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In honor of Father’s Day, I wanted to share with you a video tribute I made dedicated to my late father, Jay Yang.

 

 

My father passed away from cancer almost three years ago, and it was the hardest thing that I had ever had to go through. I was on a downward spiral – gaining almost 30 pounds, coming home from a job I hated, crying every single night in my closet alone and passing out from the migraines. On weekends, I’d drink in the afternoon to mask the pain. I had given up on my dreams. I lost hope in my future. All I wanted was to leave this world because it just seemed all too hard.

 

I started losing my hair from the stress – with my sister discovering a bald spot in the back of my head the size of a nickel. Within a month, I had discovered four more all around my head – and that was the moment I realized that my pain wasn’t just mental or emotional – it was also physical.

 

So I booked a one-way ticket to Iceland, and subsequent flights to Paris, London, Italy and Croatia – to backpack across Europe for the first time in my life. I decided to leave the endless cycle of materialism that my life had become – making more money, to spend more money, to live and sleep less. I sold 80% of my things, left my job, my apartment, my long-term relationship and took a lifesize cutout of my father around the world.

 

For My Father - Dad Travels the World - Photographer Jinna Yang

 

I came back to New York City to no apartment, no job, no money and I had no idea where I was going from there. So last year on Father’s Day, while crashing on my aunt’s couch, I published the photos of us in front of these international monuments in tribute to him. His story inspired millions of people around the world – and gave me the strength to leave everything behind and follow my dreams.

 

That was the beginning of the rest of my life.

 

It’s been an entire year since I left everything behind, and so much has changed.

 

I finally have my own apartment, have traveled throughout Sweden, Denmark, Morocco, Mexico, Iceland, France, Italy, Croatia, U.K., seen places that I had never seen, did things that scared me, found peace past my pain, and have somehow managed to pay my rent every single month by doing what I love.

 

And I know that even though he isn’t here with me in person, he saved me from that downward spiral – reminding me that life can be beautiful, that there is still good in this world – and that it is worth every bit of hurt, sweat and tears to follow your dreams and try to make the world a better place.

 

So for this Father’s Day, I wanted to thank my dad for saving my life with this tribute video.

 

I hope that this will inspire you to hug your dad and family, take a chance on yourself, against all odds, start your journey to healing, find peace past your pain and live with purpose.

 

I am just a regular girl, trying to find her place in the world – and sometimes it gets hard – I still cry sometimes because I miss him so much – I still feel alone some nights – and life is not easy, but it is beautiful. And I promise you that if I can leave everything to live the life of my dreams, so can you.

 

Thank you so much for reading.

 

With love,
Jinna

 

P.S. You can view the original photo project here: I Left Everything To Travel The World For & With My Father

If you lost a loved one recently, I encourage you to read this post I wrote and read some of the comments from our community: 10 Things I Learned While Dealing With the Death of a Loved One