My name is Eric Yih aka E-YEE the message I want to convey to the audience & the world is that nothing is impossible. Everything that you want to achieve can be done. You just have to believe in yourself & know in your heart that you can do it. Even during times where you might not know how things will end up, just take that leap of faith & hope for the best. I want the work that I do with music, bodybuilding & clothing etc to illustrate this. I was born in the small town of Palo Alto, CA & eventually moved to the even smaller enclave of Los Altos where my mother & sister still reside today. I grew up in a broken home where my parents separated & eventually divorced when I was 6 years old. Me & my sister spent our time during the week living with my mother & on the weekends staying with our dad, who lived throughout the Fremont/Newark area before eventually relocating to San Jose and finally settling down in San Francisco Chinatown to live out his final days. As I grew older I spent the majority of my teenage years walking, biking & eventually driving through the streets of Palo Alto & the surrounding Bay Area doing typical teenager type hooligan stuff. I resided back & forth between my hometown & the beautiful city of Santa Cruz for sometime before finally settling into the South San Francisco & San Bruno area in 2013 which is where I am located currently. I have many things planned for 2017 & the upcoming years to follow. I am consistently working on a daily basis to further my endeavors into recording music, designing fashion apparel & building what I feel to be an ideal physique. Everything that I do in regards to creating is incredible therapy for me, mentally, spiritually & physically. I view myself now as an artist of multiple mediums & overall appreciator of the beauty in life. Beauty that for many years I was blind & not open to seeing. I personally struggled with substance abuse issues for many years & have been clean & sober since 10/17/2012. Those first few years were pretty rough I will admit & while it did take some time to readjust. I can honestly say that in these last few years the growth that I have experienced has been phenomenal. I am thankful everyday to have the privilege of being alive & well. Not just alive & well but truly at peace finally. Reflecting back now I realize that for the longest time I was numbing pain, a pain from earlier experiences in my life. Once I was able to get myself cleaned up & confront those pains, thus overcoming the fear of confronting those issues, my eyes were finally open. Opened up to seeing life & world around me in a new, much much brighter light. By learning to love myself & the person I am, I am now able to transfer & radiate that same positivity to those around me. I realize now that in my younger, turbulent years before maturing I really did not know who I was, & I did not like who I was. I was still struggling with finding my own identity & it was during this hateful period of time that I did many unfortunately hateful things to a lot of people. For that I am truly sorry, and more importantly I appreciate the people that stuck with me while I weathered through this storm & the new people that I have met since then. Thank You.
I will always remember the last years of my father's life. Living in that small Chinatown apartment, with a fridge full of rotten food, a fresh bottle of brandy, roaches running rampant, government assistance ensuring that rent was paid. Retirement, I suppose. The greatest lessons I learned from my father were the things he never told me. The things that he did not do for himself. The things that he allowed to happen. The things that destroyed him in the end. As a child, he always made sure that I got whatever I wanted. Weekends were spent at his house, while the rest of the week was at my mother's. I don't have a single memory of ever being told “No, you can't have that” Every night I would go to bed with a full stomach. What a wonderful time to be alive. Me & my sister were some lucky kids. He taught me the unwritten rules of the road, you changed lanes on the interstate 1 lane at a time, switching your turn signal on & off from lane to lane. He pointed out & ridiculed the people that would cross all the lanes at once. You also always parked your car by backing into the space, for the sake of a convenient exit of course. Everything I absorbed as a child was engrained with a matter of fact-ness that I had no word for at the time. This of course was confidence. From the age of 13 to 18 I was largely absorbed in my own life, friends & school. I must have been too busy during this time to have much to do with him. It was a time of self discovery & I think we both understood that. It was an interesting time to say the least. I was “growing up” so to speak, anything to be learned at this time would be done on my own. In the summer of 2006, I graduated high school & finally became a “legal” adult. For me it was exhilarating. I was free to do anything & everything I