A photo series discussing generational traditions and setbacks experienced on the path of a young person navigating adulthood. Realizing traumas passed on and recovering from the mistakes of a conditioned mind.
Were you taught to self-love? How do you feel this has affected coming into your own as an adult?
"I was never taught to self-love. I don’t think it’s a concept my parents or their parents were familiar with. I came up and wasn’t really allowed to do much until I was out of high school, learning who I am was really the first step to me learning how to love myself. It took a lot of me fucking up and fucking around to really find out who I am and I’m still learning about myself. Loving myself is super new to me and it’s for sure a work in progress. It took a lot of therapy, and a few great people to tell me "I’m a great person" and that "I’m beautiful" to really get me to start feeling that love for myself."
Do you feel like your cultural upbringing in America hindered your ability to feel confidence?
"I don’t know if it’s cultural necessarily or if it was just my family but there was definitely something there that made me feel like I wasn’t good enough or that I wasn’t beautiful. I for sure didn’t grow up in an affectionate family and we were always quicker to tease than to be like "wow, you actually look nice."
How has the Hispanic male ego affected how you interact with love interest?
"Honestly, I feel like I'm pretty far separated from the atypical latinx machismo. With my family, I grew up around mostly women because my mom is 1 of 13 and 3 are men. So family at gatherings it's mostly my aunts and I obviously learned about how I should act from being around them. I for sure saw how toxic straight up Latinx men can be from other people in the family. Just very demanding, and being overall not great people. My dad for sure is far from that. I thank him for setting a good example of that type of person I strive to be. I feel like if my love life has been at all affected by those stereotypes it was for sure more of a "damn, I don't want to be that guy." I can't really say I'm all the way removed, I guess that's more up to my exes to say, lol."
Do you feel like past mistakes have any influence on some insecurities you may feel today? How did you recover from them?
"I don’t know if my past mistakes really make me feel insecure at all. I feel like if anything I’ve been able to learn a lot about what I want and need out of life from my mistakes. Honestly recovering from the worst mistakes I’ve made has been more about me coming clean and just not being afraid of speaking the truth. I don't know if I can say I’ve recovered but I’ve done my best to make peace with the past and with anyone I may have wronged along the way."