I think we all like to think that the past is something that we won't return to. Time, people, and places are all things we have to learn to leave behind in our constant process of reinvention and self discovery. But, this summer taught me something special in thinking about what came before. We need to sometimes retrace our steps in order to remember the person we once were to see how much we've learned and how forward we can actually go. Most of my close friends and family know that I've had a turbulent last few weeks.
I've had days full of laughs leaving my ribs tender and my cheeks are sore from smiling, and there's been nights where I buried my phone away under a mountain of pillows and my only company is a lukewarm Venti soy matcha latte and familiar episodes of Modern Family. In talking to my friends about returning to campus for our senior year, I literally feel so old!, I noticed that my mood has started shifting. From my Instagram posts, to the emojis I'm using again, I'm starting to feel like my old self again. But, I know that's absolutely impossible. Why is that you may ask? Because, in the short few weeks I've been home I've learned so much about myself by going back to my roots.
Like my friend Mallory said, "Things get a thousand times easier when you're in L.A.!" And she's right on the money! Being back home affords me the opportunity to connect with friends and colleague from as far back as high school, to newer members of my circle. From the friends who knew me during my Justin Bieber hair era, to my friends who survived the Hollywood trenches with me last summer, it took going back just to see how far I've come.
"We are always in the process of becoming." It's something my Posse mentor used to tell me when I was going through the thick of it at school. Being an aspiring writer, I'm all about good quotes. And this has become a quote I live by and often share with others when they ask me for advice.
I have learned that along with trusting the process, in my case my journey of navigating the world of entertainment, I also have to trust my skills and talents in the process. In a time where everyone has a smart phone and everyone swears they're an influencer, it can be hard in thinking that I'm destined for a career in something related to new/digital media.
This summer has taught me that comparing myself to others isn't a catalyst for growth, it actually curtails it.
There's no way of describing my summer in a way that makes it seem traditional, and that's because it hasn't been. I jumped from full-time, to unemployed, to giving it my all in a month long internship. All this jumping around made me feel unorganized and I thought that I was regressing as a person and a young professional. However, it was through losing my footing that I saw how my friends and family could help me create an even better platform. As summer winds down and the date creeps up when I have to fly back for Geneva, NY, I have tried my best to give even more depth with the people who pulled me back to me.
"You know for someone so young you have a great sense of voice," said my friend and Academy mentor to me while we talked about my upcoming trip back to school. It's something I have heard before, but hearing it this time I started to actually buy into it.
There a lot of people my age with a lot more followers, better style, and better hair than me. But, I'm not those people. I'm a son, brother, and grandson in a beautiful Latin family, from Los Angeles, CA, who moved to New York to brave the cold. I went from being 20 minutes away from Hollywood to being 2,000 miles away. Yet, because of luck and persistence, I found my way back. I even ended up at one of the biggest awards shows in the world! So yeah, I love snapping my life just like everyone my age, but I also know why I do it. I'm a communicator through writing and through digital media. I do it because I understand how media and identity intersects.