I’m a year closer to being 30 than 20.
I’m also closer to a certain point in my life where passions are waning and others are slowly growing. To be honest with you, I’m ready to focus on what’s ahead than reflect on Year 28.
While I’ve had some positives, like seeing HAIM in Los Angeles, worked Women’s March Madness and the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and finally going to Disneyland. All of them being memorable!
These are the memories I’m going to cherish forever. Hell, even building relationships with some people have been great. Especially, in one of my jobs or those I’ve met through the events I work.
While all of that has been wonderful, there’s a catch. Deep inside, being 28 was as grueling as being 27 in a lot of ways. Disenfranchised is the perfect word to describe how being 28 was.
More than any other year in my life, I’ve been humbled. At times consequential, but it’s made me realize how much self-help I need.
In an ideal world, I’d be married with a kid like my father was at 28. Life doesn’t work that way as I’ve passed “single AF” status, I’m a lone wolf by design because deep inside, I have to get my life together.
My business has struggled immensely from a financial point of view. I’ve yet to collaborate with people for my annual portrait project as no-shows, breach of contracts, and postponements came to define my luck.
Perhaps the biggest pain of all, I’ve lost trust on a lot of people because they’ve proven to show their true colors. If you know me, I can’t associate with people who are backstabbers, reckless or make me look bad.
At the end of the day, none of that shit will matter in a year.
I must concentrate in making my business grow because it is one of my incomes since strictly focusing on media jobs in June 2022.
It’s a new clean sheet of paper where new memories will be made. Some bigger than others, but time will tell.
My main goal is finding ways to keep my photography business alive. Whether is hoping someone wants my services or people willing to fund my efforts.
Truthfully, it’s one of two things I’d love to have happen as I enter Year 29. Keeping my business alive and perhaps the bigger prize — happiness.
My grand weakness is being genuinely happy. Not briefly happy when I’m working events or at the track, but all-around happiness.
Not having to dwell on the shortcomings and drama I’ve endured all year.
I was genuinely happy for a brief period of time, but February and May took a severe toll on me. Survival became the word.
I’ve all but walked out that door known as racing media because I’ve realized that no matter how hard I’ve tried to “make it” financially, it doesn’t buy happiness.
Sometimes, there have been some sparks that made me realize how much I love it, but not enough lately.
I’ve grown out of love (many of us go through with many things) as other passions have grown where I am happy. Working other sporting events, exploring music (ex. playing piano) and maybe writing a novel are my new loves.
Most pay the bills and others are therapeutic. Both that I genuinely need to concentrate over the next year. Eliminate the toxicity I’ve dealt with and build on those joyful ventures.
Whether or not I’ll continue covering racing past 2023 is yet to be determined. I want to at least reach to 50 race weekends I’ve covered on-location since 2018. I’m two away from a miniscule, yet important milestone. That’s enough for me to at least stick around.
For now, I’m focusing on what I can control, finding more gigs, providing content, and creating magic with people.
As always, I end my annual reflection blog with a self-letter. Until we meet again, let’s see what 29 brings to the table.
Dear 28 Year Old Luis,
You’re more single than ever before and seem to not find any luck in escaping such status.
Accepting your fate of being friend zoned, learning someone isn’t heterosexual, and falling for a “summer girl.”
Love isn’t meant to be for the time being.
Also, forget those who want nothing to do with you, especially in racing. Don’t let them win! Prove your worth!
Like that Drake song, sometimes it does feel like you have “no friends in the industry.”
Focus on you and your passions! If it’s you alone, sobeit. Self-care and self-realization is paramount.
Heading into your final year in your 20s, it’s time to seriously focus on your genuine worth.
Maybe racing media isn’t meant to be and you should focus on the gigs that do value your worth.
Sure, getting trucked by an NCAA women’s basketball player wasn’t on your bingo card.
Sure, May sucked for you that it all but killed your love for racing.
Sure, you’re in the dark hole which forced you to severely scale down your racing on-assignments.
At the end of the day, you have plenty to look back at Age 28 with some fondness.
You’re insane for literally going to Los Angeles for one night just to see one of your favorite bands in the world! It’s worth it when it’s the “Days Are Gone” set.
You’re also insane for sticking to your ground over what makes you feel comfortable. Even if cost you in the end.
Finally, you’re extremely insane for driving in the severe storms in Oregon (of all states) when certain plans fell through. Never again!
Recognize those who are genuinely there for you!
Whatever happened at Age 28 is over. Focus on what you have, act upon it and assure your final year in your 20s will be miles better.
Age 29 will be scary due to the unknowns of your personal and professional life. You have to get out of the struggle somehow.
Again, certain things aren’t meant to be. Whether you like it or not, it’s part of life and frightening.
You must look out for yourself and those who are willing to come along, appreciate those folks.
In the meantime, focus on getting your life together and grow your craft because you control our own destiny.
Go where your heart is! Conquer that genuine fear! Extinguish the angst in your life! In a year’s time, you’ll be much happier.
One can really hope, but time will tell. More than ever before.
As “The Wire” goes, “Always keep your heart locked tight. Don’t let your mind retire.”