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Meet Autumn

Today we’d like to introduce you to Autumn.

Hi Autumn, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers.
To start, I’m not sure how I got here or where I am going. I cannot define my journey in a single thought. It had many twists and turns, sometimes with purpose and sometimes without. I am not an aspiring entrepreneur, nor am I looking to get famous. I made a small anonymous Instagram account to first share song covers and pictures of places I’ve explored on my travels.

Yes, Autumn is my alias. I had chosen Autumn because I actually had a negative relationship with this season growing up in the Inland Empire desert of California; however, I grew to appreciate the season and its flaws when I understood the perspectives from other cities and states like Denver, Colorado — how beautiful autumn can also be

In a way, it was an acceptance of my own flaws. I was raised to be a perfectionist and spent most of my life obsessing over the idea of being perfect and how I am far from it. I was also very sheltered by a strict father. When I found my voice, I found my freedom to explore the world, and most importantly, I explored myself.

I wish I could pinpoint a single time and place where I made a self-discovery or had an epiphany, but I’m learning about myself again and again in different ways. For example, I learned that I could carry a decent tune and had built confidence in my ability to sing in college just by chance through a cultural club, but I did not teach myself to play any instruments like the ukulele until long after I had graduated and trying to get over a heartbreak.

I am still far from proficient, but it’s enough to accompany the songs I want to sing. I especially love singing amongst the trees and nature. Sometimes, it is always a hassle to bring my ukulele with me on hikes and backpacking trips as I have had to juggle between necessary survival items, like food and water, versus an entertainment device. In the end, it’s all worth it!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
The most notable obstacles in my life, I felt, were in my younger years. I mentioned that I had a very strict father. That could be an understatement. My routine was school and then going straight home afterward. Even playing outside in my front yard was forbidden. At school, I was one of five Asian American kids (two of them are my sisters).

Racism comes in many forms even if it’s from other minority groups. I developed an internal dialogue that I was different and perhaps unlikeable, and even as I navigated college with a culture shock that there are more Asian Americans like myself in the US, I still felt different. It turns out, that the Asian American experience had many different derivations but has a common pattern.

Still, sadly I had to find comfort in that idea because I knew it was not easy growing up in my household. We had to be acting like adults for an immature father. My mom was the ray of light that kept us protected, but she died from cancer right after I graduated high school. I dragged my way through college with undiagnosed depression. She was the one person who taught my sisters, my unconditional love.

That was the hope and fuel I needed to move forward in life despite the grief that I did not know how to process. At first, I would reflect on how unfair life can be when I see other families interact. The grass is always greener. I wish this wasn’t true, but I truly believe obstacles are important to build character.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I still struggle with how to introduce myself. Most times, we define ourselves through our profession, but I feel like I’m so much more than that. Sure, I am a proud registered nurse, hailed as a “hero” during the pandemic. In reality, I am a worker bee, truly just trying to stay afloat.

I am also a sister (my sisters keep me grounded, and I love them), a lover of nature, a person with a quest for new skills and knowledge, a creative outlet seeker, and I guess a musician-ish. I’ve always secretly wanted to become a musician, which is probably why I created this Instagram account. I barely started trying to write my own music.

Much to my resistance, most of the music I write is about love. I have not had the courage to share them on my Instagram, but they have been written for my friend’s weddings, hence the love songs. I am very much an amateur and move at a snail’s pace towards proficiency, but I like to take my time. I am just trying to enjoy the journey.

In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
The common pattern here for me is I don’t really have an end goal. I look forward to becoming more confident to share my love for music in nature. My go-to hashtag is actually #ukeandhike. It’s what I do, and I plan to continue to enjoy the journey. This concept also helps me find peace in every step.

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