We had the good fortune of connecting with Jenny J Nam and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jenny J, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Balancing your work and personal life is crucial to maintaining your health inside and outside. I mean, physically and mentally. Self-employed life can be confusing – there’s no strict boundary between your work life and personal life. For example, my home is my office: I produce music, teach, and do a lot of administrative work at home. At the same time, this is the place where I sleep (oh, cooking too! I cook a lot for daily meals). It means the spaces are not separated for your privacy. I’ve seen how people, who can be called self-employed, tend to forget to maintain their personal time and space and rather keep working all the time almost 24/7. I used to be one of them too. Not a long time ago, I overworked myself whether I was at home or not. I didn’t rest properly. Eventually, one day my body just notified me that I had a critical medical condition. I got diagnosed as TB (tuberculous cervical lymphadenitis). I fought with it badly almost a year. Even though I got confirmation that I was cured from TB, my body energy did not fully recover. There were a lot of residues from the side-effects of the medicines. So I chose not to work as hard, but give myself time to get back to normal. I took a Yoga class every day. I made time to attend the Yoga class regularly for over 2 years. I restricted myself to not do any extra work after 10pm. It took me around 3 years to get my health back. Working hard for your passion is absolutely a great thing to do. However, health is wealth. I learned that life lesson the hard way. Presently, I do make time for myself; at least a day off a week. I intentionally mark a time slot on my calendar. I try to moderate my schedule effectively to preserve my time and physical energy. What I’m doing is balancing my work and my personal life better. I can see myself being healthier and happier now then before. Finally, I’d like to stress to people one more thing: The more time you spend treating yourself well, the healthier your work life becomes.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Was it easy? No. Hell no. In order to pursue your dream to make it real? It demands a lot of time and effort. I started playing piano at the age of four. I just never stop doing what I am capable of. So I persevered at it. I simply never give up on what I love the most. I bear with a lot of hassles. It requires you to have a huge endurance. There are no shortcuts. There’s no easy way to get to the top of the rocky mountain, ever. It’s like a long, endless struggle with yourself: Face it head-on, no excuses accepted. That’s what I’ve learned along the way.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I really love Malibu! Malibu Pier area is the best tourist spot to take my friends who are visiting. Driving on the Pacific Coast Highway alongside the Malibu coast is super lovely and makes for a life-long memory.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
People: Those people who are always encouraging me to keep myself motivated. They are my beloved friends as well as my life long mentors. I applaud them. 1. Jahyeong (Jackie) Koo, Adjunct Professor of Music at California State University, Northridge. 2. Lydia Wu, Music Teacher at LACHSA (LA County High School for the Arts) and VOCE Branch Chair, MTAC Los Angeles Branch. 3. Kathy Huyen Nguyen, Owner/CEO at Infinity Piano Studio. Organizations: I have been able to meet genuine musician friends through these organizations in LA. They are the hub for networking in the music industry. 1. The SCL : The SCL is the premier organization for music creators working in all forms of visual media: film, television, video games, and musical theatre. www.thescl.com. 2. PMA: The Production Music Association, the production music community https://pmamusic.com
Photography by Joyce Charat Makeup by Akiko Russell