May 4, 2021

Part 2 of Real Talk: Finding your Passion released today. Check out our bloopers!

We are excited to have just released our fourth episode and Part 2 of Real Talk: Finding your Passion today. Second week of us following our release schedule is complete and it feels REALLY GOOD. Obviously still look forward to our livestreams this Thursday and Friday, but we are celebrating each milestone as it happens. Once again, everyone who has been supporting us and checking us out, we appreciate you and could not do it without you! Please like, subscribe and follow us on all our social media as well. Everything helps. Overall though, we are very satisfied with our growth, but there is room for more which is why we are doing a giveaway. Check it out HERE.

GIVEAWAY CODE: REAL23TALK

Being aware of how your upbringing can shape who you become as an adult and understanding how it could also lead to you discovering a lifelong passion. It may have been a certain childhood experience, someone that left an impression on you, a trauma, and so forth. No matter the circumstance, it’s important to find the lesson. Identify it, analyze it, and view it in a positive light. 

Are you ready to have the real talk with yourself? It is time to listen to someone else start their self-reflection journey and see if you can relate or do the same things. Check out the audio and transcript of our entire episode below. We appreciate you for starting the journey to #BecomingXceptional with us!

Check out our Blooper series today. New episode this Wednesday! Come laugh at our behind-the-scenes.


Listen to Part 2 of Real Talk: Finding your Passion

Real Talk Episode #4: Finding your Passion Part 2
Real Talk Episode #4: Finding your Passion Part 2
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And read along – the transcript:

Fabian: Hey guys, my name is Fabian Chagoya.

Alejandro: And I’m Alejandro Chagoya. 

Fabian: And we’re the hosts of Real Talk, a show all about the journey of self-improvement and getting to know oneself in which we discuss the harsh truths related to finding success.

Welcome back to Real Talk by Chaminger. Thank you for joining us as we continue our previous discussion on the journey to Becoming Xceptional, since this is a multi-part episode. If you’ve not watched a previous segment, we highly recommend it for context, but feel free to continue and experience the valuable message delivered in this episode, regardless.

We appreciate you. We hope you enjoy today’s Real Talk.

Alejandro: As you may recall, our father worked in the Mexican foreign service. As part of a role as a diplomat, you do have to rotate to different locations based on needs of the service, based on your skill. They obviously don’t want you to develop too many roots in a single place, because after all you are representing your country as a diplomat. You are not to be entirely focused on the interests of one place. 

So we would, uh, following from Miami, move to Mexico City.  This proved to be a very challenging move for us.  Obviously,  we’re was still very young at the time.  While the first move from Seattle to Miami had some minor trauma, you could say. There’s still stories about me pointing to the sky and say I want to go back to our big house, because I think that two stories in our home in Magnolia, which is suburb of Seattle. As opposed to, uh,  our home in Miami, which is more of a bungalow style, stretched out. Which is actually bigger than the other location, but besides the point. 

While we were in Miami, before we left, we were still in second grade, my sister and I; my brother had yet to start school. We had just barely taken an intro to Spanish course. At one point in that year, they separated the class into those who spoke Spanish would go into one classroom and they would be instructed in Spanish. Those who did not speak Spanish would be moved to a different classroom and would have more of a basic Spanish lesson given to them. 

So we then went from a very rudimentary start to moving to Mexico City and we didn’t speak a lick, well, maybe not lick of Spanish necessarily.  We had that little basic foundation, but it wasn’t enough to have a proper schooling.

 As anyone could tell you, this is going to pose a problem if you have this significant language barrier. How are you supposed to learn in school if it’s mainly going to be in Spanish? I mean, yes, we did end up going to a bilingual school. It was mainly in Spanish and then there was one class that would be taught English. Which was English language for those who will be learning English for the first time.

The students there were, to their credit and the teachers, helpful in trying to help us overcome this significant barrier. But even still, it was a very challenging time for me. This was back in, uh, 1997. 96- 97 and then from 97- 98, the two years we were there in Mexico. It was quite challenging the first year. By the second, we’d already gotten much better.

Fabian: Well, hold on for a second. What was challenging about that first year? Anything that comes to mind that you’re like, Whoa, like that really was such a problem.

