A year of rebuild is what I’ll define 2018. Now heading into 2019, it’s the year of expansion and building a name for myself locally, regionally and even nationally. My new list will focus on all three traits, and it’s probably the best way to get out of the mundane life and turn it into a successful one.

A year ago, I expressed my original 14 goals titled “List of Promises.”

Little did I knew that making this list has brought new life into me. Some were easy such as traveling to races, but others proved to be challenging, like finding a new home, and hard to fulfill due to scheduling conflicts with my “mundane” weekly job.

One of the questions I had throughout the year was whether or not 2018 was gong to be the only year doing this?

The answer was simple, absolutely not!

Once I made the decision, my next thought was: Is it still going to be 14 or expanding it to 25?

It took me days, but I decided to stick with 14. Also, why a random number like 14?

Consider this brief summary a little wrestling talk, but it’s the exact number of goals Cody Rhodes had after leaving the WWE in 2016. Most of the list consisted of competitors he wanted to wrestle, whereas mine are different tasks that are career related or personal tasks.

The grandson of a plumber escaped from a dark hole in his career and wanted to prove everyone his worth is bigger than what others say. Now, he’s got merchandise at Hot Topic (the American Nightmare) and doing amazing things in the industry.

Wrestling aside, 14 is the same number A.J. Foyt and Tony Stewart, both similar personalities and all-time greats, competed over the years. Lastly, that number is a respectable amount to target on, and it builds to the challenge of getting every one of them.

There are some familiar ones because I’m not giving up on those goals. While some I’ve pushed back or flat out failed, it’s worth trying again and only a few I’m willing to give it another go.

The year 2018 was the road to redemption, so it can only go up from here and my theme for 2019 is simply, dreaming bigger goals.

It’s about expanding my status as a motorsports media personnel and thinking about what will get me out there long-term. Rather than others defining my goals, all 14 is entirely up to me to accomplish. I want to enter the Double 20s a stronger person that’s successful in what I do.

Without further ado, here’s my promises for 2019:

Promise No. 1: 500 Miles

Its a two-way street. Daytona and/or Indianapolis for 2019.

I’ve made two posts on Facebook in 2017 (Indianapolis) and 2018 (Daytona) about seeing myself being at motorsports biggest events in the United States before the Double 20s. One way or the other, it was going to happen in some shape or form.

Now when I made those posts, it has a lot to do with covering those races. Either on camera, shooting photos or writing about it at the venue.

I hate to admit, but that “mundane” weekly job has given me that opportunity of not ruling out those 500-milers. Aside from going to the races to cover them and buying equipment, I’ve been saving a lot to make it possible. If I end up going and it becomes official, I’m an “All In” type of guy which means Media Day is included in the trip.

I’ve never been invited to a gala, never won an award in journalism (just in radio), and never been to a Media Day of a sport. It’s time to change that and the easiest one for me is the latter. The other two is out of my control because it’s just a matter of luck and hard work. Not only that, the end-all-be-all word, NETWORKING! Enough said.

Do I want to do both? Of course, but if I only end up doing one, that’s okay because at least I’ll have a 500-mile race under my belt. This is important to have in my career so people see the variety of events I’ve covered and what I’m able to do when I rise to the occasion.

If things goes to plan, it’ll be a huge leap in my career, especially at the tender age of 24.

Promise No. 2: Profiling with the Videoscope

Originally called “Video Profiles on People,” it’s the one goal I’ve never got to even planned or even do. It’s a grinding goal to get people to tell their stories because the people I’ve wanted to do, are far away or the fear of unwillingness to do the project.

Thankfully, I’ll have a shoulder camera with me to prove I’m not kidding around and ready to make more content in 2019.

This camera symoblizes that I’m ready to create my own content. If people have a story, always feel free to let me know and we can make an idea into a reality. Stories of others are always fascinating, and if I can help others to tell theirs, that’s all that really matters.

I’ve shared a few videos in one of my blogs how I’d like to accomplish this goal by either doing a NFL Films style of profiles or film footage of a person that radiates their personality.

Imagine some businesses that could use some good exposure or clear up any misconceptions someone has. Those are the stories I want. It can even be a simple video highlight format of a photoshoot or walking on the beach or bridge. The options are endless.

I’m not going to let insecurity or doubts knock me down from doing more videos, which was lackluster beyond belief in 2018.

Promise No. 3: Eastbound and Down

California, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Texas and Idaho.

Noticed something? All of them are within the Western region of the United States. Besides barely going elsewhere, I’ve never hit the East Coast. My career’s end-all-be-all is in that region.

Besides the lackluster support and full-time job availability, the West Coast isn’t an area where I’ll thrive long-term. Well, maybe in Los Angeles, but that’s like saying I’m going to play in the NFL and start as quarterback in the Super Bowl.

The mecca cities in motorsports media are Indianapolis, Daytona Beach and Charlotte. All within the Eastern region.

I want to experience Eastern Standard Time (EST) and just get away from the West Coast. Doesn’t matter if it’s just a weekend, the purpose of being there is not only to cover races, but maybe it can lead to greater things that may make the East Coast, a permanent home.

