"I wanted to make a difference. I thought completing a competitive and exclusive program would help me to 'make a difference.' I don't like it. I wish I picked something else. I wish I was happy. I am going to take some time off after I graduate to restart my life and try again."
To celebrate this first postcard I received through Y.M.I. I'm sharing here, semi-briefly, how this project started.
Have you ever talked to someone for the first time and felt like you've known each other for years? I have, with myself, the moment I had the idea of YMI.
Before I paused college (Here's why), I hadn't talked with myself for quite a while. There was a time when I often checked with myself how I felt or how I liked my day. This habit somehow left me. Before I knew it, auto-pilot mode had taken over my brain. I could be doing entirely different things every day but feeling the same feeling, one that can be summarized by three letters: meh.
I always knew that it wasn't the best case scenario. What I didn't know until recently was that it was one of the worst.
This postcard being the first I received meant more than it seemed, because it described a situation very similar to mine. I was in an exclusive program and I wanted to make a difference. I thought finishing college with a 3.9+ GPA and a dazzling resume would lead me to the life I want to live, a life in which I would work a creative job, become influential in all the positive ways, and live every day fresh and colorful.
The other side of the spectrum, the worst-case scenario I could think of, was me working a tedious job in a cage-like office cubicle in a city where the sky is almost never bule (aka. back home). Sounds awful? I thought so, too. I spent every day with the goal of avoiding this situation, until I burnt myself out (another story for another day).
And one day during my burnout I daydreamed for a while. I wasn't dreaming of myself becoming successful or even well-off. I was dreaming of another worst-case scenario. "How bad can it really be if I do end up going back home jobless?" The answer was nothing like what I just described. In my head, I saw myself going studio by studio to visit the artists that I want to work with. I saw myself wandering all over the city looking for people with interesting stories. I saw myself living freer and with much fewer burdens, and I remember thinking "gosh I haven't seen that person for a long time."
That daydream changed so many things. It showed me the person I wanted to be: a girl who loves freedom, travelling and sharing ideas. A few days later I started YMI, a project that gets me all these things, because why on earth would I wait till I'm old and unemployed to do what I love doing?
To the author of this postcard,
I wish you would find your path back to being happy, and I wish that path is closer to you than you might have thought.