Alejandro: Right. I’d say it was just extremely stressful, having to learn a language from almost nothing and to have every class be conducted in that. So it’s not that you’re just learning Spanish grammar and language. You’re learning math in Spanish, you’re learning history and Spanish, you’re learning all these things in Spanish.  The only class you have in English is English.

Not to mention, of course, there was this move. Which as I said, we’d been in Miami for five years; this was a long time. I was uprooted then at a very young age and I had to learn to adapt to a new environment, new culture, new everything from what I had grown used to. And as a result, I felt that I had to adapt in a very strong way. 

One way that it manifests, I should say, is that I sort of closed myself off more from people. That I became more distant, more reserved. And I think on some level it was sort of like a fear of loss, that if you got too close to people, like friends, then that well, that you’d lose them. That was temporary. I think this was sort of like a defense mechanism that I ended up employing as a young child, not overly consciously, but I did. 

As a result, I know that I ended up drifting to a more serious outlook.  That’s sort of remained to this day, a little changed and more relaxed as Fabian has said. But, definitely I felt that move was a pivotal change in my outlook and my demeanor

Fabian: So you’re telling me that you moving to Mexico, experiencing major loss for the first time. So I assume you started building up habits, routine, a friend group, uh, you know, complacency almost, in Florida. You knew what to expect, you knew what was coming, you knew what shows you were going to watch, you knew the language, you knew, uh, everything and then you moved to Mexico.

 Do you feel like a lot of these like defense mechanisms actually stemmed from, what you were saying, is like this fear of perfectionism, this fear of trying something new, this almost sense of unworthiness that you were already talking about? And now you move to Mexico and school was like this key to everything about your identity and your self worth and your confidence. And now you’re there and it’s like, Hey, you got to learn in another language and that makes it 50 million times more difficult and it takes a while to ramp up and get there.

So now it’s like, Hey, you’re not there. All of a sudden you’re not as good, other people might be better. I mean, of course they’re gonna be better at speaking the language. So it’s like, Oh, Hey, where’s my worthiness? Do you feel like all that happened because of the move and that all those things were actually effects of it? Or am I putting more to it than it actually is?

Alejandro: Well on one hand, I think you might be giving a little too much credit. I think you have actually brought up an interesting thought I hadn’t really considered on the matter about the unworthiness. 

One thing I did forget to mention earlier was that when we moved, because it would be a challenge academically,  my parents came to my sister and I and they said, Hey, because of this challenge, we think maybe it would be a good idea for you to repeat second grade. And you know, I never thought of it that way. I mean, at the time I thought, okay, it makes sense; so we went with it. But for someone, uh, academically-minded as I was, I could certainly see, now that you brought it up, that maybe that did have some sort of impact on my mind there.  

Maybe the expectation would be higher.  Oh I’ve already done this, some of this stuff already, and I should know more than the other kids. I was then kind of older. I was kind of used to them being one of the older kids for the longest time as a result of this change.

So in some ways maybe I was a little wiser than some of them later on in life, but that’s moving to another point. But yeah, I think it’s an interesting thing. I never considered it until now, but maybe that did play some small role in it.

Fabian: I would say it plays a lot larger role than you’re saying. And the only reason why I can say that is because I know that I had gone to, to school in Mexico for the first time. I was in this kindergarten and I didn’t know Spanish either. And I just found a way to survive, but I quickly realized that the first school that my parents put me in was quite mediocre. To be honest, it was terrible. It was horrible. But it was something that my dad didn’t know better, my mom didn’t know better. They had just moved there. They kind of relied on word of mouth from family, friends. I mean, you kind of trust what other people say. They were talking from their experiences 10, 15, 20 years ago. 

I mean, let’s think about where the world was 20 years ago to where it is today. Right? Any advice you give 20 years ago, doesn’t matter anymore, because it’s a completely different world. I mean, all we have to think about is Coronavirus. Any advice you gave in the business world, for example, last year is irrelevant today. 

They took their words, I went into this weird kindergarten, I didn’t learn anything. I did get some Spanish exposure, but it was honestly terrible. And you know looking back, I really didn’t know what was going on. And I was a crazy kid and we’ll get, can get more into those stories. All I know is I volunteered to do a play in Spanish for the Three Kings and Christmas, and I didn’t even know really Spanish, but some how I volunteered and did it. Maybe that’s proof as to why I do what I do today, but it was already a sign. 

