Categories
marketing

$576.05 Direct Deposited Into My Account on Autopilot

A little over 2 weeks ago I wrote a post about how I made $458.95 while I was moving and completely ignoring my online business. Well, shortly after posting that I abandoned my business again because a friend was visiting. Now that I’m back to my normal routine after her visit, I was surprised for the second time to discover I made another $117.40 on autopilot!

Months prior to this point in time I began building my online business. I pushed through months and months of having no sales. Spending a little time per day to build the foundation while simultaneously trusting the process. It was a bit of a mental battle, but now I’m seeing why that time was NOT wasted whatsoever.

If you’re thinking about starting a business yourself, I highly encourage you to start! I was always so overwhelmed with the idea of it and pushed it to the side. It may be cliche to say, but I really do wish I had started way sooner. Take everything 1 step at a time – watch a YouTube video about how to get started, pick up a book about what type of business you want to run, connect with others via social media to get their stories.

The greatest lesson I’ve learned from building my own online business through 12 Minute Affiliate is to believe in yourself. The universe has a magical way of working in your favor once you start to trust your actions. Manifest your success and you will become successful.


Do you believe in yourself? Are you trying to start making money online? I couldn’t have the success I’m experiencing now without using 12 Minute Affiliate as a tool! This program has set everything up for me to start making more money at one time than I could have ever expected.

You never know how you can change your life until you try!


To read more about building passive income online and my honest review about 12 Minute Affiliate, click here!


Don’t hesitate to contact me at one of the links below for more information! I’d be more than happy to tell you more about how I’ve started making some money online.

Facebook   Instagram


All links in this post are my affiliate links and I will gain a small commission from each sale.

Categories
marketing

I Made $458.95 Without Even Noticing

They’ve been telling me to trust the process and be patient. I was starting to lose hope, then I landed my first up-sell of almost $500. The best part, I haven’t been working on it for the past month!

Okay… I know. I’ve been M.I.A. for the past few weeks. As some of you know, one of my newest goals was to write a blog post at least once a week. I also know I shouldn’t make excuses, but I moved pretty abruptly into my own apartment on the 1st of June so I’ve been extremely busy getting set up.

I’m finally wrapping up the process of moving and feel rested from the countless hours of putting things together and getting used to living alone. Side note: it’s totally a skill.

With that being said, I had to take some time off from my affiliate marketing business. To get back into the swing of my affiliate marketing business, I started seeking some motivation. My plan was to log in and see if anything has happened from my follow up emails. BAM! I made $458.95 last week.

Almost immediately I was smacked in the face with the motivation I sought! Without doing much while moving, I made almost $500 by trusting the process and allowing my subscribers to go through my follow-up sequence.

As you can see by my screenshots, I haven’t been making sales for a few weeks and was feeling extremely discouraged. I’ve been mentally pushing through the doubt. I’ve been putting in the small steps per day to grow it (for the 3 months prior to moving). I’ve been believing in myself.

And this is what happens when you believe in yourself.


Do you believe in yourself? Are you trying to start making money online? I couldn’t have the success I’m experiencing now without using 12 Minute Affiliate as a tool! This program has set everything up for me to start making more money at one time than I could have ever expected.

You never know how you can change your life until you try!


To read more about building passive income online and my honest review about 12 Minute Affiliate, click here!


Don’t hesitate to contact me at one of the links below for more information! I’d be more than happy to tell you more about how I’ve started making some money online.

Facebook   Instagram


All links in this email are my affiliate links.

Categories
marketing

How I’ve Made a Full-Time Career Working From Home BEFORE the World Shutdown Even Started

Are you already dreading going back to work? Or are you over your current job and in search of how you can make money on your own time working for yourself? Well I’m about to tell you how I’ve been working from home since November, and making more money than I ever made working for someone else!

Besides the incredible men and women who have continued working to help society fuction during this pandemic, almost everyone is either working from home or unemployed. The world is slowly starting to feel like it’s healing. Things are starting to open up. People seem less anxious. We’re all ready to enjoy the things we took for granted. I’m just glad I can go enjoy them whenever I want, while also being able to keep my job and maintain my income – no going back to “the office” for me!

