If you've been following my Instagram or Facebook, then you would've noticed a little stream of videos marked out of 6. I gave little to no explanation to them, until now.
This was a project of mine to explain where I'm at, and where I am going.
I love filming so I tried a new technique with each video; this turned out to be a learning experience that turned into a sort of art piece. I hope that with my shared story, I can relate to at least 1% of my readers better than before.
Let's start at video 1:
Procrastination was about avoiding hard decisions and just following the conveyor belt thinking that is formal education.
Most first generation parents harp on the same thing: get good grades so you can be successful and live a better life than they did. Yet we still pay thousands and go thousands of dollars into debt for a program that often doesn't lead to what we want: whether that's a job we hate or a job that isn't even close to guaranteed.
Even though I went to a top-ranked school, I always felt like I was in a preparatory phase, which meant I was good, but never good enough. This procrastination on real life ate away at my confidence. Being a perpetual student meant that you just spent a lot of time just waiting; often times for this rite of passage that would never come, even after graduation.
For a while now, I've felt like I was running both towards and from being "an adult". Responsibility was scary; I didn't want to start paying for my own clothes, apartment, or food. As long as I could put responsibility on someone or something else, I could say it wasn't my fault if I failed. I even relied on college to take control of my future, so that I didn't have to.
However, I also wanted so badly to be a grown-up. I wanted success like it was holy water. I wanted to be financially independent for my parents. I wanted to remove my financial commitments to them, so I could focus on being 100% emotionally committed to them instead.
I spent years running in opposite directions.
My focus these days is not on becoming an "adult" so much as growing and helping people along with me everyday. If I can have the freedom to put out my work and make people feel seen and recognized, then I'm happy and feel accomplished. Growth is only a by-product of that.
Ageless is a mantra that I live by.
I reject the idea that you need to be a certain age before you get a job, or that you have to marry, or that you have to get X amount of internships before you can get a real job, or that every 18-year-old should be in college.
Helping people see that there is no common timeline is one of my missions. You can forge your own path, and that path is just as good as others.
Experience the world and stop pretending to live in it. College, for me, was this pseudo-world where the value of everything matters less.
If I'm not improving by 0.1% every day, I'm not growing.
Feeling stagnant is one of my greatest fears. I hate the idea that I'm too comfortable. That reminds me of a cow living on a posh farm and eating high-quality grass until it's time to die. That's no way I want to live.
That's why I powerlift. It helps me see in a clear way the strength I've accumulated as a result of hard work. Every time you break down your muscle fibers, it's just an opportunity to get stronger than before.
As a few people know, I won't be graduating from USC in May 2017 with the rest of my classmates.
I felt like it was time for a major shift in the way I was going. Life felt boring and stagnant, going to classes day in and day out. Only 1/12 of the professors I've had so far I've actually liked.
Yes I've had some great times here in Los Angeles, but I wasn't getting to where I wanted to be. So I decided to take a gap year.
I know people are going to judge my decision, but that's what happens your whole life. People who know nothing about you trying to make "the best" decisions for you. I just felt it was time I made the best decision for myself.
What's next for me? P R A X I S.
I'll be spending the next year doing a 10-month paid apprenticeship, where I'll get to shadow founders and CEOs, complete self-directed projects, and receive 1-on-1 job coaching.
Who knows where this'll take me?
All I know is that I'm excited for this next year of learning, which is not something I could've said in college.
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