of the year. 

If you’d ask me fore a reason, I wouldn’t be able to give just one.

For me, I want to be able to make young creatives take their craft seriously. I want to be able to be part of the cultural shift in Asian-Canadian identities. I want to be somebody who is able to say, yes I pursued my dreams. Yes, I built the projects and communities I wanted to build. Yes, I’m exhausted but full of energy at the same time. 

I know I’m young. I’ve got time. I know I’ll figure it out. I’m just really excited to make the future-me proud.

The Conversation We’re Having About Passion

I was working yesterday night when one of our regular customers came up to me and asked what I studied in school.

“Industrial design” I said.

He asked if it was my passion. 

I said no. 

He grunted as I gave him his change, and left. 

When it comes to talking about passion, most people describe it as a set of activities. Or they believe passion is centred around one specific subject. 

I’d argue that one’s passion can be spread amongst many things in his or her life. It’s not one thing someone can be passionate about, but many things. 

While we all don’t have to be pursuing our passions as careers, it seems to be an important conversation to be had. 

Passion has become a buzzword of sorts. Maybe a different way of thinking about this is asking the question, what do I care about?

Peak Exhaustion

There’s a kind of exhaustion that makes you feel like everything’s done. Nothing matters, because you’ve lost the care for what you do and now you’re just dragging everything along with you. It’s a heavy weight. This was me when it came to being a student in Chinese school, or when I had to memorize facts for a history exam, or when I was dragged into buying groceries with the family.

There’s another kind of exhaustion that is equally as tiring and taxing, but instead of emotionally draining it’s rewarding. This is when I get to write everyday before work, or when we get one more new customer at the restaurant who orders via instagram pictures, or when we finish another cohort at the Habit Factory. 

When we’re at peak exhaustion, it’s worthwhile to recognize which kind of exhaustion we’re dealing with.