Meghan Yuri Young, Writer + Blogger
Republished with permission from Be The Next Her an Evio Community Partner
What is your morning routine?
Up until recently, my first instinct when I woke up would be to check my phone (and I’d easily be on it for close to an hour)…especially since it doubled as my bedroom clock. But I recently “invested’ in an actual clock to help me break out of that habit. Now, I cuddle my puppy while writing in my 5 Minute Journal. Then I hop out of bed to do 10 minutes of yoga (my form of morning meditation). From there I wash up before taking Curry out for a walk (long or short depending on the weather and what I have to do that day). Then I prepare breakfast while finally allowing myself to look at my phone for emails, social media updates, etc. From there, every day is always different since I freelance.
Tell us about your career path
My career path has at once been spontaneous and single-minded. I double majored in Psych and English with the intention of becoming a psychiatrist, yet I consistently pursued internships at magazines until I landed an amazing freelance gig that allowed me to work while travelling. That was one of my main focuses in my 20s — travel. When I finally started settling down a bit, I tried the in-office routine, but quickly learned it wasn’t for me. I finally struck up the nerve to branch out on my own and haven’t looked back since.
I was lucky enough to grow a small but loyal following via Instagram and have leveraged that audience to speak about my personal experiences; often touching on relationships, health, personal growth, and self-discovery. Yet I think the state of my profession as a blogger is quickly changing as the industry becomes oversaturated with aspiring “influencers” and partnering with brands to sustain this sort of lifestyle becomes more and more forced. Although I respect the majority of the brands I’ve been fortunate to work with, the social media industry is slowly commercializing so much so that breathing billboards are born. It’s hard to know what’s genuine anymore and that’s a shame.
Granted, I believe there’s a lot of room to pivot in my profession, it’s just a matter of constantly reassessing your values and checking in with yourself to make sure you’re still on the right path. For me, I’m focusing on larger projects that I manage rather than being in, as well as using my voice to speak about issues I deeply care about such as mental health, youth empowerment, human rights and philanthropic endeavours — while still living life and having fun, of course.
What challenges do you or women face in your industry?
To be honest, I think this industry is helping women overcome challenges like never before. Our voices have never been stronger, our community never tighter and although I can easily pick at some negative aspects in the industry, it’s hard to focus on that when a lot of good is coming out of it right now. The “Me Too” movement is a great example of what I mean. Beyond that, this industry has allowed women more professional opportunities than ever. It has fostered a sense of independence that I think scares even us sometimes — but only in good ways.
We just have to be secure in our independence and our choice to be part of this community. It’s easy to compare and to despair, but a simple shift in perspective is all that’s needed to see that we’re all just trying to be our best, make meaningful connections and maybe even affect someone’s lives while allowing others to affect ours.
What advice would you give to young girls who want to be the NEXT you?
Understand what it is you’re trying to do and why you’re trying to do it. We’re an instant gratification generation that tends towards acting before thinking in order to get fleeting feelings of validation — often from strangers. But if we entered this bizarre world of social media with more introspection and a ton of empathy, it would be so much richer. Social media is like anything else out there — it’s what we make it. There can be a balance between fun, spontaneous, superficial posts and thoughtful, genuine content.
Be curious and be cautious. Have a plan, but don’t be afraid to throw that plan out the window. And whatever it is you really want to do — JUST DO IT. Don’t get caught up in making it perfect or else it’ll never get done. This is very different from my initial advice about being more introspective. That has to do with personal values and meaningful content. This, on the other hand, has to do with fear of moving forward and putting yourself out there. The best advice I’ve ever received is this: Just do it because you can always make it better. And often what you think is perfect, isn’t. At least, not until you get feedback from whoever you’re talking to.
How do you separate work life from your personal life?
Oh lord, this is a tough one. Re-learning that it’s ok to say no has been the best thing I’ve invested in. As a freelancer, it can be scary to say no because that no feels like it’ll echo down an endless hall of opportunities. But that’s not the case at all. If someone really wants to work with you, they’ll find you. And if you really want to work with someone, you’ll find a way to do that too. You don’t have to go to all of the events or say yes to all of the opportunities in order to stay relevant. But you do have to say no in order to stay sane.
Having boundaries and relationships outside of my work life has been a boon and a lifesaver.
What inspires you?
Artists, authors and out-of-the-box thinkers. Long walks, longer conversations, and time alone with my thoughts. Not to mention travel.
When you’re off the clock, what are your indulgences?
Netflix! Working out is also a luxury. But the greatest luxury that I don’t indulge in enough is reading.