One of my streams of income is by having my own little Social Media Management business. I connect with businesses and help them organically market their products or services via Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest. Yeah, I literally get paid to play around on a business’s social media! And, to be honest, I get paid pretty well to do it. I spend about an hour or 2 per day on each of my clients’ social media pages. The best part is I can pretty much do this from ANYWHERE! I’ve worked on the beach, in line at the grocery store, even in the bathtub (I do this more often than you probably think).

The only downside to this business is that clients come-and-go pretty frequently. Some business owners get the hang of what I do and take over on their own. Others simply have to reallocate their budgets and marketing is usually the first thing to go. However, I love that I get to work with many different types of businesses and owners. I’ve learned so much about how to run a business from being part of the behind-the-scenes action.

After my 5 years of doing freelance social media management for various companies, I found myself wanting more. I’ve always been the type of person who likes to learn different things and put them to the test. In January, I started learning a fuck ton about affiliate marketing. This is essentially passive income on auto-pilot.

Basically, you get traffic to your email list and you send your subscribers emails occasionally with links promoting products you use. If they click and buy, you make a commission. You can either get free traffic by sharing your landing page on your own, or you can pay for traffic (way less work and time). I literally buy traffic, sit back, and wait for my emails to go out on their schedule and I make money – simple as that.

There are a decent amount of parts to set that all up so you have your business on auto-pilot. I was so overwhelmed with all of those parts – writing 20+ follow up emails, creating a landing page to get people to subscribe, paying for numerous systems to get me started, and a few other tedious tasks. My stress disappeared once I found 12 Minute Affiliate!

Instead of paying $100/month for ClickFunnels to create my landing pages so I can build my email list, I pay $47 (after a 2-week trial for $9.99) for 12 Minute Affiliate with pre-made landing pages AND it helped me set up my email list with 80 follow up emails written for me. In other words, I’m paying half the price I was to get this business going for them to also do the work for me. You can pay for 12 Minute Affiliate, set everything up in about 30 minutes, and just pay for traffic from there on out without doing another ounce of work.

I love waking up everyday at whatever time I want, working in the clothes I slept in, and being able to make money without someone hovering over me or telling me what to do. Businesses will always need help marketing and people are constantly buying stuff online, so why not leverage that to make income from home for yourself?


To read more about building passive income online and my honest review about 12 Minute Affiliate, click here!


Don’t hesitate to contact me at one of the links below for more information! I’d be more than happy to tell you more about how I’ve started making some money online.

Facebook  Instagram


All links in this email are my affiliate links.

Categories
marketing

Building Passive Income In Less Than 30 Minutes Per Day

If you aren’t making money online while stuck in quarantine, you’re making a huge mistake! There is more time than ever to learn a new skill and put it to the test – especially for money. As a social media marketing manager, I’ve studied various ways of getting a message out to an audience via the internet. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon affiliate marketing when I started feeling like success was right at my fingertips.

At the start of the year, I had no job. I was spending hours a day sending out my resume, writing cover letters, and submitting proposals for freelance jobs. When I felt I ran out of applications to fill out, I began spending time researching other ways to make money from home. It has always been my goal to be my own boss and be able to make money without being tied down to a location. Once I began signing a few clients, I took some bigger steps into affiliate marketing by focusing in on one product – 12 Minute Affiliate.

First, let me explain what I’ve come to learn affiliate marketing is. It’s basically email marketing to sell someone else’s product in exchange for commissions. You’re essentially an email salesperson. And one way you can do that is by getting traffic to a website to opt-in to your emails list. If they choose to give you their email address, they will receive offers from you through a series of automated emails (that’s how you can make passive income from it) containing your affiliate links. Once someone pulls out their card and purchases a product through your link, you make money!

12 Minute Affiliate is a program designed by Devon Brown, an incredibly successful affiliate marketer, to help beginner affiliate marketers start making money online. This (mostly) done-for-you system sets you up with a variety of sales-funnel websites to get people to opt-in to your list, 80 emails containing your affiliate link to the program, and instructions how to set it all up. I’ve been using it for a few weeks and there are definitely some good things, but some things I wasn’t completely happy about.

After you set it up, then what? You have to start getting traffic to your opt-in page. You can get free traffic by sharing the URL to your social media, in a blog post, in a forum, a YouTube video with the link in the description, etc. Unfortunately, this could be tough if you don’t have many followers – you’re not going to get much traffic.

