52 Week Project Blog

Week 23/52 - Spiritual Hustler

Welcoming portrait of the week - Ranny Kang! She's the 23rd person for the project. We spent two days together in between June 4th to June 10th. Beforehand, we met at a Landmark Special Evening event last month. She came out to listen to other people speak about their experience. Once everyone else finished, she raised her hand next. She spoke about her life before Landmark, how much it has impacted, and what she's created after. The moment she brought up her past hardship and her Cambodian ethnicity, I was hooked! After her sharing, I approached her and introduced myself, telling her I was touched about her uprising and wanted to photograph her for my project. What you are about to see is the unconventional 9-5 work life of Ranny, following her and getting to know her with our time together. The structure of the blog goes as follow: Who is Ranny, our time together, and what is coming up for her. Brace yourself to get spiritual!

The gorgeous smiling Ranny is a hard working, spiritual hustler who continues to inspire people to live life to the max. She created an ongoing podcast titled 30-Something And Single. It is a self-produced podcast about her personal experiences in spiritual growth and of self-love and the importance of cultivating relationship to contribute to humanity through authentic self-expression. It is beautiful to hear her insight in stepping over the line of her fears and making impacts. 

Let's take a step back to learn more about Ranny. She was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington, she grew up in one of the toughest city in Washington State. She is one of three daughter from a single mother who refuge from Cambodia.  She shared about her and her family's hardship. She talked about living on the edge, ended a relationship from her high school sweetheart, traveled to Cambodia to raise money through a bike ride campaign to end human trafficking, competed in a beauty pageant contest, moved to the city of Seattle, and being her own boss. There is so much more she has gone through. Retracting back to her podcast title, she embraces her independence to personally and professionally grow and live extraordinarily. Coming up is what I will share about our time together. 

On the first day, at 9:00 AM, I trekked through public trains and bus to arrive at her sanctuary in South Lake Union. Looking forward to meeting Ranny for the second time, I was excited to learn what she meant about another perspective on the unconventional "9-5" life. When she told me she practice Yoga in the morning, I couldn't wait! Unexpectedly, thinking we were to practice at a studio, instead we walked with her bicycle to the South Lake Union park next to the Museum of History & Industry for an outside session. Totally mind blown, we set up our spot right on the pier to view toward the lake. Given this is my second Yoga experience, the bright sunshine falling on our body, feeling the natural warmth through warrior stance, and ending with uninterrupted meditation. It was amazing to experience what Ranny does on a regular morning basis. We were surprise on how I kept up with her as she explained correct postures, positioning, stances, and breathing techniques. Side note in. I shared parts of our day through Instagram and Snapchat particularly wearing Yoga pants. A first to everyone who has never seen me wear such an apparel. It was to the point Ranny recorded me for her Instagram! I asked her to send me a copy of the video just so I can poke fun at myself. Side note out. I thanked her for giving me the opportunity to do Yoga with her. She shared with me about being a Vinyasa & Aerial Yoga Teacher at Flight Room Seattle - Levitas. In my mind, I was curious on what it's like to teach Yoga. Not only it gives her joy and self expression, it allowed her the ability to create a space for her students to explore and embrace possibilities for courage, curiosity, and compassion. Besides that, she's also a server at Umi Sake House. Geez. She is unstoppable! 

After Yoga, we stopped for lunch at Kiki Ramen, a first to us. It was delicious. The place is near her office and right in the heart of Amazon world, meaning we at lunch next to the Amazon Spheres, still in construction alongside with their beta Amazon Go. Having our belly filled with warm Ramen, we walked toward her office at WeWork Seattle. I was blown away with the modern aesthetic, well poised, and bright environment along with driven business folks walking in and out of their offices to catch up on their days or get busy with their work laptop. Now, I did not share this info. I was sad about my camera's battery life starting in the morning with only 20%. I had to compose all of my shots like they are the last photos I can take. Usually, I run and gun like a mad woman, however, the limitation forced me to take the time and be in the presence with Ranny. Photographing her being with what matters in her world. Finally, my camera died. I spent the last two hours before going to work talking to her and meeting her friend Jolyn. We set up the next day to meet and left for work.   

On the second day, I met with her at the office later than 9:00 AM. Instead, I asked to meet up at 11:00 just so I can recover from a night out. This particular day, all three of us worked in the same space in our business for 5 hours. It was motivating for us to work, focus, and enjoy our company together. Jolyn created a structure for me and Ranny to be held accountable on our word whether it was completing a task or updating on what was finished. Even though I had my camera fully charged and ready to go, I chose to photograph Ranny being on her phone. It was peaceful to see her sit at the window with the large graphic next to her "Enjoy the Ride" behind her. That was powerful to see how the world sprawled as she appeared to enjoyed her phone conversation. A reminder to live for the progression. 

Being with Ranny for those two days, she inspired me to look outside my comfort zone to elevate my photography. She recommended me to reach out to people I look up as inspiration and photograph and follow them for my project. She showed me her work space and people she interacts on a daily basis. While photographing her, I saw how calmed she appeared even when she was busy on her laptop or on the phone. I captured a woman who is up to saving the world in her own ways. What is coming up for her is an exciting trip in August 2017. She and a team of 15 people will travel to Spain to walk the UNESCO world heritage listed Camino de Santiago. Her podcast she created is now turning into a short-film directed, edited, and produced by herself to expand what has existed and be invited to seeing her intimate perspective of a 30-Something and single woman. My my my. She is extraordinary. That is who she is. 

Lastly, thank you kindly for being in my portrait project Ranny! It was destiny to meet a fellow Cambodian woman like yourself. What better way to meet you from Landmark! If it wasn't for the event, our existence wouldn't cross path and continued on our lives. I look forward to seeing more out of you as you embark on new adventures for the world to see. Go rock the world!

If you are interested in seeing Ranny's work, here are direct information about her:

  • Ranny Kang - See for yourself on her journey in media portrayal through her 30-Something and Single Podcast, Yoga classes, and more!
  • Social Media connects such as Facebook, Instagram, & Soundcloud

Send your love and follow her journey! I listened to all of her episodes. You'll be amazed on what is she has to offer!

Week 23 is a special week for me. It will be an emotional and beautiful blog about the person who is meaningful in my life. I do want to apologize for releasing my blog later than what I anticipated. I dealt with extreme emotional hardship all last week and delayed any progression with my project. I appreciate the ones who kept up with me and continue to read about my progress. Stay with me for the next blog! Thank you for your time!

- Sally -