Alex Goes Back to High School, Part 2: Life Goals

June 22, 2018

Photos by Angel Esparza

Welcome to Part Two. I feel like right now's the perfect time to dive further into my personal goals. So here we go...
I grew up in a rather small (and hot) town called Calexico, which is mainly known as a border city with Mexicali (AKA Mexico). Most people have no clue where Calexico is located; and those who somehow know is simply because they pass by Calexico when driving through I-8 as you head towards San Diego or Arizona if you're heading East.

Both my parents grew up in Mexicali, but a few months before I was born they decided to pack up and move to Calexico. So you can say we had a fresh mom was going to school to become a teacher while my dad worked as an administrator for a Community College. I would almost never see them since they were working or going to school, so I learned on my own how to cook and clean around the house. We lived paycheck to paycheck, Section 8 was our savior to help pay rent. We only collected Food Stamps if we were in desperate need of them.

I gotta say, growing up being sooooo limited is like a blessing in disguise. Once a year, my parents would buy me one pair of shoes from Payless, so year-round I would wear the same pair of kicks. All my friends had nice pairs of kicks by Adidas or Vans, and I just sucked that we lacked the means to afford such "lifestyle". We never went on vacations, we wouldn't go out to eat, we wouldn't go shopping, and I never had a room filled up with toys and a state-of-the-art gaming console Playstation.

I was probably 8 or 9 when I realized there was a silver lining behind all of this; I was going to need to work hard to get what I want. I'm not talking about owning an expensive line of cars or have a designer label behind every piece in my closet...I just wanted to live comfortably; make a decent living to be able to take care of myself, my future wife and (future) kids...take care of my parents. Have enough money to travel and to buy a few pieces of clothing every now and then.
So yeah, I began selling stuff on eBay when I was 11. I would go to thrift stores and buy stuff, sell it, buy more stuff, sell it...the first thing I bought was a pair of K-Swiss shoes and I was so freaking excited. I would buy all my clothing, and pay for my gas and meals with my own money. I even saved up to buy a T-mobile Sidekick III and my iPhone :')
In 2006 I was so into Louis Vuitton...obviouslyyyyy I couldn't afford it but I loved the brand. One day I came across a used messenger back on eBay for $600. I only had around half the money and my dad helped me with the rest (he probably used a credit card but I didn't know any better). I remember taking the messenger bag to school, and everyone gave me a hard time for buying it. I told people how I bought it; but still everyone was talking about my purchase, to the point that a friend told me that a teacher said it was ridiculous to spend that much for a backpack. I didn't even know the freaking teacher! He probably overheard people talking about it in class and he decided to throw in his two cents. I felt so embarrassed and I just wanted to get rid of it.

I got home from school and I had to give myself a pep talk. "I worked hard to buy the bag. I don't get everything handed out like the rest of your classmates. I shouldn't give a fuck for what people have to say." I think this experience probably helped embrace the fact that I do not give a damn about other people's opinions...I do me, and if my actions are not directly affecting anyone in any way, shape or form then they'll have to deal with their OWN issue. There's always going to be people trying to knock you out, and life's too short to give them even a speck of importance.

Fast-Forward to my Senior Year...we had to fill out this questionnaire for our yearbook. One question read "where do you see yourself in 10 years?" My response: "living in San Diego in a 2-story home". Sure I'm still renting thanks to the recession of '09 and for making it a tad more difficult to buy a house ;) But hey! I'm living in San Diego in a nice townhome, along with my beautiful wife and two kids dogs. I've been busting my butt to pay off some debt that we have (school loans, etc) save $ for a house. We're hoping to buy a house early next year and start making babies.

I must admit I didn't exactly know what I would do to make it and accomplish my goals, but the drive and determination to excel has always been inside me. Sure, I knew that finishing school was a MUST, (my Bachelor's Degree in Fiance and Economics from GCU hangs nicely above my office since 2014), but I just knew I had to do something else to actually make it. I see myself as a creative person, and I wanted to find an outlet to project what's on my mind.

To wrap it up: there has been so many ups and downs to get to where I'm at today, and I wouldn't change any of it. I will forever embrace my beginnings and will continue to remind myself where I came from. I thank God and my parents for everything they did for me, and now it's time to return the favor, mom.


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