Good news is you can buy your traffic through the program, but I wouldn’t recommend. I didn’t feel like the traffic and opt-ins I purchased through 12 Minute Affiliate were genuine. Luckily, there are other sites, like Udimi, where you can buy traffic for way cheaper and seems way more legit. Anyways, once you purchase visitors to your opt-in page, you just sit back and wait for them to opt-in and start receiving your automated emails.

Bad news is it’s kinda like gambling and requires patience, trust, and risk. Sometimes a person may not actually purchase until weeks, even months after they started receiving your emails. It’s completely a numbers game so the more traffic you get, the more opt-ins. The more opt-ins, the bigger your audience. The bigger your audience, the greater your chance of getting a sale. That’s pretty much just how it works.

You have to look at it as an investment. In some ways, it’s like buying stocks, but a different type of game. You could start today, buy 100 visitors and get a few people to purchase and you start making a profit on your first day. OR… you can start today and it take a few months and traffic orders before you see any results.

If you’re a marketer, writer, communications guru, a salesperson, or someone who knows they can spend less than 30 minutes a week copying and pasting emails to broadcast to your list, as well as purchase traffic, 12 Minute Affiliate is definitely for you! It’s a great stepping stone to learn about affiliate marketing and how you can start making passive income from anywhere you’re connected to the internet.

It’s perfect if you’re just looking to try something new. I mean, we’re stuck inside for who-knows how long, might as well start building. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll see money in your bank without lifting a finger.

I do have to say, you do have to commit to it. It’s not a huge commitment and you can do it at your own pace – on your own time. Building multiple streams of income, especially during this time, is a no brainer in my opinion. If I learned everything on my own, through books, YouTube videos, and 12 Minute Affiliate‘s training videos, you totally can too!

You never know how you can change your life until you try!


Don’t hesitate to contact me at one of the links below for more information! I’d be more than happy to tell you more about how I’ve started making some money online.

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All links in this email are my affiliate links.

Categories
travel

Fasten Your Seatbelt for Take Off: China Edition

Am I the only one who gets super stressed out before traveling? Others in my position would probably get super excited, but I get overwhelmed with packing, getting transportation to the airport, and thinking about what’s to come, that I actually get really wrapped up in my head. With that being said, when I get to my seat on the airplane, the anxiety flushes my body; I can’t help myself but smile when I hear, “Flight crew, please prepare for take off…” It’s now time for you to fasten YOUR seatbelt because I’m about to take you through my China adventures!

For my China trip, I was more excited than ever when I heard the pilot ask his flight crew to prepare for take off. If you’ve ever flown out of John F. Kennedy International Airport, you know how busy it can be. My flight taxied on the runway for about 2 hours before taking off. Although this time felt like forever, it built my excitement for the journey awaiting. Nothing was stopping my mind from wandering the realm of possibilities the next 10 days had to offer me… well… except for the BABY CRYING FOR A MAJORITY OF THE FLIGHT!

Anyways, after 16-hours on the plane, I made it to Beijing International Airport on my final straw of patience. I, along with my fellow chaperones (a.k.ak my travel family), gathered the our group of students and headed towards passport control and baggage claim. I stood in line skimming through my passport, reminiscing on my experiences around the world, and getting excited for what was to come. The whole group made it successfully to baggage claim, although not all of our luggage did. After figuring out the missing suitcase problem, it was time to get on with the adventure!

We made our way towards the coach (bus) and met up with our ACIS Educational Tour Tour Guide, Jack. He is native to China and his excitement to show us his beloved country instantly dispelled my crackiness from the 16-hour restless sleep with the baby wailing in front of me. I was finally in China.

So, I can’t really complain too much about the restless flight. On previous trips I’ve been on, our flights got in rather early in the day. This basically means we were getting off a long flight to start a 10-hour day of touring and exploring. On this trip, however, we got there pretty late, so it was straight to the hotel for some well-deserved sleep in a bed.

8-hours of restless sleep later…

GOOD MORNING, CHINA! I’m literally not even going to try to explain the feeling after waking up the first day in a new country. It’s the first time I’m feeling stress-free and ecstatic for this trip. I pack up my backpack of things I need for the whole day and head to breakfast with one of my travel family members, Alicia. After catching up, we made sure all of the students were ready to go and got on the coach to our first stop… Tai Chi!

Me and Dylan doing Tai Chi in Beijing, China

Okay, so if you haven’t watched the video at the top, you should totally do so to get a better sense of my experience doing Tai Chi. A local taught us some moves, but my favorite part of this was watching him demonstrate the moves on people within our group. I tell you to watch the video mainly to hear my crack up literally everytime he showed a move.

