Are you a YDK?

It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the fear of not knowing. But you’re capable, and there’s proof.

Kaki Okumura


This was originally shared with my email newsletter at the end of 2022, but felt it was worth sharing on Medium. Sign up for the newsletter if you want to connect with me!

I’ve been reflecting on this past year, and wow. Things have changed.

If I were to illustrate it out, the inside of my brain in the beginning of the year had looked something like this:

Illustrations by Kaki Okumura

I had a million unanswered questions, worries, and I wasn’t sure if I was “on the right path”. Reflecting back, I realized I have come very far in answering those concerns and untangling a situation which at the time felt too overwhelming to tackle.

This year, I was a YDK

There is a Japanese slang term used among younger people, “YDK”. It is an acronym of sorts for “yareba dekiru ko” (やれば出来る子), which roughly translates to “A child who can, if they just do”.

It’s an endearing (although maybe slightly condescending) term, to describe someone who usually doesn’t care to, or doesn’t have the confidence to, pursue the things that would benefit them. But on the occasion they decide to take a chance on themselves, they exceed their expectations.

And I’m proud to say, this year I was a YDK.

I won’t detail my personal struggles here (maybe in the future if there is interest, and I feel it could help someone else), but let’s just say I started the year with lots of rejections, failures, unmet goals, and given up dreams. But those rejections have met breakthroughs, those failures have found lessons, and those dreams now have some sky again.

Maybe, we are all YDKs?

In any given tough situation, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the fear of not knowing. We don’t know how we’re…



Kaki Okumura

Born in Dallas, raised in New York and Tokyo. I care about helping others learn to live a better, healthier life. My site: 🌱