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Advice for my 21 year old Self

Self Love & Body Image
 Growing up I never had issues with my weight. I was a size 0-3 up to age 15-18. I ate whatever I wanted. I was in Marine Corps ROTC in H.S so I always worked out. Gaining weight never even crossed my mind. When I started college I started to gain weight. At the Art Institute classes were 4 hours long. I used to work at the San Diego Airport so I wanted to get as many classes in a day. I was in school for 14 plus hours. That meant I ate whatever the cafeteria had, pizza, cup noodles, chips. Oh and the lack of sleep...quickly had a major impact in my body. I was so busy with school and work that I had no time to be active. I regret the decisions I made at the time because I am till this day struggling with getting back in shape. Of course, I do not want to be a size 0. I have learned to embrace my curves. Still at my age I want to avoid getting to a point of no return. My siblings suffer from various health conditions. Including diabetes, high cholesterol, kidney failure, asthma and many more that I cant even remember. I am the oldest of 5 but I think that because I have been more conscious and active than the rest, my health issues are minor. Now that I am older I think about those things and even though its hard It took me a while to be comfortable with myself. I have always been curvy and I loved that about me. Even when I was younger Ive always had hips and a booty. I went from an hourglass to an apple shape. Still I believe there is always room for improvement and that I have the final decision. I am still working on eating healthier and being active. All in all I think that my younger self should have learned to take care of my body and always push harder. I would of liked for my confidence to be better and to love myself even more because if you are not happy with yourself you can never truly love someone else. 

 What I really would tell myself is to stop WASTING money. I would buy Designer Labels even if it would mean I did not have enough money for groceries. Or How I would buy hundreds of dollars worth of cute Victoria's Secret bras and panties and used a credit card with a crazy amount of APR. I spent a lot of money...specially money I didn't have. This is a big mistake. So where are these things now I barely even remember them know where they're at or even use them. It's not like they last forever either. I made the stupid mistake of buying tons of fast fashion. And guess what it is called fast fashion for a reason. These items go out of style in a heartbeat. So going on from this lesson now I am a smarter shopper. Yes I still do shop sales and I love going to Forever 21 but I do not spend my money stupidly like I used to. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before but I am a firm believer in classics and building your wardrobe around those classic pieces. By the way you should invest in better quality better fabrics long lasting items that you can wear for years dress up or down and add a cute pair of heels or a chunky statement necklace. I would also tell myself to save money! I am a very proud person so asking for money from anybody is a no big no for me. Either way I managed to get through anything even if it was hard times. But because I didn't save money I had to wait six months to be able to pay off what I owed to the Art Institute to receive my bachelors certificate. I have no idea why you couldn't get it until you paid it off. And that leaves me to the next section. 

 Senior year of high school was pretty scary and pretty exciting for me I've always been the type of person that has things planned out and I had a timeline of where I wanted to be in life. I didn't really notice that things don't really go your way until I was actually going through them. I knew that I wanted to do a lot of things I've always had the mentality of "Hey, I am young and I have a lot of time to learn any skill that I want". I had applied to different you UC's and Cal States around my area in California and I was accepted to many of them but I was talked into attending one of the most expensive private institutions that I've ever come across. I had a presentation during my senior year of how the Art Institute is a place where they really take care of you, where you get hands-on experience on the field that you want. It was a very artistic school and the teachers were amazing. I'm not going to lie but it is so, so, so EXPENSIVE. Even though I had scholarships, Cal grants, financial aid and not to mention I was currently working at this time so I was giving monthly payments. I still owe a big chunk, this is something I am not proud of and it scares me that APR is really high to pay off my student debt. I know that I will eventually be able to pay it off, when I'm not sure. I'm just hoping that I do before my kids are grown up. And because I'm always interested in learning new things I went ahead and went to a community college. Classes were only $35 a unit and took photography classes for an associates degree. This is so much cheaper I don't have to mention I do not owe anything to the government. I made the mistake to going to a private institution instead of a UC or a CAL state. I guess it really depends on what it is that you really want to do in life. I've always been a hands-on person. I love design, I love fashion, I love creating stuff! That's who I am but I do regret my decision to going to that school. It was a great school, I've learned so much and met great people. What I needed was there, but I did not expect to owe this much money. I think that going to UC cost a one third of what the art institute cost and to me that's unnecessary.
One of my favorite trips to Yosemite
I was not able to travel much I did go to different places here in California where I live. I was born in Fresno, went to school in Riverside and lived in San Diego for a very long time. But I did not get the chance to travel anywhere besides Mexico of course and although it's a beautiful place and there's a lot of places that you can travel to I wanted to do something else go different places, photograph different places. In high school I was really into art history I really wanted to visit Greece or Europe because of all their architecture and historical background. What would I do as a 21-year-old I would take a couple trips to Las Vegas. Why? There's nothing really interesting there. There's the alcohol, casinos, switch by the way I'm really bad at it and I never ever win anything. Shopping? There's a lot of shopping there. I spent so much money there and I really didn't get much of it. The experience was OK...just OK so my mistake was spending a couple thousand dollars for the Vegas experience just to look back and be disappointed.
 Before having this job I had a lot of shitty jobs (excuse my language). That made me realize I hated the fast food industry and that I was overqualified for most of the jobs that I ever had. A mistake that I had was not aiming higher. During college we learned that a lot of the positions that you needed in the fashion industry were not taught! You have to work your way up and not even like that! You have to know people, you need to network. You needed to have connections...kind of makes you feel stupid about going to school. So that being said I wish that I could have seen that I was worth so much more earlier in my life and that I was capable of doing so much more at that time. You are who you want to be and you have all the resources to become just that. 


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