The Summer Palace in Beijing, China.

After the giggling simmered down and we did some grounding meditation exercises, we got up-close-and-personal with the Summer Palace. The details were immaculate! After spending some time admiring the Palace, we headed towards Tiananment Square to take a walk through the Forbidden City. How cool does that sound?!

The entrance to The Forbidden City in Beijing, China.

The Forbidden City was the imperial palace in China for 492 years. After finishing construction in 1420, during the Ming Dynasty, 24 emporers resided in the palace. In fact, it is the largest imperial palace in the world containing 980 building and over 8,700 rooms. The whole palace is surrounded by a moat which makes The Forbidden City feel like you’re in a whole different world. If you ever get the chance to go to Beijing, definitely make your way to view this insane palace!

A statue inside of The Forbidden City.

To finish our day off, we had a pecking duck dinner. One of my favorite things about traveling is trying new foods and immersing myself in the culture through cuisine. So pecking duck is a traditional Chinese dish that has been prepared since the imperial era. Part of the dining experience involves the chef slicing the cooked duck in front of the diners. This wasn’t the only entertainment we got for the evening – we also received a private Bian lian performance.

Me getting a picture with the Bian lian performer.

The dancer in me was stoked about this! Bian lian is a dramatic Chinese dance performed with ornate and colorful costumes. Throughout the performance, the dancer switches through 10-20+ masks at the blink of an eye. The secret to changing masks has been passed down from performer-to-performer since it originated, therefore, the secret is still unknown to anyone who hasn’t trained to perform it. It’s like one of the longest running secrets ever. Take a look at the end of the video above to see what I’m talking about!

After dinner, we returned back to the hotel to rest up for another day of adventure in China!


If you made it to this point of my post, thank you so much for taking the time to read about my first day exploring China! Be sure to follow me on social media by clicking on the buttons below to take a deeper look into my life and experiences.

If you enjoyed reading this, please leave a comment! Have you ever thought about visiting China? Have you been to China, and if so, what was your favorite adventure? I look forward to reading your experiences.

Categories
marketing

Making My First Dollar Online

Never did I ever think I would be able to make money online. Yes, the internet has grown tremendously over the past decade and I have been working from my laptop as a Social Media Marketing Manager over the past 5 years, but I always believed I had to have a client or a boss to make money online. This concept was completely challenged when I found out I could make money marketing other people’s products, while also being my own boss.

I was laid off on December 31, 2019 from my previous role as Social Media Marketing Manager. It wasn’t because I was doing a bad job, it was because the company I worked for couldn’t afford to pay me for my services – no hard feelings at all. As a freelancer, I’m used to this, especially the inconsistency and instability of work. Anyways, I looked at this as an opportunity to branch out, look for a new client, and even learn something new in the process. With that being said, over the past month I have been learning about Clickbank, an affiliate marketing database that allows digital marketers to scale vendors’ businesses, as well as build their own stream of income for doing so.

I started my journey with Clickbank by reading their free ebook – 7 Steps To Turn Your PASSION Into An Online Business. These steps highlight:

  1. Discovering Your Passion
  2. Determining Market Fit and Potential
  3. Creating an Avatar
  4. Building a Following
  5. Building a List of Prospective Buyers
  6. Monetizing Your Audience
  7. Scaling Your Profits

The ebook goes into more details about each of these steps. I followed each of them, utilizing the advice given to pinpoint how I would like to kick-start my affiliate marketing business.

For those of you who don’t know, I have taught gymnastics for over 10 years now. I loved learning new skills to then be able to help others learn them. Sometimes, students would get to my level of skill; therefore, I would have to learn new skills so I can then teach them. After reflecting on this, I determined I wanted to take this concept and apply it to digital marketing – affiliate marketing to be specific. I utilized the steps mentioned above to conclude that my passion is to learn how to make money online for myself, but also extend this knowledge to help others do so as well.

Honestly, this month has been a struggle for me. I’ve spent hours on YouTube learning about how Clickbank works and the fastest ways to be successful. YouTube is a great tool to utilize to learn a new skill, but there is a lot of content on there which sometimes left me confused and unsure which I should focus on. That’s when I decided to sign up for Clickbank University. Experts designed a course to teach people how to make their first sale online using Clickbank, which can then be applied to generate hundreds, even thousands, of sales using their marketplace.

