I can’t remember when I planned my birthday celebration. The time never seemed right or I was always busy doing something else. To be honest it’s a lot of work… inviting people, deciding where to go, and entertaining my friends that actually show up. I’d rather plan someone else’s than plan my own.

My 17th birthday

Like most people, I use my birthday reflecting about what I’ve done and what I want in life. But for SOME reason the moment that always comes back to haunt me is school. So Asian… I know.

Back in high school I took at least 10 AP/honor classes… and burnt the fuck out of myself. To get myself through the dark moments, I always told myself one day I would travel the world and become a pharmacist. I busted my ass… even during my senior summer break. Instead of kicking back on the beaches of Cancun, I spent it working to give myself extra money for college and fighting with my first girlfriend… who then ended up cheating on me. MUDDAH BITCH.

NYC high school

Believe it or not… This kid took 10 APs

Fast forward 4 years later. It was my senior year of my undergrad… and I was STILL busting my ass just trying to get into pharmacy school. When I slaving away making HIV drugs at UMass Medical school or slanging drugs at CVS, I would tell myself… “Kevin. You just gotta make it. You’re going to go to pharmacy school, graduate, and then live a ballin ass life” Boy was I wrong.

Keeping it fancy at graduation

Keeping it fancy at graduation… and yes I was super fat.

After graduating pharmacy school, I never got to live my ballin ass life that I always imagined and dreamed about. Ballin could wait. I had my career ahead of me. A month before graduation, I got my job offer to work in California. I remember CVS promising “oh just get licensed and then we’ll give you a few weeks to travel”. I got licensed and it never happened. Ever since then, I’ve been pretty much working since that day.

MCPHS graduation crew

Crew love

When I tell you guys this story, don’t feel bad for me. It took me 27 years to realize this… but here’s the thing. I always told myself I will relax or enjoy myself someday or one day. The truth is tomorrow is never promised. Today and now are the only things that are certain in life. Tomorrow means later. Later means never. My whole life I was just hustling and slaving my life away. I never once asked myself why I was working so hard for… or EVEN let myself just enjoy the fruits of my labor. Hustling is important, but letting ourselves actually enjoy what we’ve worked for is MORE important. That’s what Refugee Hustle is about. Don’t be a slave.

Dat grind

Dat grind

As my birthday wish/favor, I want you to think of one way you can enjoy your life today. Don’t put this off. This is important. Maybe it’s to go take a hour today to watch the sunset on the beach… or maybe it could be grabbing dinner with a friend you haven’t seen in months or years… OR buy a GoPro that you’ve been thinking about for months now. It’s these moments which makes us grateful for our life and makes the hustle worth it. Write your thoughts what you did here.

Kevin Yee

PS…. Let me share one last thing with you guys.

When I visited my grandma during Christmas, I was checking out her new nursing home. It was depressing. Most of the Asian grandmas here spent their life busting their ass and that “someday” never happened for them.