In order to start a new chapter you must close the old one.
Dear 2019, Thank you! I’ve struggled to put this year into words but sitting here on December 31st, 2019 I reflect back on these past few months, weeks, days, and how I started the year so full of light and really excited to achieve so much, and suddenly that quickly changed and I was in a dark place uncertain, lost, confused, and having to keep going because that’s what I knew - to not give up. Then I reflect on the past decade and how tonight I close the book on 10yrs of memories that brought me struggle, confusion, and a whole lot of figuring it out. Sitting here writing this I can say that I’m in a much better place then I was 10yrs ago and even 3months ago. I have work, I have family, I have love, and more importantly - I have life. This year I left what was familiar to me for the past 3yrs when it comes to my career. I knew it was time to step outside of my comfort zone and I had learned so much but was scared to put it into action. That fear caused me to stop growing as an individual professionally. When I made the decision earlier in the year to leave what I knew, without a real backup plan and just throw myself out there, I left my 9-5 and continued my “side hustle”. I spent a few months freelancing, doing small work here and there, doing retail to make ends meet, dived right in to my writing and interviewing opportunities, and focused on my micro-influencer platform. I felt slightly liberated in the sense of being able to do what I loved for the most part, but the reality was that I was stuck with a financial burden. They say money isn’t everything but to someone who’s grown up in a middle to low income household, handling student loans, and now living on his own - money could change everything. It was the thing that kept me up at night, or running through my head each day. How could I live out my passion but not finance it or finance my living. That’s why closer to the end of this year I decided to go back into a full-time 9 to 5, still in my wheelhouse of skills I knew how to do but outside of my passions, because it pays the bill. I put my passion projects to the side and untouched, but I had to do what was best to survive. Ending the year, I have been taking the past few days to plan and organize myself to really commit and do it all in this upcoming year. In this short break I’ve been able to reconnect with my passions for being my own boss, creating content, brainstorming ideas and segments, and I’m ready to take a shot at building the life and legacy I’ve always wanted, for me, my family and our future. Bills will always be there, but theres no monetary amount to my happiness, that’s payed off by living out my goals and dreams. In love, I went through a rough phase of lashing out and putting all my insecurities and issues I was dealing with professionally onto my partner. While we were both at fault in some instances, I knew I was in the wrong for a majority of the problems. And this is not taking blame from him but being able to reflect and realize my own mistakes. Not having financial security just brought me to a dark place internally and I picked at anything and took out my misery onto my relationship. With it already being a long-distance one, we had many other issues to deal with. It wasn’t until these last few months where having a more steady routine that I was able to look back at these issues and readdress them from a mature place, and really look at my partner and thank him for riding this wave out with me. In the midst of the rough bumps we also experienced some beautiful moments like our first vacation, meeting my partners family for the first time, and now spending our first New Years together - among many other milestones. It’s in this year that I’ve had to practice and constantly learn that you can control your emotions, reaction, and words. It’s a lot more meaningful to stay and fight through the bad times with someone you love, then give up because things get rough.
A quick look at 10yrs, and what sticks out the most is self-acceptance. 10yrs ago I was getting ready to graduate from High School and I was still a closeted young boy that had been bullied, and “outed” by others but always denied it . 10yrs ago I was someone who was full of light and bold that just jumped on any opportunity to perform, fearless of others opinions. 10yrs ago I was so naive and looking at colleges not knowing that the decision of private over community college, would make my adult-life one of debt because I wanted a better education. 10yrs ago I didn’t grasp the concept of longterm illnesses that killed or are killing family members each day. 10yrs ago I didn’t know what love meant, starting with self-love. It is within these past 10yrs that I have taken small leaps to remind myself that I am enough, so much that I came out to my parents and family. I let love in and it’s blessed me with an amazing man by my side. And not to mention all the amazing work experiences I once had on my bucket list as a little kid from Fashion Week, Paris, writing for a magazine, hosting on-camera interviews, and much more. The past 10yrs showed me that self-acceptance can open doors for you in both your personal and professional life because you are able to find comfort in being yourself and that exudes into all aspects of your life.
For 2020, I am going into it open-minded to absorb and learn as much as I can from my peers, environment, and situations I am in. With that, I am also going into it knowing my worth, my needs, and not being afraid to ask for help, or say “I Am Here.” I am going into it through a cleaned lense, with my goals in sight. I am striving to continue building on my platform that I’ve started, to cover and tell stories that are meaningful as well as trendy and in the fashion space, to work alongside voices that empower and strengthen my community of latinx - Peruvian - LGBT+ and the arts, and find a professional home that can fulfill my passions plus provide the benefits to take care of my health and help support my family, especially with my younger brother starting college this year. So thank you 2010-2019 for giving me the strength to endure anything life throws at me, and preparing me for the opportunities 2020 has in store for me. May I look back at this letter next year and 10yrs later knowing that everything I wanted I was able to make happen. Sincerely, Jonathan Calixto