Growing up, I was never really my own person. Raised in a fairly traditional Korean-American household, the oldest on my dad's side of the family, and in a sheltered Asian-American community where the band geeks were cooler than the football players, I chased the model of success that everyone around me seemed to pursue. Good grades, leadership roles in multiple extracurricular activities, and a (near) perfect SAT score were all checklist items I ticked off one by one throughout elementary, middle, and high school. Then admission into a top college with a scholarship, followed by a high-paying, prestigious full-time job immediately upon graduation with a global consulting firm.
But none of it left me feeling all that proud, accomplished, or fulfilled. With every choice I made, I came face to face with a question that everyone around me seemed to be asking: "What do you want to do with your life?" College admissions committees, employers, family members, friends - they all asked me the same question. My answer changed almost every year. I wanted to be a lawyer - no, a doctor - maybe a management consultant. By the time I had turned 25 I still felt lost, and every major decision I made was in an attempt to find my purpose.
I recently got accepted into a Top 10 business school to obtain my MBA. But two weeks before I was supposed to pack up and move 3000 miles to the other side of the country, I had the unexpected opportunity to delay my enrollment by a year. In my head, I thought that since I had already committed to going (to the school, my peers, and my family), I had no choice but to go. But in my heart, I didn't feel ready to leave - right before I had received admission into the MBA program, I had just started a new job, moved out of my parents' house for the first time, and begun to pursue new passions in fitness and self care. A large part of me felt obligated to follow the "clear path" to success - my MBA - because for most of my life, my identity was formed by others' ideas and expectations. But as I faced this decision, that identity was beginning to take a back seat as I started to form my own identity and definitions of success and happiness.
As you may have guessed, I decided to stay an extra year before leaving. I can honestly say it's been the best decision I've ever made for myself. I've never been happier, and I've finally started to figure out who I am, what is meaningful to me, and who I want to be.
This blog is a chronicle of my self-discovery. Here, I will track the evolution of the identity that I choose for myself. I hope that my journey not only inspires other people to be themselves, but to be the best version of themselves that they can be under any circumstance, good or bad.
In my blog you will learn about the things that I enjoy, am passionate about, and make me me. Here and in life, I will be intentionally and unapologetically me - no outside influences, no filter, no B.S. I am grateful for every experience that has brought me to where I am today, and I look forward to see where my future will take me. But above all else, I am happy with who I am, and who I am becoming, right now. I'll be sharing my fitness, nutrition, and self care journey with you, and I hope that we can learn, inspire, and live intentionally - together.