But the long story short is that we changed from that school to another school. And this was a private school, it was a much more elite school. There was like entrance exam and they have to interview you with the principal and all this stuff. 

And I went there and obviously it was already a few months in, so I had to do a lot of catch-up work and I have to learn a language and that place was elite, their curriculum was very advanced. So kind of what I was going at is so yes, you did repeat a year, but it’s a completely different school system, it’s a completely different expectation.

My finding is, and we’ll keep going back to this as we talk about the rest of our story and as we traveled the world, but this second school, the second kindergarten was the elite. Like the stuff that I was learning there was like if I was in third grade compared to this kindergarten around the block.

So I’m curious to hear how like that was. Yes, you did repeat a year, which is crazy, but were you learning the same things? I mean, it’s hard to remember now, but I feel like you, from the sounds of it again, you were always such, so harsh on yourself. You probably were judging yourself unfairly because one, learning it in a different language.

Like if right now you asked me to learn, um, sales or public speaking in German, that’d be a lot more challenging for me, and I know some German, than it is in English. Like it’s not even comparable, but you were trying to compare it, because again, that’s all you knew. So, do you feel like there’s a piece of that? That yes, you did repeat a year, but you went into it with these unrealistic expectations and demands for yourself.

Alejandro: Yeah. Yeah. I think I do recall. There were some times where I was upset that I wasn’t living up to my expectation. I do remember once crying about some bad grade I got. And I was just completely down on myself, trash talking myself. I don’t know how, I think I suspect it was one of our parents mentioned it to the teacher and the teacher even mentioned it to the class. And it’s like, look at this guy here, he’s doing good. And he barely, he’s still learning the language and he was trashing himself. So I expect that you should be doing better too. And that I had nothing to feel bad about. 

That’s a good point there. I hadn’t even remembered that until you brought it up just now, but I think that, that is actually very interesting point.

Fabian: Well I’m glad that you agree that is an interesting point. The piece that I want to really focus on is, again, going back to the theme of the show. Is viewing it differently, viewing it from another perspective, hearing it from almost like a third party. Like this is your first time really learning Spanish on a completely different level.

It’s like Americans can relate, you learn Spanish or French or German in school- you’re just learning grammar. Go to the actual country or watch a show without subtitles, good luck kiddos. Right?  They’re going to get destroyed. It’s not even fair and they took it for years. 

So now you moved there. All you were exposed to really was English and some brief Spanish from my dad and my aunts and grandparents. But it’s completely different when you actually are completely immersed in it. 

 My question to you is: if you had to view it now and think like, what were the benefits that you got from that? Do you feel like it taught you the ability to adapt? Do you feel like it made you realize that, Hey, like don’t sweat the small stuff? Or the contrary, did it make you fear the unknown? Did it make you more hesitant to try new things? 

For example, I view it as that is such an insane experience. You had something that most people will never have in their lives. Being thrown into the deep end of the pool and having to swim literally by yourself and figure it out and figure it out you did.  I’m curious to hear what you feel like the good pieces of that were. 

I mean, I was just kindergarten and I learned the language. I learned so much more because the curriculum is so advanced and deep down, it really taught me adaptability at such a young age. Yes. It made me more reserved as well, but it gave me, it hardened my shell. 

So I’m kind of curious to see, now that you can think back about it. Were there any like lessons or valuable experiences that you got from that?

Alejandro: Oh, yes, yes, certainly. I agree with you. The language skills, to this day, have served me well and the curriculum was indeed more advanced over there. I learned a lot that I would end up touching upon later on. We did move back to the U.S. some years later and I felt like my time in Mexico  had actually given me a leg up, from what I had learned. Not to mention just the very strict level of education that they were working with. I felt like it made a better student as well. 

Because of the nature of the move and everything, we had to adapt, I had to grow as a person. So I certainly would agree that those were positive aspects there. That I had to improve upon myself to carry forward to meet the challenge.

Fabian: Did you think about any of the positives at that time? Let’s be real. Did you? Or was it mostly a negative mindset. Uh! I lost my friends now I have to wear a uniform to school every day. They’re super strict. I’m not the best student necessarily right away. Is that kind of how you viewed it as a child?

