A girlfriend said to me the other day as we were peacefully walking on the beach near my home: "You have it all figured out, I sometimes envy you." She had no idea. So I told her about the unwanted journey I had to take to get to where I am today: simply alive and slowly improving.
I don't have it all figured out, especially a year ago when Yem was just an idea and I was jobless. When I quit the corporate jobs that I couldn't stand, I thought the struggle had ended. Little did I know it was only going to get harder. I used to have an intellectual job that paid good money to hold on to. It was a big part of my identity. Without it, all of a sudden I had nothing but insecurities, fears, doubts, and a passion for something most people thought was crazy ("sustainable fashion? do you not want to make money?").
There were moments when I felt like everything was working against me and I had no strength left to fight.
I remember clearly one morning about eight months ago, I was feeling so low that I said to myself out loud: "please think of something, ANYTHING; because otherwise, we will not make it." I kept sitting there, literally begging myself to do something to help. And almost like a miracle, I truly heard myself for the first time in recent memory. It was like I finally saw a light at the end of the tunnel. A very dim light that was pulsing in and out, but it was there.
Now that I think back about that moment, I can picture myself shedding that self and a new version of me sitting up and walking away, leaving the old me lying there. It was powerful.
I realized that for all my life I had been ignoring the person that matters most, ME. I was doing things to please people, to fit in, to be liked. I was afraid that if I got too attached to myself, I would end up disappointing me.
What came next was the most significant conclusion of my life: the number one purpose of my existence is enjoyment and self driven purpose, and to have that I have to love myself. Once I have that, everything will fall into place and I will be in the right position to serve others.
Los Angeles, April 4, 2018.