My Life Story: How I Got Here

All entries in the 'Life Story' series:

Many times I’ve been asked about my life story, it may be related to my education or to how I found my current job.
I’ve also been questioned about my love for music, how long I’ve played the guitar, and how I learned to play it.

If you are wondering why the image at the top of this post is a cat… just keep reading; it will make sense later, I promise.

I’ve noticed that I always include different details whenever someone asks, so I thought it would be a good idea to put it all in writing. This is not just for anyone curious but mostly for myself; I believe in self-reflection.

As I reflect, I can spot various phases, with numerous moments spread across more than 15 years. Why am I going that far back? Because I believe it’s important; my teenage years laid the foundation for who I am today.

Important: This will not only cover my professional life; I’m opening up about everything: education, music, love and the lack of it, life decisions, and struggles.

Also, some of the names I will mention have been changed. However, it’s very very likely that some of you will recognize yourselves in this story.

This was originally a single post, but by the time I was done writing the first part it became clear it would be way too long. So I’m splitting it into five or six blog posts, maybe more depending on how long the others turn out to be.

Part 1: The Rebel

The year was 2008. I was 13 years old, I was learning how to play guitar with an old (and thick!) acoustic one.
I would come home from school to play GTA San Andreas and when I got bored from that I would practice playing Breaking The Law by Judas Priest. Life was good. Except that I hated doing homework, I almost never did it and had a ton of problems at school.

I always had issues with authority and I would talk back to my teachers. To be fair, I would (mostly) do that to the really strict ones.
It was like that during most of my high school years.

Around this time I also got my first girlfriend. Ah, young love, so pure, intense, and naive.

I remember struggling to find the balance between spending time with her and spending time with my friends. In hindsight, I think she didn’t really like them – and I can’t really blame her.

Creativity and Gaming

I started a band with my group of friends. I would play guitar (rhythm) and sing. Another one was the lead guitarist (although “lead” would be a really optimistic word here), and the other was a drummer.
We were forever lacking a bass player. Pretend to be shocked, please.

Back then I was dabbling in writing too, not only music and lyrics, but I also started my first blog. It was a gaming blog where I would post gaming news and cheat codes. This was the moment I got into the WordPress world, while also learning the basics of Photoshop.

It was during this time that I had my first contact with the world of competitive gaming; I would stay up late playing America’s Army with my uncle. We met people online and started playing with them frequently, going as far as joining their clan.
We then moved to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and when Modern Warfare 2 came out, I managed to save enough money to buy by selling chocolates at school. It was my first legally owned digital videogame and I was ecstatic.

In the middle of this online gaming phase, I met one of the coolest people I’ve known, and a really good friend to this day: Kike. Even though he’s older than me we get along really well, we both love video games and have the same taste in music. By the time I’m writing this, we are about to go on our second festival-related trip together.
“Lobby! lobby! lobby!” we’d yell in … TeamSpeak? Ventrilo? Shit, there have been so so many different voice chat applications… Anyway, that was our way of greeting each other before jumping into a game.

Highs and lows

At the time I felt at the top of the world. Sometimes I miss having all that confidence.
In my mind, I had everything and not a care in the world. No responsibilities other than school – and I already established that I didn’t care much about that.
I was sure the universe had great things in store for me. I was born with a star over my head and things would just work out for me. I was unstoppable.

But there were a ton of lows as well: I almost failed 8th grade, and my girlfriend cheated on me. Badly. And I forgave her because I was still just a dumb kid.

The Senior Year

Remember the band I mentioned a moment ago? Well, during my last year of high school (2011), or maybe the second to the last year, there was a new kid in school. He happened to be a very talented guitar player, and my “friends” almost immediately abandoned me. So that was over. Core memory material right there.

At some point during this year I broke things up with my then girlfriend. Those were almost 3 years of being on and off, plagued with childish and pointless arguments. We were just kids.

This year we were recommended to take classes on Saturdays, to prepare us for a test that we all had to take by the end of the school year (ICFES). I hated getting up early on Saturdays to go to that all day. It really was a waste of time: you just can’t squash 6 years of school in these lessons.
I fucking bailed on that.
We shared these classes with kids from another school, and there I met Carolina (cool girl, we are friends to this date). We lost contact for years and reconnected recently, more on that later.

Anyway, I stopped going to that and recovered my precious Saturdays. By the end of the year, when we had to take the actual test (ICFES), I had the best score in my class.

In October 2011, I was writing again. I started a blog where I would just vent whenever I needed to. It’s still accessible today. Between 2011 and 2013 I would post from time to time. I went back in 2016 and posted there for the last time. It’s all public in case you are curious.
Recently I went back to check that blog and went over a few posts, it’s been a fun experience. I would just write exactly what was in my mind, not caring about what anyone may think.

I used this picture in my first blog post more than 10 years ago

Back then I was obsessed with the number 13 and with black cats. I’ve always loved black cats. So I found a picture online, of a black cat staring into the camera, and used that in the first blog post.
The image at the top of this blog post is a picture of one of my cats, Freya. She’s a black cat with yellow eyes.
I mention my cats briefly in my About page, there will be more details on them when it’s time for that part of the story.

I was tired of high school; I hated almost every aspect of it and hated almost everyone there (check here and here). I wanted that year to be over.
It was by this time that I started to have a crush on a childhood friend. I really, really liked her back then, and for a short while, I thought things could work out. I found two blog posts from around that time that were clearly about her: “Diez Minutos” and “Dos Palabras…”. More core memory material there, at least it was somewhat nice this time.

Decisions, decisions…

It was time to focus on what was next, university. I didn’t want to start it right away, I wanted to take at least 6 months off, maybe take some English classes. But I wasn’t ready to get into another classroom yet.
I was almost forced by my mom to start right away, so I began submitting a few applications and taking admission tests for public universities.
I failed (badly) for the big public university. I didn’t care too much, to be honest.

By year’s end, I had two options: I had been admitted to a public university, and also to the most prestigious and expensive private one in the country.
I really didn’t know which one to choose, but then someone made it really easy to decide.

One day, I had to hand over some documents at the public one. I can’t remember the details, but think I was missing a document or something. Then this person “helping” me there, started yelling at me. Something like “These kids should learn to prepare for these things! It’s all up there on our website, you gotta learn how to use a computer!”.
“Bitch if only you knew”, I remember thinking.

She literally scared me away; I decided to go to the expensive school, even though that would mean getting into a ton of debt. You’ve got to remember, I felt at the top of the world. I would go to this fancy school, nail it, graduate in 4 years, and get a kick-ass job that would allow me to pay off that debt in no time.

Boy, was I wrong…

Part 2 is out now: My Life Story. Part 2: The Dropout, Vol. 1.

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