Alejandro: Yeah. I remember the story that my mom said how I once said we were learning, I think about the Mexican constitution and rights. And I said, as a kid, we don’t have any rights, we just have obligations

Fabian: Whoa

Alejandro: I mean, yes and no. I remember referring that period of years, I mentioned from 96 to 98, as a sort of like my lost years for the longest time.

But I do recognize, there were a lot of things that definitely benefited me, no doubt. But I just said it was a trial by fire. Just because of the challenge to overcome so much in that short time. Like you said, thrown into the deep end. So there was a lot of, uh, emotional turmoil you could say. I can’t deny that there were a lot of positives to come from it.

Fabian: It’s hard to realize that at that time. That’s really the goal of this. Yes, we’re recounting the story and we’re doing a much more deeper analysis than most people do. But when you realize that, like, Whoa, yeah, there was some bad times and it was rough and I worked my butt off and I suffered and et cetera, et cetera.

But, you know, there’s benefits. We got to live in another country, we got to experience even let’s think about the culture, like learn the traditions. We were there with our Mexican side of the family, we got to form a relationship with them, we got to have different foods. Yes. Our mom always stayed true to the culture and the tradition and made very traditional Mexican and German foods no matter where we were at, but now we were constantly exposed to that. 

Just different ways of buying things. We didn’t have access to the same stores; especially because you couldn’t do online shopping at that time. So it really was a culture shock as well. And as a kid, when you wanted your newest toys and the gadgets and the advertisements are different, and the TV shows are different. There’s all these other aspects of it that I feel like when you really look at it, you’re like, Whoa. It gave you so much more perspective that most children, especially in the U.S. never get. And let’s be real, the majority, if they do get it, they get it when they’re in college, because daddy paid for his little princess to go on a mission trip to Honduras. But she’s staying in a five-star resort while she’s going to build a house, you know? Like that’s their exposure. Sorry guys. I’m not trying to be like rude here, but that’s their exposure of a third world country. And there is some truth that that is still a great experience. It’s not the same as living it. What are your thoughts on that?

Alejandro: We were immersed in the culture, unlike someone who just had a, a passing reference to it really.  Like you said, the trip to, to help out some people then to pat yourself on the back and then go home is very different than living there. Among the people, interacting with them daily, being exposed to the culture.

And I mean, I said they were lost years. But there were certainly a lot of fond memories. Like you said, we were finally able to connect properly with family there that we weren’t able to speak the language. There are actually a number of shows and things from that time that I’m still a super fan of to this day. Even, uh, like one of the Mexican Spanish dub of some shows, as a result. 

I cannot stress how much one really benefited just this moving around. Yes, there’s the challenge of adapting to new places. But I mean, just being exposed to so many new things is really a gift that not many people have. And it does really change your outlook and how you view things.

Fabian: That’s the very summarized version of Mexico. It was an interesting time. It forced all of us to learn a lot, to grow a lot, but it also gave us new perspective. And growing up, Mexico or Germany were kind of the vacation spots that we would go to that we’d alternate. 

So when we were living there, we didn’t really have to travel to Mexico anymore. So it opened up new opportunities, or to visit more so our German side of the family. But like usual my dad wasn’t going to be stuck in one place for long. So where did we go next Alejandro? 

Alejandro: Right. Interesting story because it relates to my health issue at the time, I did have asthma at a young age. It disappeared over the years, which is something that does happen for some asthmatics. But as a result of the pollution in Mexico city, it was bad for my lungs, as you can imagine. So my dad did request a transfer for health reasons for his son, being me. So we ended up moving to Denver, to Colorado or specifically, Littleton. 

Fabian: What up Colorado?

Alejandro: That’s right.

We really enjoyed our time in Colorado, four years it wound up being and school was great. As I said before, our time in Mexico, I think, really made us better students. We learned quite a lot. So I think that was quite a boon for us while we were there. And we were, all of us, overachievers academically and then as well as in some extracurriculars.

 I remember my brother played a starring role in the Scottish play after the lead had to dropout, because of an accident. Which probably may have been invoked from the curse. I was also in the Shakespeare bowl myself that year, as I recall. 

Fabian: I just want to pause and say that he’s definitely jumping around, but that happens when we’re talking. Uh, I was the lead in the play Macbeth because I don’t think most people will understand what the Scottish play means. I played Macbeth in the, it was the Shakespeare event that they hosted in downtown Colorado, in Denver. I mean, as proof in Mexico, I like doing plays apparently and being the lead role. So I guess public speaking was always in my blood and DNA. Anyway, continue Alejandro 

Alejandro: Yeah. I feel like the, the years we were there, we were very close as a family. We went together to a lot of places, getting to know Colorado. We really bonded I feel, as a family in those years there. 

