On Staying Current

I don't normally like rainy days. However, I feel today is a beautiful day, although it is raining, heavily.

It is what I am doing largely defines how I feel about the day: I am taking a routine coding lesson. So this rainy day is no longer boring and dull. Instead, it is exciting and challenging.

Washington Hall at Washington & Lee University

Washington Hall at Washington & Lee University

Hand drawing is a craft that has a history as long as humans have been around. Many people have "moved on" from this traditional art form to modern forms, such as digital drawing. It is my choice, though, to stick with traditional hand drawing and illustration.

That being said, a traditional art form does not have to be old and uninteresting. I am always looking for ways to stay current, mentally and technically, for example, through learning coding and programming.

It is just like a rainy day does not have to mean boring and dull. It is what we do with it gives it a life. 

Thinking about Writing a Book about "Place"

People always say, if something keeps coming up into my mind, you should do it.

So far, I have been listening to this voice and have done:

  1. Started a personal growth Youtube Channel about 3.5 years ago.
  2. Started my own business "Y Illustrations" 1.5 years ago, to channel my creativity and passions that were not utilized at my job.
  3. About 8 months ago, I closed my Youtube Channel, because I simply didn't have enough time to properly manage it and publish good content. It was a hard decision, but I said goodbye to that chapter of my adventure.
  4. About 8 months ago, I invited a challenge to do a Tedx talk. One reason was to prove to myself that an introverted individual can make a good public speaker. 

So far, these things have been giving me a great sense of satisfaction. I am grateful that there is a voice that is so quiet but persistent, which nudges me to do things and is not directed by my intellectual capability, but by something I see as a "higher purpose" or "Higher Power."

"You should start working on a book..." Again, this voice is whispering to me, repeatedly.

Where to start? What to write about? I think, something about "place" and "people" is a great topic for me, and something with writing and drawing is what I am good at.




I have been having a lot of new experiences going on lately. By being self-aware, I feel every experience is an adventure, and every adventure is a learning experience. Interestingly, the main subject, which is the initial intention, sometimes does not turn out to be the main thing that I harvest. Here are some examples:

Drawing everyday
Initial intention: to form a habit of drawing daily, and that’s all.
Ripple-effect learning: I started to search for a good subject to draw every day. It’s been interesting to see what will draw my attention, and how people react to my online posting of these pictures. It also has triggered a lot of sales of my works lately, so it also taught me how be become better at selling.

Prepare for TEDx Talk
Initial intention: to do something fun, something daring and raise my visibility.
Ripple-effect learning: the course of six-month’s preparation truly taught me humility. I needed to unlearn a lot of the “knowledge” that are out of touch with the real world and to find the authentic "me." During the self-promoting stage, I learned to not regard myself too important or too unimportant. I am just needed to see myself as one member of the human race, trying to do something meaningful! It is worth to let people know, but it doesn’t make me more special than others. 

New Job
Initial intention: to take my career growth a step further by coming into a new work environment and also learn about economic development of the society.
Ripple effect: I learned how to work with people in the state government. I learned I can have lunch with my Chinese friends and have a good visit. I learned I can have a lunch date with my husband. I learned when is a good time to leave home to go to work, so I am not likely to be caught in the busy traffic, and I even learned which lane to stay in during rush hour based on what part of town I am in, so I don’t get stuck.

It is fun to see where I aim to throw the rock, but let the ripples actually return me unexpected joy and fulfillment. If you keep your eyes open, you will be pleasantly surprised, too!