Hi!! This is a post from a note that my husband shared with our loved ones recently after his 2014 birthday experience. It was really touching. I got his permission to share it with you... so here it is. Perspective.
Hello friends and family!
Regarding my recent birthday... if you will indulge me for a couple of minutes. For most of my adulthood I have not celebrated my birthdays (for various reasons that could become their own individual blog posts - attention avoidance, birthday date typo, low emotional IQ, etc, etc).
I am officially at midlife now.
And that BIG REGRET MONSTER is starting to grow to what could end up being a massive size at the rate it's going. Once fact is certain now: I don’t want to get to the end of the road and look back and think to myself “why didn’t I enjoy my birthdays more???” Was it because of the ultra sad 'Office Space' birthday song rendition that scarred me? Maybe.
The reasons I have been telling myself for all these years seemed so valid and PRACTICAL up to now:
1. I don’t want/need the extra attention.
2. Planning another birthday party is too much work.
3. I am an introvert.
4. Whatever I want, I have the means to buy it myself - a super practical, yet extremely boring and isolating way to go.
5. I feel like i'm burdening others.
I have recently been witnessing how much fun little kids have through my nieces and my friends kids. They play and run around, and squeal and laugh and enjoy their leisure time so much! Everything is so new and amazing for them. I wish a lot more adults lived the same way - INCLUDING MYSELF.
So just like you were a kid again, it is my/your responsibility to enjoy our birthdays to the maximum extent possible. Even if you happen to have an utterly horrible year, you can count on at least your birthday. You are entitled to get birthday good wishes and LOVE sent your way for AT LEAST ONE DAY a year!
Even if you are in Federal-pound-you-in-the-ass prison, I guarantee that your birthday will be celebrated in some way, shape, or form. And I touched on the mid-life part for a second, but it has really shaped my FEELING SELF a lot lately. I am trying to leave the 'thinking self' out of this birthday scenario.
My goal, from this point on is to TRULY ENJOY my birthdays as much as I humanly can. What is the point of it all if you don't have a COMMUNITY of your friends and family to celebrate with you for at least one day a year???
I am a total emotional imbecile and now I finally get it: it's about sharing these important moments in your life. I thought about it, and I heard it, and understood that message for long time in my hard-headed gray matter, but never really FELT it. And to FEEL IT is to really LIVE IT as Arry has taught me well these last few years.
From here on out I am fully dedicated to August 31st. (Long story about that date that is better told over a few beers.)
So THANK YOU so very much to all of you for contributing into my manly new grill! With the help of Arry's new company (www.GiftStarter.co) I hope to be contributing to a fantastic gift for all of my friends and family birthdays from now until we all finally take that permanent dirt nap...
Thanks again and much LOVE to all of you!!!
p.s. and for those that missed the experience, here's the link: https://www.giftstarter.co/giftstart?gs-id=23
From a Press Release that was written about a month ago:
Arry Yu, CEO of Giftstarter.co, selected to PSBJ’s list of 40-Under-40 Business Superstars
Seattle, WA: GiftStarter (www.giftstarter.co), a collaborative gifting experience platform, is proud to announce that the Puget Sound Business Journal named Arry Yu to its 40 Under 40 List of Business Superstars for 2014. The list recognizes dynamic business leaders under the age of 40 for their contributions to their companies and to the Seattle community.
GiftStarter (www.giftstarter.co) recently announced the launch of its gifting platform GiftStarter, which makes it easy for friends and family to come together and purchase a gift for a loved one from a growing list of online retailers which already includes Nordstrom, REI, Best Buy and Amazon.com. Contributors write special notes with each pitch-in, all of which are compiled into a beautiful card for the giftee on the campaign's completion. GiftStarter’s mission is to bring back the humanity, personality and the joy of real life interactions, using technology as an enabler – not a focal point.
“I am very excited to be recognized with this award. At the end of the day, people do really matter and that human-centric focus is exactly what we are trying to bring back with the GiftStarter platform”, said Arry Yu.
Arry and her GiftStarter team were also recently invited to join 9Mile Labs, Seattle’s B2B startup accelerator. “We are thrilled to be working with Arry and her team in the upcoming program,” said Sanjay Puri, partner at 9Mile Labs. “Arry brings an incredible combination of entrepreneurial skills, irrepressible energy and a unique ability to engage and influence others,” added Puri.
Arry got her start consulting with some of the most recognizable brands in the world including Microsoft, Google, and L’Oreal and has spent the past 8 years building businesses with an emphasis on corporate culture and innovation. She’s recognized as a change maker and is sought out often for her leadership and creative skills.
To see the PSBJ's 40 Under 40 Article on me (Arry Yu), CLICK HERE.
I will post more pictures from the event shortly. I think my husband even captured some video that we can share too. :) Pretty exciting - and what an honor to be on this list with all the other amazing honorees!
To be video'ed via Google Hangout and then have a video interview "out there" is quite an interesting experience. I've always wanted to move to the world of video-blogging, or "vlogging".... BUT! Wow.... that step is SO HARD to do to put yourself out there. Many would say I personally put a lot of stuff out onto the interwebs... To me, a person that is much more introverted than most people realize, that is a GINORMOUS leap to make.
I'm working on it.
Jamarie is a wonderful person I met a few years ago, through my brother. Quite funny how things happen - he had just moved to Seattle and was renting a room in a friend's house. Jamarie and her husband had just moved to Seattle from the east coast as well, and they were subletting a room in that same house for the month until they knew where they wanted to go next. My brother pulled me inside one day after we had dinner out together saying, "you have to meet my new housemates!" I was reluctant and feeling shy.... I went in... and then POW! WOW! Jamarie and Thom are AWESOME HUMANS! Even funnier, Thom grew up in the same hometown I did. Thom has the actual same birthdate as my husband, too!
Opportunities and people come into your life when you least expect it. Those are the gifts that life give to us.
Anyways, it's an honor that Jamarie decided to include me with this community of amazing women of entrepreneurship and leadership. I learned a lot from this experience - and watching all of the videos of the other women, I know I have a lot more to learn. Luckily, I like learning and I have a great group of people (family, friends, advisors, mentors, investors...) that continue to be part of my team in life.