To You, Younger Self

Wednesday May 15, 2019

To You, Younger Self
Do you sometimes feel like you’re able to see your life in a reel? Flashes of 13 or 4 or 21 so vivid they feel like yesterday, but other times sorting through moments that mesh into one another, wondering whether they really happened the way your memory recalls. There are so many parts of my past that I now willingly revisit as I navigate life with Charlotte. Sitting in the heavy discomfort of particular seasons or laughing through the joy of others seems so necessary for me to be able to wisely steward my daughter as she grows into her own. 

For every difficult, poorly made decision (my goodness, how could there be so many), I usually land in the same place - that the beauty in this complicated mess is that there’s redemption, an opportunity for the broken to be renewed. But do I think certain paths could have been avoided had I had a bit better guidance? Absolutely. So while there is no regret because lessons can be learned at 15 or 50, there are a few things that my younger self should’ve heard. 

1. The worldly definition of success will not bring joy.

The reality for many kids of immigrant parents is that we’re put on a trajectory of perceived success from the moment we’re born. I was knocking out memorized “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and etudes on the violin when I was 4, memorizing multiplication tables before they were being taught in school. What this cemented was that achievement is the ultimate path to the good life - good grades, good schools, good jobs. While my parents’ work ethic undoubtedly shaped mine, I wish I had been given an alternate narrative. That excellence is to be pursued because we were made to be excellent in the ways we’ve been gifted, not because this artificial standard is the finish line. That the path to the good life is losing yourself to love and the One who displays it. Faith has turned my whole understanding of this mindless rat race on its head. I’m so grateful for this truth particularly as I run a business in an increasingly public and exposed world; I started Our Heiday on Instagram in 2014 when businesses were really starting to utilize its reach and as the landscape continues to change, I feel so free knowing that my foundational understanding of joy can’t be taken. 

our heiday blog

2. Work hard for the things that make your heart sing.

It’s absolutely human to not be good at everything. I wish I had spent more time truly cultivating my deep talents from a young, young age. While this isn’t to bash K-12 education, what I know now is that doing whatever it takes to get that A isn’t going to cut it. That what we learn from the confines of a standardized education is barely a taste of all the possibilities for our lives. It’s not the degrees, names, titles attached to our resumes, but passion for what we do and working alongside good people that will get us to worthwhile places. Keep your eye on those things.

3. Choose your friends wisely.

I’m so blessed to have a built-in best friend, co-journeyer, and business partner in Dot - somehow I really hit the jackpot with this light of a sister. And while I have her and the wonderful, select group of childhood friends whose presence I’m so grateful for, there were definitely seasons in life that I wish I could go back to and cultivate friendships with those who seemed different from me. I wish I had spent less time trying to be cool and cherished the character of simply good-hearted people. Kindred spirit friends are rare and they often don’t look the way you think they will.

our heiday blog

to a lifetime of learning,