Jen YihComment

Life Design by Instagram

Jen YihComment
Life Design by Instagram

Pop Culture

Take a look at my photos, seriously, take a look at what I'm advertising. Currently, me standing next to a glacial lake half way up a snowy mountain, staring at a meteor shower that happens once a year. This is a joke. You probably wonder what I do for a living & how I'm able to access places like this, all the time. The secret is, I'm manic, plagued with a lot of anxiety about not living my life fully with a side serving of ADHD &, most importantly, social media is misleading...kind of. 

I've been dwelling on this one for awhile because, just like you, I spend way too much on social media in my quiet moments like while I'm on the toilet, before going to bed, maybe even while I sit in traffic. It's pretty gross. What's even more gross is the amount of travel photographers & insta-famous Barbie girls seem to be multiplying by the day! But have you ever followed someone on Instagram, then somehow met them in real life and they end up being... disappointingly unfiltered? I recently had a friend, from London, tell me that my life looked like an aspirational brand commercial. This made me lol, but also, made me realize I'm somewhat of a product of my environment & this ridiculous social media brag about my life era we live in. But I am what I sell, I suppose, working as a producer for sport and lifestyle brands in the Upper Left USA. 

Here's the whole truth, nothing but the truth, so help me God. I work an 8-5 job, some days it's 8:30-3 or 4 and typically Monday thru Friday. I'm a weekend warrior and am supposed to only have about 2 weeks paid vacation time. How is possible for me to travel to Hawaii multiple times a year, Alaska, France, and spend way too much time playing in the ocean or on the mountain? I'm bragging. A lot of people private message me and think it's because of my job @ SMITH, an super duper rad wicked action sports brand.... - but, I hate to break your heart, my pursuits don't have much to do with my job & my workplace is as corporate & desk dwelly as the next. On the contrary, it's my own explorations that brought me to my job. It's the little life I squeeze out of every minute I'm not staring at a computer screen. If you're a 40 hour week person, you realize there is 168 hours in a week. What are you doing those other 128 hours? 

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THE REAL STORY BEHIND THESE PHOTOS. Last night, there was a meteor shower that happens once a year. I received a text from two photographer friends who wanted to go up and play around with long exposure photography but didn't "know" the mountain. So, I said, let's go, I'll take you to a perfect spot but I have to be back for a 9:30AM meeting. We cruised after work, in the hot rush hour traffic, had 45 minutes to set up camp before it got dark. But as the sun went down and I jumped in the icey lake - everything from my work week washed away. The stars came out, one by one, we set up cameras, poured wine, made the fire, and let the crickets take the conversation. At 12AM, we drove up to Timberline Lodge to get higher and closer to the stars, where I laid on a rock counting the shooting stars. When we got back to camp, around 2:30AM, exhausted - we forced our eyes to stay open and take in the insanity of seeing shootings stars every :30 seconds. At 3AM, I snuggled into my hammock, woke up at 6AM to drive home, shower, and make my 9:30AM meeting - followed by several other meetings that day. You'd think I would be tired, but I wasn't - especially since I'd surfed the day before and didn't get home till 12AM. 

The photos tied to this night are a true representation of how magical it was & every other photo on my personal instagram are, in my opinion, some of my favorite moments of life - but not all of my life. Social media is a glimpse into everyone's best, funny, fashionable, traveled, filtered moments of their lives - but everyone poops, has bad days, lonely days, fat days, and is human... Don't take everything you see too literally, but more so, convert envy into inspiration...

So, as I slave at my day job - I keep in mind that it's not lack of sleep that will make me tired and depressed, its lack of curiosity, fun, spontaneity, exploration. I say - keep moving...ruthlessly & tirelessly! And, learn to master the art of the power nap.

Photo Credit: Hana Asano  (hire her, seriously)