wanted, there was a whole world out there for me to discover. It was time to grind, but first some quality time. For 2 weeks, I traveled with my father first to China & then to Taiwan. It was the first time I had been back for almost 10 years. We drank & ate to our heart's content. It was the first big trip we took together, just the 2 of us. It would also be our last. So we returned from our travels. I continued my community college aspirations & money-making endeavors. My father returned to whatever it was he did. He never talked about it, I was young & never even considered to ever ask him how he was doing. In 2008, he informed me that he was moving to San Francisco. I didn't realize it at the time, but the illusion we had built in our minds that all was well in our lives was beginning to crack. You see ladies & gentlemen, all was not well. By the age of 15, I had developed a very healthy alcohol & marijuana habit. A few months shy of turning 18, I was introduced to the world of marijuana sales. I had found a way to sustain my habit & afford luxuries that no one else in my age group could even fathom. These first 2 would always be my staples. And yes I did dabble in the exchange of other product. I was “balling” so to speak. I had finally found success. I was good at this. I was rich. In my mind I wasn't a “loser” anymore. I was a king in my own right. This was a lie. By late 2011, my lifestyle had become a full blown addiction. I would drink & smoke daily, it had been this way for almost 5 years now. I had experienced numerous business related mishaps. I had also managed to make it through & survive, at the expense of my friends. I had sacrificed them in pursuit of the almighty dollar & a kingdom to call my own. I was at rock bottom, morally and spiritually. Financially, I was “in the black” my earnings were more than I had ever imagined. I had everything I had ever dreamed of apparently. And yet I had absolutely nothing at all. My father was 1 of the best friends that I ever had. There was always alcohol on hand whenever we got together. We would talk for hours on end with each other. Everyone in that little apartment building knew when his son was there. Blunt smoke was my signature scent. Catching a buzz always made the reality of the situation easier to swallow. Reality. Reality was something that I had never learned to come to terms with. Simply because I had been taught a different way to cope. That was the thing about us, we never talked about what was wrong. Those sort of things just don't come up when alcohol is in the mix. As far as either of us knew, life was grand. We all know how those conversations go. Don't we? Eventually on October 17, 2012 after pretty much 10 long years I finally decided to give it all up. I had managed to find sobriety earlier in the year, but I had unfortunately fallen off again that summer. One day I woke up, took a long look at myself & decided that it was over. It has always been on or off for me. I've never been one of those taper off little by little types. I am cold turkey all the way. I still remember him calling & telling me. “My landlord is threatening to evict me, the refrigerator in my apartment stopped working & all the food I have in here is starting to go bad. I headed over. Spent a few hours throwing everything away, cleaning out that disgusting fridge. By the end of it he offered to take me out to dinner, I had lost my appetite. He had not gone out to eat with anyone in quite some time. He offered me a glass of “tea” (that was our word for dark liquor, we never drank that light shit) I declined. I was less than a month into sobriety, I shared the news with my father. He smiled, he was happy I know he was. I left, hoping he would be alright. The last time we were together would be 2 weeks later. He called me again, telling me he needed my help. When I got there, it was as if I had never even been there 2 weeks prior. I spent 1 last time cleaning the spoiled food & washing the inside of that disgusting fridge, in that disgusting roach infested room. I was angry to say the least. His helplessness at that point went against the very bravado I had been raised to expect & respect. It was November, sometime around Thanksgiving I think. My sister would visit when she was back during Christmas. I did not. That was the last time I would see him alive. I would call in March & promise to visit. My father Thomas Yih, passed away on April 7, 2013. He was 8 days shy of his 63rd birthday. The man who I idolized. The man who tried to be the best father that he could. The man who let his addiction take control of his life. The man who never confronted the pain he used alcohol to cope with. The man in the end who knew he could not quit even if he wanted to. The man who's body had become physically dependent. The greatest lessons I learned from my father were the things he never told me. The things that he did not do for himself. The things that he allowed to happen. The things that destroyed him in the end.