I’ve been waiting to generate my first sale to share any of this because I didn’t want to tell people about it until I saw my own results. I needed to believe in it before encouraging others to as well. I couldn’t be more excited to share this with you all – I’m one step closer to fulfilling my passion! If you would like to make money online, click here to get the ebook, as well as to learn the way I did, to start earning money online. I know this process will be way more fun with some friends by my side!

If you have any questions, I’d be so happy to help! Shoot me an email to tom@ontomoftheworld.com or send me a message on Instagram (@ontomoftheworld).

Categories
mental health

California Gave Me Anxiety and Depression

As I’m sitting in the airport awaiting to board my flight to embark on a European adventure, I stumble upon an Instagram post highlighting a quote from Lao Tzu – “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” I quickly share it to my story and write “I’m working on it…” It was coincidental because I then realize the tightness in my chest and the slight urge to cry. Why am I anxious right now? Yeah, I’m excited to be traveling to Europe, but I’m not feeling pumped; I am feeling down. My anxiety is consuming me because I’m focused on how much I’m going to miss my boyfriend James, my friends, and my life in San Diego for the next 10 days. In other words, I’m thinking about the negatives of my future and not the positives of my present. I let this sink in for a little and begin thinking about my experience with anxiety and depression.

In July 2018, after living in New York for the first 22 and a half years of my life, I decided to pack all of my belongings into my 1998 Toyota Rav 4, grab my sister, and drive 4 days to move to San Diego. Throughout my life I never struggled with anxiety or depression. I was always the positive, upbeat, and down for anything at any time type of person. You couldn’t stop me from going out or doing something during my free time. I was always confident in what I was doing and never really doubted myself. Even while settling into my new California life, I felt like I was on top of the world. However, I began to feel a 180° shift in how I felt in my soul.

Now, before I continue, I feel like I have to explain why I decided to pick up my life and move to the opposite side of the country. Throughout college, I planned on moving to Brooklyn and getting a 9-to-5 job in New York City. It was essentially down the block and something I knew; however, after visiting Colorado before my senior year, I started dabbling with the idea of leaving New York to experience something new. From there, I began realizing that the “New York State of Mind,” or attitude, didn’t really coincide with who I felt I was as a person. I began noticing the coldness of the people around me. Cashiers wouldn’t even look up to say, “Hi.” Drivers honked for no fucking reason. Everyone around me was so focused on themselves and couldn’t care less about how they treated each other. I didn’t want to live surrounded by this attitude anymore, therefore, I decided to give San Diego a shot. It was a risk that definitely paid off and I was quickly more than happy I moved to there to say the least.

I graduated from college shortly before moving, so I had to begin building my career the second I parked my car at my new home. I have a Marketing degree and had previously began building a personal freelance Social Media Marketing and Management company to sustain my life. Building this type of career is slow and somewhat lonely; I spent 6 hours per day working on my laptop at home by myself. At this point, I really only had a handful of friends, so I decided to try to get a job coaching gymnastics. I had 8.5 years of experience prior to moving and knew it wouldn’t be too difficult to find a job in that field. I was right and quickly hired to coach at SD United Training Center. I was so grateful how close I got to my coworkers and, before I knew it, obtained a solid group of friends. One of whom is a guy named James, who instantly changed my world and perspective on life.

I told myself when I moved I wasn’t going to get start dating anyone until I had more of a solid life for myself. But, as you all probably know, when you meet someone and feel a special connection with, you can’t really help it. We spent all of our free time together from basically the second we hung out outside of work. He quickly became my best friend and someone I could confide in. Everyone I knew previously was over 3,000 miles away, which only influenced me to get attached pretty quickly. Once our relationship transitioned from best friends to something a little more, I began to open up more about how I felt, not just who I am.

One night at the end of September, I was at work-related function with James and my new group of friends. As the night progressed, I began feeling this urge to leave. It was a foreign feeling to me and I wasn’t really sure what I was feeling. I usually enjoy being around groups of people, but this was one of the first times I felt the need to be alone (well, to be alone with James). I stuck it out, but on the car ride back to James’s place, I opened up about how I was feeling a tightness in my chest and tense throughout. The conversation played out a bit more as we analyzed what was going on and I vividly remember saying, “It feels like I have to cry but I don’t.” I basically jinxed myself and that’s when I entered a half-year stage of intense anxiety and depression.