By the way, finding flights from Seattle to Charlotte is purely a PITA!

The title? If you didn’t sang the tune, good for you!

Promise No. 4: SoCal Vibes

There’s something about that area when I last visited in the Summer of 2012 that hasn’t left me. Yeah, we can all agree that traffic sucks and it’s been in shambles due to wildfires and vice versa, but now that I’m older, I feel its time to explore the area again. This time as an adult.

During a time period where my love for photography was waning, the couple of times going to Avila in the summer of 2012 took my mind off on a lot of things that was lingering my soul. This was my escape and the sunset set the tone of a compelling time period.

I’ve said it each year that I’d like to go, and even made it a running gag during my KUOI days in Idaho. Now its the time to stop the saying and turn it into a reality.

The tentative plan is this spring for a lot of reasons. One, cover a race in the area. Two, take an opportunity of finally going on a week-long vacation for the first time since 2016. Three, it’s the perfect setting to explore and capture the moments that I can’t do at home.

This goal is super specific where all three has to take place to make this a 100% successful promise. Now if I can cleanup my Spotify playlist that sets the tone instead of being just a dump thread of music I like, that’ll be great.

Promise No. 5: Autism Awareness

I can’t stress this enough that out of all goals, this one was the most disappointing to have failed in 2018. The constant debate if an article that briefly focuses about it counts ate me up for awhile before saying I can’t count it.

This promises is a video project and wanted to accomplish it in April. Now, World Autism Awareness Day will take place on Tuesday, April 2nd.

Pretty straight forward, I got a few months to come up with a way to make a solid video that focuses on the struggles and as to why it shouldn’t be frowned upon or even define a person. Much like how I stopped letting those things derail my livelihood.

An article can do so much, but a video is much more impacting with this subject.

Promise No. 6: Last Note of Freedom

Another title based from a song, but it holds value in my personal and private life. I don’t “have it” and time is running out.

Finding my true independence is something I’ve never personally had, and while I love my family, I need to some sort of freedom. I need to say to myself that I’m not a joke, a fraud or even a bum because I’m not doing this or doing that.

Whether its a property or have personal space, freedom is a necessity. Traveling to the races were the only times I felt that freedom, but I need more. It can’t be a weekend thing a couple times a month, it has to be a livelihood.

I feel that people will take me serious once they see my freedom being present. Right now, I still feel that many don’t take me serious in what I do or want to accomplish and it mentally bothers me. Even my family doesn’t see the value of my profession, and I want to change that.

The way to do it, is escaping from being handcuffed and live a proper life. Freedom is what will get me to that realization. 2019 is probably the last year to allow myself to live life like I want to.

Promise No. 7: Driving at Last

This will help me find that freedom. You have no idea how irritating my “mundane” job has prevented me to finally get that damn license and see if having it opens multiple doors to get a full-time career.

I thought during the summer would be it, but I had to switch jobs from a crappy, racist and snitchy organization to a more subtle and respectable one. Therefore, the times became super inconsistent and I can’t learn properly.

I’ll work out a plan to make it work and get the damn thing because driving is a dream. Sure, gas money and car management is key, and I know that, but being behind the wheel brings validity unlike anything else.

So far, I want to focus on it right away and see if I can get my license before spring rolls along. That of course will come down to weather such as snow hindering those plans. At least, we have a consensus that I can learn and take lessons so the dream will become a reality in 2019.

Hell, I have this undisclosed theory, maybe a dream, that once I’m a licensed driver, I’ll be given a huge opportunity to do what I love in a place that I love more than anything and it has nothing to do with motorsports. I still believe that’ll happen and when it does, you’ll know it.

Promise No. 8: Bi-Monthly Reports

This isn’t about making posts about how I’m doing with my goals. Far from it, this has to do with my gig at Motorsports Tribune.

As I said already, I’ve been saving up to make a personal goal. Cover one race weekend every other month, beginning in February.

That’s a total of five race weekends in a span of nine months. Maybe six or seven in a span of 10, but here’s the plan. I’d like to do at least three NASCAR and three IndyCar weekends. Some of those correlate with other sanctioning bodies, which I’m hoping to share soon. I know what I’ll also be covering, but just wait for a bit.

Among those races, an oval is a must for me. I’ve never been or even covered an oval race. It has been all road courses. That’ll certainly change and I’m just eager to get 2019 going because of that.

More opportunities and chances to show what I’m capable of. To me, it’s the best way to get my name out there by simply doing race weekends on a bi-monthly basis. It’s doable!

Writing, video and photography was a start in 2018, but once I see how mine and the Tribune’s stock have grown, that’ll be the sweetest victory.

Promise No. 9: Photography Expansion

One of the reasons why this promise came to be was because of covering the races at Portland and Sonoma, and doing the workout photoshoot.

It’s not a one-time thing. No way!

I didn’t say 2019 will be the year of expansion just to be fancy, I’m being literal. I want to make it a regular thing and explore the different styles of photography. Cars, weather, people or even polishing my scenic shots, there’s so much more I can capture.

