I’m turning 27 today – I’m asking for a small favor

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. 

THE REAL OG HUSTLER
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21 thoughts on “I’m turning 27 today – I’m asking for a small favor

  • March 19, 2015 at 1:47 am
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    Thanks for the post Kevin! I’ll try to keep that in mind. I’ve got a pharmacy test this Friday, and the whole class is stressed out. =/

    – How do schools hire such shitty teachers? Why do I have to use YouTube to understand this stuff. Why is the internet a better teacher? *sigh*

    Reply
    • April 18, 2015 at 2:29 pm
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      because on youtube you find real people. in school the teachers themselves are the slaves hoping for that one day where they make it and can relax, which might never come. their in shit and youtubers are having fun making money and doing what they love, along with apparently helping you out.

      Reply
  • March 19, 2015 at 1:48 am
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    Paying it forward for a customer and waiting for them after hours.

    Reply
  • March 19, 2015 at 2:26 am
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    I’m taking my first vacation in 3 years, to celebrate my birthday. 4 days of not worrying about homework or my job. I need it so much, even if it’s just to be around new scenery. Even though my moms be tryna discourage me from it to save money, I’m gonna do what I want.

    Reply
  • March 19, 2015 at 3:30 am
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    I bought 5 boxes of girl scout cookies…….BUT tomorrow I’m going to the movies and dinner with my cousins that I don’t get to see often

    Reply
  • March 19, 2015 at 4:12 am
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    I can relate. My bday next month. Graduation with my undergrad and all I think about is working and looking forward to kore school. Sigh. Its a asian problem! Lol. Happy birthday 🙂

    Reply
  • March 19, 2015 at 4:34 am
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    haha it’s my birthday too! will do

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  • March 19, 2015 at 4:05 pm
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    I took the time to sit and truly enjoy a relaxing cup of tea in the sunlight! Thank you!

    Reply
  • March 19, 2015 at 6:09 pm
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    Happy birthday Kevin! I’m going to go set a new deadlift pr.

    Reply
  • March 19, 2015 at 6:26 pm
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    Thank you for the powerful post, it’s what I needed to hear and actually relates to my current situation.

    I’m an undergrad student 2 months from graduating. I stopped and reflected on my life the other day. I haven’t really attended any parties or done anything fun throughout my whole time in college. Every spring break or winter break I took the opportunity to work more hours so I could save money. This spring break, my last one, I finally left town and visited LA, but yet it was still just a two day trip and I was down to business just looking for an apartment instead of enjoying myself. I was in a whole new area but I was busting my ass/in this daze so much that I didn’t notice how beautiful the city was until my last few hours there. I got an internship opportunity that i’ll pursue after I graduate so that’s why I was there visiting.

    On the long drive back I had a lot of time to think. I thought, “holy hell I’m gonna move from my small little town to this amazing fast-paced place of passion.” It hit me that my life was finally going to take a change for the positive. I thought back to how I got the internship, and the opportunity appeared when I finally took a breather and expressed myself and showed my passions. I started telling myself that I do need to work hard, but I DESERVE to be a somebody. That I didn’t deserve to just bust my butt and be unhappy with what I do, that I wanted to enjoy what I end up doing as a career. In a sense, I just woke up from the stupor of being a slave, and told myself that I need to treat myself better. Nobody deserves to work hard and not be rewarded. That feeling of being rewarded depends on perspective. My situation really reminded me of your post, because when we changed our perspective of our lives and started to be aware, that’s when things got better.

    Sorry for the long email but thanks for reading it if you did! Happy Birthday!

    -Megan

    Reply
  • March 19, 2015 at 6:49 pm
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    Thanks Kevin! I love all your posts I feel like I can always relate. Bought a pair of sneakers today after 10 years!

    Reply
  • March 19, 2015 at 6:59 pm
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    A mind opener. I need to stop hustling so much and just enjoy life. Because tomorrow may not come. I’ll keep enjoying life. Thanks and Happy Birthday.

    Reply
  • March 19, 2015 at 7:20 pm
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    First of all, happy birthday!!!
    I’ve been studying my ass off at school, struggling with my 730am classes the most (asian moms logic be like)… I’m looking forward to spring break and all but what I’m most excited about (it’s kinda silly) is my favorite kpop group’s comeback and new album. I’m going to pre-order the albums when I get home. and honestly, for what it’s worth, this email post is what got me out of bed this morning, happy to go to my english class.

    Reply
  • March 19, 2015 at 7:51 pm
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    I don’t deserve it. I have average grades, and I made the mistake of enjoying and working. Because of it I have like a 3.0. I hate my shitty life, and I want to work till I die. But to those of you you have been hustling you deserve rest. I’m garbage 🙂

    Reply
  • March 19, 2015 at 10:11 pm
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    I’m 20 years old, though young I live a very hectic busy life. Work, helping with money; kids, drama. Not to mention my best friend is about to have her first kid. As the days go on I feel as though I’m older than what I should be. I experience things that other people my age don’t normally experience, each birthday goes by and with this fast paced life they are always the same, they blend together and nothings different so I move on to whats more imporant. With that I think more differently and act different than them as well. Well today just out of pure randomness I jumped into the snowbank thats right by my driveway. It felt great, though it was the most coldest and stupid thing I could have done I was extremely happy; relaxed and carefree if only for a moment. I just realized that me living this fast pasted life for so long, I forgot what it was like to be a kid. To just do stuff because I could or because I wanted to.

    It’s okay to live your life at however speed you want to. But if you live your life only at that one speed then you’ll find yourself aging mentally much quicker than what you want.

    Reply
    • April 22, 2015 at 4:41 pm
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      This spoke to me. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  • March 19, 2015 at 11:52 pm
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    Hey Kevin! Thanks so much for this post. I’m currently in high school and I am indeed hustling. I am under a lot of stress from my AP classes, SAT’s and subject tests as well. I have also been having emotional problems because of it mainly because I didn’t do too well in my first two years of high school so to make up for those two years, I am going all out. It makes me get anxiety and it makes me hate myself for not caring those first two years where I didn’t do as well as I wanted. I don’t have a true goal or direction of what I want to do so it’s really hard to stay motivated. When I see how hard my parents work( Chinese immigrants ) at low wage jobs it makes me work even harder cause I don’t want to turn out like that and I want to let my parents be in peace that I will hopefully get a balling job in the future and won’t have to worry them. I’m not happy right now or enjoying myself because i always have the idea of schoolwork at the back of my mind all the time. I just kept telling myself happiness will come in the future and it’ll be worth it then. Your post was really a great reminder for me, so thanks so much! I will be eating Korean BBQ later! HAPPY BIRTHDAY KEVIN!!!

    Reply
  • March 20, 2015 at 4:51 am
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    After hearing about this website from Joe, i knew I had to check it out! This post made me realize a lot and it’s really inspiring! Thank you for sharing! I hope you guys the best with this website!(:

    Reply
  • March 20, 2015 at 1:17 pm
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    Going for a nice evening walk. It’s been a long time.

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  • March 20, 2015 at 6:04 pm
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    Tomorrow is never promised. Thanks for reminding me.

    Reply
  • March 20, 2015 at 9:44 pm
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    Not sure if I even classify as someone who hustles. But I know my big sister does and she’s treating herself to a vacation in LA in a couple weeks…proud of her.

    Reply

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