For months, I broke down at least once a week. The littlest of things would trigger my anxiety and I would be flooded with an overwhelming feeling of sadness and discontent with myself. My confidence flew out the window and I constantly put myself down. I’m broken. Something’s wrong with me. I hate this feeling. I don’t want to feel like this anymore. Thoughts raced through my head and the more I tried to control it, the more often and intense my episodes became. This put me in a constant state of analysis of my emotions and trying to make sure I didn’t start crying spontaneously.

This put me in a constant battle with myself. I didn’t want to do anything but lay in bed – I was mentally and emotionally exhausted all the time. I became more introverted than extroverted. There’s nothing more draining than not feeling yourself, especially for months at a time.

Recently, I’ve come to the realization that my guarded approach to everything has prevented me from establishing deeper relationships with others. With friends, I have always felt like being the listener, not the talker. I was the go-to for anyone who needed practical advice. Opening up was never something I ever felt necessary. People look up to me for my positivity, and that’s what drove me in the past. I now can no longer live life that way. I want to develop intense connections with others; something I can’t do unless I let my guard down.

These feelings I believe began because my guard got stronger as my emotions for James grew. The closer I got to loving James, the further away I got from loving myself. As a result, I was so worried about him cheating on me or taking advantage of the trust I instilled with him that I closed myself off from everyone over the past months. Taking a step back from my relationship with James and looking at the big picture, I’ve concluded that I push people away when the relationship/friendship gets too close. I’m always on guard that someone is going to take advantage of my trust, therefore I haven’t really trusted anyone, not even myself. It is easier to take the high road than to take the risk and actually love someone (romantically or not). I have been preventing myself from loving with my whole heart my entire life and I didn’t even realize it.  As a result, it wasn’t until I figured this out that I started to feel like myself again, if not even better.

I didn’t write this to throw myself a pity party. I don’t have any intentions of gaining attention from talking about this, nor do I want that. The only attention I want from this post is that even the happiest people in this world are facing a battle you probably know nothing about. I know for myself, if I asked anyone if they thought I had struggled with anxiety or depression, they’d probably laugh in my face (besides James because he’s been helping me through it for half a year now). I also wrote this because I never really understood anxiety and depression until I struggled with it myself. It’s not something you can “turn off” and “calm down” from when you’re having trouble dealing with it. I believe everyone has anxiety, but there is definitely a tremendous amount of people who mask it and pretend like it’s not a problem when it actually is. I tried to cover it up and tell myself I was okay. Like I said, the more I tried to control it, the more anxious I became. With that being said, if you feel like you’re struggling to control your anxiety, stop. The second I stopped and faced it was when I was able to grow and deal with it.

I still have a long way to go, but I’ve already come so far. My anxiety attacks and crying episodes used to last an hour or 2, and then I would need about 24 hours to bounce back and feel “normal.” Now, when they come, they last maybe 15 minutes and I can bounce back and tackle the rest of my day after taking some time to relax once it’s over.

Lao Tzu once said that peace lies within the moment. I would have anxiety attacks as a result of worrying about potential, nonexistent problems in my future. This led to my depression as I tried to reflect on what has happened to me in the past to cause these intense emotions. Today, I’m able to be honest with myself, speak my mind freely, and be more in the moment, which ultimately has allowed me to be the best version of myself I’ve ever been. If you’re dealing with anything, take a moment to appreciate what you have right NOW and focus on that. It’s ridiculously hard, but with practice comes perfection. Never give up on yourself and learn to trust yourself. It’s not going to happen overnight. Be patient. Love yourself. Stay as positive as you can.

Categories
lifestyle

The Most Life-Altering Text Message I Have Ever Received.

Sometime in the summer of 2011

“Hey, this may be a weird question and I don’t mean to offend you, but are you bi or gay? I’m kinda getting that vibe” This was probably followed by some emoji to relieve some of the tension.

“Hahaha no I’m not.” I didn’t think so.

People made “gay” jokes towards me while growing up, but I never took offense to it because I genuinely didn’t believe I was gay. I also went to a Catholic elementary school, so I guess the jokes were really only jokes in my head. Flash forward to the summer I was going into 10th grade – the first time I began seriously questioning my sexuality.

Were people right all along and I never really noticed?