Unfortunately the timing in Colorado was marked by some tragedy in 1999, I believe it was. Where we were living was relatively close to the Columbine high school that had the infamous shooting.  I recall very vividly being at recess in elementary school at the time and suddenly we were all called in and we’re basically under, under a pseudo lockdown. There weren’t really any measures at the time in place for that.  

I remember my mother telling us this afterwards, how she was at the store and everyone’s looking at the TVs and wondering what’s going on. It was something truly, truly horrific and certainly changed how things were being seen at the time. A lot of changes, of course, to the school system as well, as I’m sure you know all too well, Fab.

Fabian: Well, before we talk about how everything else was changed and affected. I think one of the things that I want you to start working on is when you tell stories and when you are sharing these experiences, I want you to share how you felt. The things that impacted you, how you change, how that. Because it’s something that a lot of people do, they kind of do it in a very overview, uh, way of telling it. 

 It’s almost like we were raised in such a way, like this is just in general the world, to not share our perspective, or our mindset, or our view on something, because it’s almost like bragging or selfish. But I think there’s a lot right now when we’re doing Real Talk to gain from that. 

So for example, I can relate that I remember I don’t know exactly where I was when I got the news, but I know I was at school as well. And they pulled us aside and, you know, they’re talking to us about it. And to be real with you, I didn’t really understand the impact of it right away. I think afterwards, when I started talking to friends and hearing the news in the next days,  I remember I definitely was worried that some people would just like break in through our back door. And like hop over our fence and come in with guns or stuff like that, because we were so close to where the school was. But I mean, that’s just kind of where my head went. 

But I wasn’t truly like afraid of anything at school. I think the other people being so  affected by it, because most people in my class and the teachers were terrified. They were acting like if hell had just arrived at their doorstep; it was insane to see everyone else. I was just kind of like, should I be more afraid? So that was kind of how I took it. I was curious to hear how you felt in that moment, if you really remember.

 Alejandro: I don’t remember too well, but I think I wasn’t too dissimilar, honestly. I don’t think I recall being that afraid myself. I guess I did feel some degree of sadness for the people who lost their life. But I guess in some way, there was also that disconnect as well, because it’s, in a way, kind of surreal that we had something like this, some traumatic event happening so close by. 

Oftentimes you hear these things on the news and they’re distant, but this time this was something up close and personal that was, was horrific and real and near. Sometimes it’s hard to sort of reconcile these facts, that this is happening. And I think that’s probably where I was with that. That it was some sort of surreal experience that some, some terrible thing that  happened there.

Fabian: Do you feel like it impacted you? Like it changed the way you view things or reacted to things? Because I will say on my end, I really don’t think so. There’s a few events that a lot of people would be like, Oh my Go. Like for most Americans, they would say 9/11, it changed my life. And  maybe it’s because of how we lived and travel and all this stuff, but even though we were so close to Columbine, and it was a very sad and dramatic event, I will say that it didn’t really change who I was. It didn’t make me fearful, it didn’t make me worried. It just made me, I guess, more aware, it opened my eyes to even a little bit more of stuff, but curious how you feel about that.

Alejandro: I agree actually. I don’t think that Columbine, as tragic as it was, I don’t think it really, uh, changed how I was as a person. I think I do agree with you that 9/11 was the one that really had a dramatic impact on my life. That I still vividly recall our mother waking us up in the morning. I was in middle school at the time, uh, seventh grade. She told us that, uh, a plane had hit one of the world trade centers. 

I come down to breakfast, we’re watching the news. I’m there watching live TV wondering what was the reason for this crash. And then suddenly I see out of the corner of my eye, across the screen, come the second plane and hits the trade center. And I’m like, wow, I’m watching this live, this thing happening. Then going to school, everyone there in homeroom watching, wrapped attention to the TV. Then going to the next class, again, watching as people are jumping out of the building. Then hearing the news later on in the day of how one of the towers collapsed.

