Pursuing Happy: My Story (Part 2)
One of the immediate things that I had to deal with after quitting my job was to tell my family about it.
I knew everyone else in my life would support me in my decision, but I knew telling my parents was going to be hard. Those of you who grew up with traditional Asian immigrant parents may understand. I basically had to tell them that I was walking away from a stable, well-paying job and leaving my PhD program two years in, potentially throwing away the two Ivy-League degrees that helped me get there. As you can imagine, that conversation did not go well. I won’t get into details, but my decision affected my relationship with my parents to the point where we were barely in contact for the following two years.
In the midst of all this, as a consequence of not being able to properly treat my health issues for so long, I also had to undergo two surgeries that put me on bedrest for over a month.
Needless to say, it was one of the most difficult times in my life.
Without much to turn to and feeling like I had lost so much, I started to focus on the things that would help me get better. I prayed, journaled, rested, picked up calligraphy, and read lots of books on creativity and leading a purposeful life.
As I focused on the things that made me happy and continued to nurture the creative side of me that I had neglected for most of my adult life, I started to heal - not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. I practiced calligraphy every day, started to draw again, and dabbled in some design projects here and there. And after about a year of freelancing, I knew running my own creative business was something I wanted to explore more seriously.
In the beginning, I did all sorts of things - custom calligraphy, workshops, private lessons, event signage, logo design, content creation, stationery products, and course creation. Then, in 2018, after taking a course on surface pattern design, I instantly fell in love and knew this was the path I wanted to pursue.
So here I am, a new mom and creative business owner, trying to find the perfect balance of work, life, and everything in between.
Even though there are still lots of hard days, I can’t help but be thankful for every day of this journey. It hasn’t been the easiest road, but one thing I know for sure is that I wake up happy every day knowing that I’m able to pursue something that I absolutely love. My experiences have given me strength to endure the rough days and they’ve taught me to live each day with more intention and purpose than I ever have before.
I hate being cheesy, but can I ask you something? Are you leading a life that you love - pursuing the things that bring joy and meaning to your life? I never had a chance to ask myself this question until I found myself so deeply unhappy that my body couldn’t physically take it anymore. Today though, I share my story in hopes that it can encourage you, even in the tiniest way, to search your heart and take a step towards pursuing happy, whatever that may mean for you.
“The path to our destination is not always a straight one. We go down the wrong road, we get lost, we turn back. Maybe it doesn’t matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark.” ―Barbara Hall
Thanks so much for reading ♡