I had girlfriends in middle school. I know that doesn’t really count, but it still says something. At this point, I’ve realized that attraction and sexual orientation are two seperate things.

October 31, 2011

I celebrated Halloween night the way any 10th grader would. I went to a local elementary school with some of my friends then walked around the town and did 10th-grade stuff.

“Hey, Tom. Where are you? Want to meet at the middle school playground?”

“Hey! I’m walking back to my friend’s house now. Once we get there, I can probably sneak away.”

This was the first night I had ever made out with a guy.

Making out with boys is the same as making out with girls. I don’t think after this night I knew I was gay, but it furthered my understanding of the difference between attraction and sexual orientation. It didn’t feel wrong. I didn’t feel uncomfortable. For me, this night verified that I’m attracted to both boys and girls, but I was still figuring out the whole sexual orientation thing.

November 2, 2011

“Tom, want to come over and watch some TV?”

“Sure! I’ll be over soon.”

I don’t remember what we watched, but I remember we made out again.

I wasn’t very sexually active at this point in my life, so I had a boundary that I wasn’t going to go any further than making out until things were exclusive. Remember… I was in 10th grade. But after this night, I began to catch “the feels” for this guy and it was way different than with any girl I’ve been with beforehand. I never felt the need to be sexually active with a girl, but now, I was starting to feel like I wanted to be. It was weird af for me. I finally began understanding what sexual orientation is.

I had been told being gay was wrong while growing up. Well, maybe not that it was wrong, but I always got the hint from teachers, family members, and my parents. I grew up in the age where “You’re so gay!” was yelled at someone who wasn’t doing what was desired. And I can’t forget to mention how my mom would mutter snarky comments under her breath if we ever saw someone who was “feminine” walking around in the stores she dragged me into. C’mon mom, we’re in Khol’s. What do you expect?

I never really thought about it because I guess I was never encouraged to. I wasn’t ever in a situation where I felt like I could explore the thought of myself being gay. Not that I was suppressed by any means, I just was never put in a situation where I felt like I was gay. So, why even think about it?

December 4, 2011

“Hey, Mom. I have something to tell you…”

Not going to lie, I chugged a whole 4 Loko in 5 minutes after doing this. It was 10th grade.

The next year was the hardest of my life so far. My dad then found out, then my brother. “Don’t you dare tell your sister.” Constant tension in the hallways of my house. Texting fights so no one could hear. I never felt suppressed until this time of my life by the person who mattered most.

Strangely, things started looking up when I brought my first “boyfriend” home to meet my parents. Maybe my family was seeing that I’m still who I was before coming out and it’s not a big deal. Everything was all out on the table and my dad started making jokes about it. I’m the type of person who likes to laugh at myself, and these jokes weren’t offensive. It became normal. It got better.

It’s better than ever before.

We’ve never been living in a better time in terms of the views on LGBTQ+. Yes, the big guy in the White House isn’t necessarily the ideal candidate for this community. Yes, there are so many tremendous problems in our world due to ignorance for other communities of people. Yes, we could be in an even better time. This may be just my opinion, but being part of the LGBTQ+ has never been so, okay.

We still have a long way to go until America is really “great again.” People need to stop killing other people; people need to start respecting each other. We’re all alive for a reason. It’s time to encourage each other to fulfil our passions and let each other do it in their own unique way.


What was your coming out story like? Are you part of a suppressed community in modern society? I want to hear what you guys go through because the more we know, the more we can feel empathy for each other. Please share your stories in the comments below.


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Categories
travel

Isolating Myself | A Meditation Practice I Do Often

As I travel the world, or simply take leaps of faith with my career, I like to take the time to isolate myself from the world. I find a quiet place and I try to be as in-the-moment as possible. This includes asking myself:

Where am I right this second?

How am I feeling right now?

What am I doing with my life currently?

What are my plans for the next couple of days?

What are my plans for the next couple of months?

Where do I want to be in a year from now?

I do this alone so I don’t feel pressured to answer these questions with someone or something else in mind. I try to isolate myself so I can make some pretty overwhelming realizations and begin planning my next steps to a brighter future.


