So the other day I got this e-mail from a high-schooler asking for my advice. I thought my response might be helpful to other people (more specifically: my 18 year old self), so I’ll post it up here:
Hi Jaemin! My name is Angela and I think I’m going through a mid-life crisis with all these college apps that I’m filling out. Currently, I can’t decide whether or not I should pursue film, the environment, or writing…
My response (unedited, so s’cuse me if it ain’t pretty!):
I’ll just say right off the bat, I think one of the biggest myths about life is that we have to “figure out” or “come to a decision” on what we want to do. That’s such bullshit lol.
Being a filmmaker or a writer or an artist isn’t something we think about and then DECIDE we want to be. Instead, you should just keep exploring and spending time doing the things you love to do. In your free time, if you feel like it, keep writing. Or make little film projects with friends.
Whatever it is you do, make sure you’re not doing for an END GOAL but just doing it because you love to do it. And I promise you, if you follow your heart and keep doing what you love, then a path will come from it.
These days, it’s like I can’t STOP hearing about the latest speed reading tips and insane “7-books-a-week” challenges.
It seems like everyone’s obsessed with reading more more more, faster faster faster! Man, it’s crazy.
Here’s something I want you to try next time you read a book you dig:
That’s right. I said it. And I didn’t stutter one bit.
I know what you’re thinking, “Read slower?? I’ve got like 30 books I want to read and a twitter to update and Facebook photos waiting to get tagged. You want me to read SLOWER?”
Yup, give it a try.
So I’m checking out my blog, which I haven’t done in a while, and I notice something funny…
My most popular post by far is “How to Make Working Out a Lifelong Habit”
Which is hilarious. Because I’m definitely NOT working out right now (unless you count trampoline dodgeball) and it hasn’t even been a full YEAR since I wrote that post.
Lifelong my ass!
So I, Jaemin Yi, hearby retract my endorsement of that post. It no longer fully represents my thoughts and beliefs.
And while I’m at it, why stop there?
I retract EVERY post i’ve ever written. And ever will write.
In fact, almost EVERYTHING I’ve ever thought, believed in, or stood behind, I will probably retract at some point. So we might as well get it over with and do it now.
Because so far in my 26 years of living, there hasn’t been ANYTHING that I haven’t looked back on and thought: “Wow, that’s what I used to think? Uh, that’s kinda embarrassing.”
But that’s okay. In fact, that’s how it SHOULD be.
For the past 2 weeks, I’ve been sneaking behind my girlfriend’s back. I’ve been lying constantly about where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing. I even got her friends and family in on it.
But last Saturday, she finally found out what we’ve all been up to this entire time…
And she loved it. Like, tears-coming-down-her-face loved it (I don’t usually enjoy making girls cry, but I’ll make exceptions).
If you know Taneen at all (her blog is seriously one of my favorites), then you know she’s the absolute PERFECT target for a Shit [Blank] Says video. This girl is full of such ridiculousness/awesomeness/weirdness, it’s almost too easy!
For a girl who doesn’t give a shit about fancy dinners and expensive gifts, we all knew that this would be the perfect birthday gift. And it totally was.
One thing I didn’t expect though, was how awesome making this video would be for me.
About 6 months ago, I went to Burning Man for the first time. And it was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve EVER had. Hands down.
I know, people throw around the word “life changing” a lot. But I shit you not, that’s EXACTLY what it was for me. It truly was a transformative, un-f*cking-believable experience and I know it’ll hold a special place in my life for many years to come.
But honestly, it wasn’t all that long ago when I had NO idea what Burning Man was. I thought it was some drugged out, Woodstock-like concert. Or a raging hippie orgy in the desert.
Either way, I saw it as something that just “wasn’t for me”.
I’m guessing that’s what most of you are thinking right now, huh?
Luckily for me, one day, a client of mine started telling me all about his Burning Man experience. About what it was really like. Beyond the dumb misconceptions and stereotypes.
Two things happened that day: 1) My mind was blown, and 2) I knew I HAD to go and experience it for myself. This was not an option.
And now, a year later and with my own amazing experience under my belt, I think it’s my duty to do the same for you. To tell you about the real Burning Man.