One of the biggest obstacles that I had to face when it came to being the person I am in today’s modern society was accepting the fact that I wasn’t really happy with who I was as an individual…
In fact, there was a point in my life where I can truthfully admit… I hated myself…
2019 was basically the tipping point where enough was enough and I was ready to take action and be “the pilot of my own life”.
I guess you can say it was a “Saving Grace” moment…
In the words of one of my favorite YouTubers, Anna Akana: “I think one of the most challenging aspects of life is this concept of self”.
There comes a time in everyone’s lives in which we really ask ourselves, “Who are we” as individuals.
Sadly, it’s the case that we don’t have those answers…
Sometimes, the individual we want to be is never our true selves but more so carbon copies of individuals we hang around, the viewpoints that were forced onto us, this need to fit in. It’s sad… people can be so rude and so judgmental.
I remember it was back in high school where I was starting to develop this idea of “self”.
The sad reality was that instead of developing the idea of “Who am I”, it was more of developing the idea of “How can I attract attention and be noticeable”?
Looking back at it now as a 22-year-old, I can admit that I am ashamed of a lot of the actions that I’ve done in high school.
And I know what some of you might be thinking:
“That was in high school”, “We were all stupid in high school”, That’s not who we are today”, etc.
While I do agree with those counter arguments, it doesn’t change the fact that those actions were not only cringey, but it truly makes us ask the question of “Why did we do that?”.
It was weird because despite all of this, I got good grades in school, I was truly infatuated, and still am infatuated, with social media- I was a hardcore Vlogger lover, but more so, I was more of a hardcore wanna be gamer (if anyone truly wants to know, CoD on Xbox, League of Legends, and CSGO)- I guess you can say it was a weird time of my life.
It was around senior year in which I really started asking myself “Oh my god, what am I actually going to do with my life”.
Keep in mind, I, alongside other high schoolers, did not only do things that were questionable, but parallel, I had no idea what I actually wanted to do in life in regards to a career and my future.
Here I was going to graduate high school soon, and yet, when applying to all of these CSU’s and UC schools, I actually didn’t know what I wanted to do.
What I am glad about was that when applying, instead of choosing a pre-major, I went in undecided, so yay high school me for making that decision instead of going into Nursing or Computer Science.
I wish I can say it ended there and once I got into college, it started to turn around and there’s this big ol’ life lesson I learned…
Oh no hunny, we’re just getting started.
I know, I know…
Usually, when you get out of the house and you’re really starting to get a grasp of being a “young adult”, you would think I would learn better or learn the basic fundamentals…
So basically, what had happened was, I moved into my dorm, and instead of asking myself “Who am I as a person”, I ended up getting even worse and started to become an “Attention Whore”.
To save the VERY LONG COLLEGE STORY short, after class, midterms, finals, etc, I basically did not study or truly grasp into being who I wanted to be, and instead, I truly “attention seeked” in any possible way I could.
I went out when I could, I played video games till the wee hours, I didn’t study to the best of my capabilities, I even joined a fraternity.
And again, I know what you’re thinking:
“You were living the college life”, “You were just trying to have fun”, “It’s okay, you’re learning”.
And yet again, good arguments, but behind the scenes, I had no Linkedin profile, no resume made, no CVs, no internship experience in the TV, Film, Media, or Entertainment industry, I basically could’ve done something when in reality, I still was doing nothing.
If I were to hit the road, I don’t have anything under my plate. It’s like I was back to square one.
And to top it all off, I still didn’t know who I was as a person. If anything, I got worst as a person.
So not only did I have all of this on my plate, I started to become friends with everyone’s favorite person: Depression!
It was horrible.
It was the kind of Depression in which when I went to school or was hanging around friends, I put on this “Persona” that I had everything covered, then when I got home, I truly wasn’t happy.
I remember it vividly. It was Fall 2018 when the reality truly set in…
I had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in England for a semester.
I was so happy, I was ecstatic, it was my first time ever going to a European Country, let alone, Europe in general. It was truly amazing and I don’t regret any of it.
However, this is going to sound like I’m flexing when there’s a point to the story.
So before starting University over there, I had an amazing surprise from my parents which is a Europe Tour before I start University with my mom.
I remember we were taking a lot of photos and I remember I told my mom “That’s enough photos! Stop!” and after that moment, she got really defensive and down for the rest of the day.
When we got back to the hotel we were staying at, my mom was texting someone and the curious person I was, I went on her phone and checked who it was while she had to use the restroom.
It was my sister and they were having a conversation in which my mom told her and I quote
“I really hope Anthony changes while he’s here…”
I brought it up to my mom and she brought up the convo.
And I remember asking “What does this mean?!”
And she tells me:
“I want you to grow up!”
20 years in the making ladies and gents, but I remember after that Europe Tour, when my mom went back to California and I went back to England, I finally asked myself “Who am I”.
Took long enough, I know.
I’ll touch base in another post, because this post is already as long as I am making it, but I do want to clarify that it was at this moment when I truly started to go on a “Self Journey”.
And what better place to do so then away from home, in another country, in another continent.
It was “a new start”.
England really gave me the opportunity to take baby steps to truly grasp what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be.
It felt calming.
I remember when my semester in England ended and 2019 came about, I truly started to get my S*** together.