While I was pushing myself to climb up the Great Wall of China, I found a little window where I could sit and just think about my life. While doing so, I took the moment to talk to myself (well technically my GoPro) about why I isolate myself often, especially when traveling, and what it does for me. Check out the short video below of this little talk I had with myself:

(It’s a bit hard to hear with the wind overpowering my voice, so I have transcribed it. Click on the CC button to turn on the subtitles, or follow along below)

“Everytime I travel I like to take time alone and just like think, and breathe, and be in the moment. I try to like appreciate what I am doing and where I am at. So right now I am sitting on the Great Wall of China and just looking out. Appreciating everything I’ve done so far and it about to happen. And appreciating this opportunity that I get (to travel annually). So, yeah, I like that alone time when I travel just because it gives me that inner perspective and spiritual cleanse, I guess I’d say. So that’s what I’m doing right now. Yeah, I think it’s important to take that time and everything to do what you want or take that time alone. Some days I take that time alone to sit and just talk and be by yourself and everything. I feel like we’re caught up in this world where we’re constantly surrounded by people, even if we’re not physically not with them, but because of our phones, everything where we get to be connected to everyone. I like these opportunities to kind of disconnect from everything and just be with the world and with myself and clear some things up in my head.”


Do you meditate at all? If so, how do you do it? I’d love to hear how most of you take time out of your day to live in the moment.


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Categories
lifestyle

3 Things I Learned from Moving Across the Country.

Tuesday, June 10 – 3:30 AM

We left New York around 12:30 AM. By this time, Lexi (my sister) and I were on I-80 cruising at 65 mph.

Holy shit, what have I gotten myself into? I completely underestimated this drive across the country. We’re 3 hours into 42 hours of total driving. You can still turn back, Tom. We haven’t gotten that far, yet.


I’ve been living in San Diego for 10 days at this point. I still think back to all of these thoughts I had rumbling around as I stared out at a pitch-black windshield, only able to see as far as my dinky headlights can shine. Lexi was sleeping so it was me, myself, and my thoughts. I started becoming terrified of what was happening and I almost bailed. If I had, I would have never learned these 3 life-changing lessons:

Lesson#1: The United States is really fucking big.

The thought, “I completely underestimated this drive…,” was not wrong at all. I totally did. Now it made sense why everyone’s reaction to me saying, “I’m driving there,” was, “REALLY?!” I did not think it was as big of a deal as it really was.

Driving cross country is something everyone should check off their bucket lists. I will be the first to tell you: it is 100% glamorized. I’m not kidding, points of my trip required me to drive 10+ hours on flat nothingness but grass. It was boring and longer than you can fathom until you’re living through it. The magic of doing so, on the other hand, is I completing the trip and fully understanding how big the US is. In reality, I didn’t even see much of it, but still allowed me to grasp the vastness of this country. The United States is really fucking big.

Lesson #2: You are in more control of your reality than you think.

If I turned around at 3 am on the first stretch of the journey, my life would have gone in a completely different direction. I acknowledged the thoughts I was having were irrational. I believed I could do it and I kept going. I remembered I wanted to live in San Diego and I kept going. I kept going. I am in complete control of my reality.

I decided I was moving here and I did it. If you establish something you want, someone you want to be, or somewhere you want to live, and you never lose sight of that, you’ll get it.

As long as you can realign your thought process when you’re doubting yourself, you’ll be empowered and even impress yourself. It may scare you shitless, but if you work a little past that, it’s all downhill. You are in more control of your reality than you think.

Lesson #3: Execution is key to getting what you want.

After I battled my own doubtful thoughts, I realized what I was in the process of doing doing – I was moving across the entire country. Ultimately, this made me realize my decision making process. I don’t think about the emotional part of things – I take an idea, use logic to figure out the steps on how to obtain it, then execute appropriately.

I didn’t want to be in New York anymore, so I wasn’t going to stay there.

Now where do I go? I’ve been to Colorado and I wouldn’t be upset living there. Also, Natalie, a college roommate, makes San Diego look great. Okay, cool, there.

I know there wasn’t really much logic to this decision making; however, it was simply an idea in which I figured, why not? I love new experiences so my first experience there would be moving in. Seemed pretty cool to me.

I wanted to move to San Diego because it appeared to be an amazing place to pick everything up and start my professional life. From there, I figured out the necessary steps to make it there and I executed. Execution is the key to getting what you want.


July 23, 2018 – 10:23 PM

I’m sitting in my backyard surrounded by the sounds of cricket and I can see the stars. Yeah, it’s only been 10 days, but it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. Now I can happily say, in San Diego, “I’m home.”