Maybe I can make a fair buck doing it. Even if I don’t, it’s another way for me to feel alive and understand how life works behind the lenses. That’s why I love being versatile, to do multiple things and become solid and I’m far from being done.

I’m more than willing to collaborate with people throughout the year, and make this vision a reality.

Promise No. 10: Belongingness

The script is there. Just the people and proper visuals isn’t. Otherwise, I would’ve knocked this one out a long time ago.

Belongingness, is part of Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs,” and the one I’ve always struggled. No matter where I go, I still have that doubt of whether or not I should be there. That was definitely the case in Idaho, where I never felt belonged. More so after graduating two years ago.

I have a message explaining what that means to me when I wrote it back in 2017. It deserves its own video and like Autism Awareness, more impacting visually than it would be in written form.

By postponing it until 2019, it’ll allow me to further develop this project and once I’m ready, I can focus on it without any interference. Maybe, I’ll see myself in a different way and understand that I am enough.

Promise No. 11: Building a Connecting Audience

I’ve faced the music. Nobody gives a shit about my life or career, especially on Twitter.

Okay, some do but not on Twitter though. Barely any favorites or retweets which is awful for my stock.

To really see what I’m up to when I do projects or covering the races, Twitter is where you’ll find me doing updates than on Facebook. I’m hoping to expand my platform in 2019 and hope by sharing this tweet, begins the progress.

What I want to do is build a strong audience where people can see my work at a larger scale, and build connections within my profession. Neither which I personally have at the moment. Then again, I’ve just wrapped up my first year of covering racing for a media outlet, so I got time.

A lot of my promises go hand-in-hand with others because it’s all themed. However, this one is bigger to me because to get anywhere, I need to build on what I have and hope others can jump aboard.

Whether its doing a podcast format, write more columns, or continuing what I’ve been doing for the Tribune, I want an audience. More so on Twitter because it’s the outlet I’ve seen people get some sort of media validity. It’s more out there than YouTube.

What about Instagram? Down there I have a core demo, but I wouldn’t mind growing my page to gain more followers. That’s doable, so I’m not as concerned.

I don’t brag about the numbers, but when it comes to interactions or how many people see my work, I take it very seriously.

Promise No. 12: Pitch Memoir Project

Some may remember “Memoir Project,” where I wrote about my life for 366 days (12/31/17 to 12/31/18). I’ll continue writing about my life in 2019, but this particular goal is far bigger than anything I would’ve imagined of doing a few years ago.

The purpose of writing daily in my journal is that one day, I’d like to share my life in a memoir. Not only to showcase that no matter what I’ve been through with Aspberger’s, I haven’t let it define me. I hope to reflect on the good, bad and ugly times prior to 2018, including my school days and that no good year in 2017.

I can’t recall many greater length stories from those who are in the autism spectrum are out there, and I want to change that someday.

This particular road will be tough because I’m a nobody in the book publishing world, but it’s not going to stop me from pitching the memoir. It’s a risk worth taking if you asked me.

Promise No. 13: Securing a Home

There’s no other option. I need to get out of the hellhole and live in a more safe, sophisticated, and secure place. For me to grow, hitting the refresh button is essential because where I’m at, I can’t do a lot of things where I can reach my max potential.

A new place will allow me to be more open and try new things. If I wanted to, I can make my little space a media studio/man cave, but that’s not an option where I’m at right now. Once the option is available, it’s what I need because it’s one step closer to personal freedom and feel more alive to have a place for motivation instead of being a place of concerns.

Essentially, getting out of the apartment life and live in a house once again. I’m fed up being handcuffed and worried about my safety due to certain people that surrounds or live nearby me. I don’t feel safe and after struggling to pull my family out of financial hell, 2019 is a make it or break it year.

Having a new place truly will define my year more than anything else and it has nothing to do with media.

Promise No. 14: Knowing My Worth

At the end of the day, all of the promises comes down to personal value. I know my worth should be higher than it is right now. I know I’m capable to deliver on big tasks when opportunities are given.

I certainly know that I can do bigger things that others consider as bat shit crazy. Otherwise, why would I want to get a memoir published and expanding my horizons by doing videos and photos on people’s livelihood?

Just for show? No, it’s part of living the dream in my profession.

The journey has been rough, but it’s that ongoing journey that’s molded me into a driven and ambitious person. I know what I’m capable of doing and willing to strengthen my characteristics to climb the top of the ladder the hard way.

Those risks is the best way to reach media credibility and stardom. For this to be fulfilled, it comes down to my own gut telling me if my worth is being recognized. That’s why Media Day is a goal of mine, networking with people is vital, and even understanding my level of confidence can get me places.

I do see myself doing greater things for different groups of people, and believe that 2019 will be that year because of the hard work I’ve been doing and will continue to do so.

For now, doubt me if you insist, prove me wrong if I give consent.

Published by Luis Torres

I'm a graduate from the University of Idaho, currently pursuing the dream of becoming a motorsports media personnel.

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