Advancement

A Crash Course in Forgiveness, Self-Awareness, and Self-Determination

December 12, 2017
Hideki Fukusumi

It’s golden hour on a warm fall day, and I’m walking through the Japanese Village Plaza. Taking the time to stop by shops I never really spent time in, looking at the faces of business owners I’ve never taken the time to notice. It’s been about three weeks since I’ve picked up a part-time job with Kizuna, which is my third job, not including my side hustles managing a music collective I’ve co-founded and a personal brand I’m building. I think part of me enjoys torturing myself, but there’s also another part of me that’s been incredibly driven.

"It’s been about three weeks since I’ve picked up a part-time job with Kizuna, which is my third job, not including my side hustles managing a music collective I’ve co-founded and a personal brand I’m building. I think part of me enjoys torturing myself, but there’s also another part of me that’s been incredibly driven."

Leading a workshop in the Leadership Program

I’m coming off a pretty rough couple of years. I was let go from a job that I had invested a three-year long Master’s degree into learning, only to quickly realize that a lot of the culture and values of the profession didn’t quite match up with mine.  

Graduating and receiving a Masters Degree from Cal State Long Beach

I was making good money and spending all of it because it was the only thing that was making me happy, and I hit rock bottom pretty quick after being let go. Pushing by on unemployment, I was, and still am, privileged to have two parents who love me and provide me with a roof over my head and meals every day.

With so many things uncertain at this point in my life, there was one thing that I absolutely knew I wanted to do, and that was to start getting involved again with the things that I valued and that brought me energy. I started volunteering with Kizuna while co-founding an organization called Do-Rite Collective, building it from scratch, and I started to think about what I needed to be happy.

"With so many things uncertain at this point in my life, there was one thing that I absolutely knew I wanted to do, and that was to start getting involved again with the things that I valued and that brought me energy."
The Do-Rite Collective

As the child of immigrant parents, it’s hard to pursue creative professions because our parents came to this country on survival mode. Their priority was to find a secure job that paid well enough to support a family; they didn’t have the same leisure to explore their career interests and find professions that they love. But they worked their butts off so that I wouldn’t be constricted of the same situation as them. It was so I could live the life I envision for myself.

"But they worked their butts off so that I wouldn’t be constricted of the same situation as them. It was so I could live the life I envision for myself."
Throwback Thursday

Something lit a fire under my butt one day, and here I am –– enjoying golden hour on a warm Fall day. Being busier somehow helps me stay more organized, and I’m finding ways to get involved with community that give me a lot of the balance that I’ve been looking for in life.

I guess what I’m trying to say is:

  • It’s important to forgive yourself. Your whole life doesn’t deserve to be judged off of one bad portion of it, and as long as you have the desire to continue to grow, that’s all you can ever really ask of yourself.

  • NEVER tell yourself “no." You’re going to hear it enough from the outside world, the last place a “no” should ever come from is you.

  • To get things you haven’t gotten, you have to try things you haven’t done. They say the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over, expecting different results and I remind myself that every time I feel like a victim to my circumstance. As long as you’re alive, try something new!

To learn more about the Do-Rite Collective organization, visit their website at doritecollective.com

Hideki Fukusumi

Hideki Fukusumi is the Program Coordinator at Kizuna. He has been a counselor for Kizuna's high school Leadership summer program and the Student Success Institue program.