School was back in session, I had a Linkedin Profile made, I had a lovely Resume and CV letter, and I was thankful and grateful that I was getting internship interviews, and landed an internship that Spring. It was great!
I already spoke upon it in my Welcome Post (in which you can read here), but that summer of 2019, I received the amazing opportunity to be a mentee at Entity Academy, which then during that time, I got to meet my amazing boss and mentor, Alessandra Conti at one of the Speaker Series, which then led me to an amazing internship opportunity to work for her company, Matchmakers In The City during the Fall of 2019, which then turned into me working part time Spring 2020, to now, I am Full-Time as their Membership Manager and as an Up-And-Coming Matchmaker under their mentorship, parallel, finishing my degree with honors.
Amazing right? Yeah!… well, it doesn’t really end there though.
During the end of 2019, Depression really came back around to haunt me, but in a different approach.
I was doing all of these amazing things, learning different things, learning things about myself… it was great… until Depression tormented me;
Wow… It took you this long to finally get your s*** together…
You could’ve done all of this as a freshman in college, but instead, you wasted so much time…
Think of all of the progression you could’ve made if you had your S*** together…
If you weren’t such a b****, maybe you would’ve gotten these opportunities sooner…
Maybe if you weren’t stubborn or self-centered during high school, you could’ve known sooner who you are as a person…
Maybe if you did all the above, your own mother would’ve been prouder…
You’re pathetic, you’re stupid, you don’t think straight, you don’t look at everything as a whole…
Who tf are you….
When I tell you that Depression really hit me hard towards the end of 2019, it hit me…
Everything that was going well for me, it started to become invisible as events and regrets from my past came back to haunt me.
I went down a rabbit hole of Depression with everything that started from high school up until the beginning of 2020.
I remember when I lived back at the co-living space I was renting at the time, I would truly hide myself in my room and attempted to try to make everything go away.
I tried sleeping it off, using school as a distraction, my fraternity as a distraction, matchmaking as a distraction…
but it made everything worse once again.
I really tried convincing myself that it was the past and this is me now, but in reality, the past me was still me.
Everything that was going on in my life, I really had to take a step back and ask myself if these are truly the things that I wanted going in my life.
At one point, I didn’t even know what I wanted to do with my life.
That form of depression was probably the worst place I’ve been at…
I think something that we don’t allow ourselves to do in today’s world is really asking ourselves “Who are we?”… “What do we want?”… “How are we going to get there?”…
With the power of social media, although it allowed amazing opportunities for the entertainment industry and people trying to get in, still going strong to this day, it really takes affect on your emotional wellbeing.
It goes to the point where you start creating a “persona”… something I was doing since high school.
Studying Abroad, ENTITY Academy, Matchmakers In The City, and that moment during the end of 2019, it was really a saving grace from above; a second chance to really self-evaluate and think about how to move forward to being a better me.
Although I agree that there comes a time in which you really don’t know yourself and in due time, you will start developing that motive, there comes a fine line in which in order to start and develop that motive, it starts with you committing to positive change.
I was selfish and naive for almost 21 years and decided to take everything seriously at 21 years of age…
It was not the best of timings, but thankfully, I am thankful to the Lord, Jesus Christ, and Mother Mary that I gained the strength and momentum to not only take a step back and look at everything as a whole, but grateful that Studying Abroad was the first stepping stone to truly start turning my life around.
I remember that “putting my foot down moment” so vividly…
I posted the post below literally the last day of 2019 with this new year’s mindset going into 2020…
10 months later, I am so proud of myself and the progress that I’m making and still making.
Literally, it takes a lot within a person to not only commit their faults, but also admit how much of a “naive, individual” they were…
A lot of people can say it was the actions that proved consequences, but at the end of the day, I made those actions and I received consequences.
Therefore, ever since I made that post, I understand that not all life will be as peaches and strawberries, but what I do know is that I am learning along the way now and as long as I continue to be my authentic self, that’s all that matters to me at the end of the day truly…
As life goes on, you go on as well.
It’s up to you if you’re ready to put your old ways behind and start putting a better version of yourself out there.
In today’s modern society, we sadly don’t think more of the concept of “self”.
Who are we? Are we what I watch? Are we what I wear? Who is Anthony?
We constantly look left and right and see the little outlooks of fitting in, when in reality, we’re truly not looking straight ahead and seeing a path we can make for ourselves.
This applies to not only careers, but also as self.
In high school because of social media, I was becoming someone I’m not because someone successful was already ahead and paving their paths.
Instead of paving mine, I was basically a copycat.
It’s very important for each and every one of you behind this screen to micro and macro manage your life and your lifestyle in order to get to where you want to go.
The longest journey of life and getting to those different locations and achievements starts with a single step.
Whether you have a dream or an ambition, it feels like it can only be a dream or an ambition, not reality.
But actually, reality is, it’s one, baby step at a time with the achievements getting greater and greater.
My road took a VERY LONG DETOUR to say the least, and it’s nowhere near over, but the progress is being made.
I am a firm believer that everyone has a phase in their lives in which you figure out this idea of self and who you are. But slowly and surely:
One day, you’ll look up at the world and truly start developing who you are, what you want, and how you’ll get there.
I would have never thunk that I would be at this point of my life… but I thunk.