 It radically changed the school curriculum. We devoted a lot of focus, especially in history and world events, regarding this. And I feel like it really shaped the course of my life in becoming a lot more focused on what was happening in the world, of taking an interest in these things. I would definitely say that the reason I have the degree I have, is in no small part because of the events of that day.

Fabian: Well, that is quite a bold statement, but I love that you said that. To think that an event that’s completely out of control, out of your control, shaped your path, your interests, your passions  so much. And that’s crazy to think about and I’m sure it happened to a lot of people. 

I know that all these events definitely changed things. I mean, it changed how the schools reacted. I just remember all the lockdowns and the drills that never happened before already after Columbine, but then you have 9/11, too. It just kept compounding and no one- there was almost like this new sense of fear. And I think it’s very fascinating to me how each event impacts someone differently, because for me, it didn’t really impact my interest in news. I mean, we were always very culturally aware because of my dad’s work and overhearing the things that he talked about.

For me, that event changed- it inconvenienced me, in a way, because we traveled so much. So it completely modified the situations at airports. And we would travel at least once a year, if not more. And now all of a sudden it’s like every single person is being questioned. And now you joked around with friends, insensitively, but there was even movies that joked about it, too. It was like, don’t you say the word bomb. You know, it was like, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb; I forget what movie had that, but it completely changed the world. 

But for me it wasn’t really to that serious level, it was just more so like, how did it affect me personally? I knew the world around me had changed, but I just viewed it still, almost selfishly. And I think that’s almost a part of age difference. Obviously, I was younger than you. I was maybe eight, nine, 10. I forget how old I was at that point. 10, I was turning 10 so it was very different for me versus you’re now already a teenager and you start to view the world differently, a little more seriously.  

I find that absolutely fascinating that something like that could alter your interest and path. But I think that’s super interesting because there is so much there and it’s very sad that an event like that happened.  

It really goes to show you how every era is defined by certain things. And our Denver experience was really defined by, we got close to our family, we really got to learn and master the English language. Which I think I want you to share a little bit more about. We got to experience so many new and different things. 

But I feel like even though we had these dark moments, Columbine, um, 9/11, I feel like this was really an opportunity where, despite all that, we thrived. This was the first time where all of us had this success. And we had mastered the English language, despite coming in as “foreigners”. Which, uh, we can tell the story about when we first got to Kaiser Elementary School, we were put into an ESL class purely because of our last name, Chagoya.  I mean, put that out on social media today and that school is going to go under. The fact that they didn’t even test to see if we could speak English. 

Alejandro: It’s worth noting, it wasn’t the school itself. It was actually the school district that sent somebody to interview, not just us, but a number of other students. So we had someone with an Asian last name, a Hispanic last name; we had a number of other students. And I should point out that every one of those students were among the top of their class. And especially in English. So just, just to take that into consideration here.

Fabian: So let’s talk about that piece though. And then I want you to kind of summarize Colorado and then we’ll move on. There’s a lot that can be talked about, it was great experience. Four years, very memorable part of our lives.  

I just think it’s interesting that you said that foreigners were kind of put in a different bucket and category yet, they all were doing the best. There’s something to be said about having a chip on your shoulder and being underestimated and having to prove yourself.  We came in and we came in guns blazing and then there’s proof in the pudding.  We kicked ass while we were there and we succeeded and excelled in so many different environments and participated in so many different things . I just remember being like the best soccer player at school, because  U.S. soccer was not even a thing at that time in schools, like at an elementary school. So stuff like that was really cool. 

Kind of curious to hear your takeaways from the four years in Colorado, the benefits, the cons, lessons, and anything else that you wanted to share. Then we can transition to what happened next and that’ll be our cliffhanger for the episode.

Alejandro: I agree with you, I feel like we definitely flourished in Colorado.  I felt that I  really had grown quite a bit. I had a friend group that I liked. I don’t want to say I was popular per se, but I felt like  I had accomplished quite a bit.  I was settling quite nicely, which of course would be cut off then  with yet another move afterwards which always did have a rather abrupt way of transitioning.  

At this point we were also getting, I should say at least, I was starting to get used to this. It was reality of our life; it’s like, eh okay, yet another move.  Always being conscious that long-term plans might have to be reassessed because of the nature of that lifestyle that we had. Often there was, with that caveat, yes, we’ll do this, but just in case this thing might come up that  might stop it from happening. So that was always something I think that was conscious in my mind. Maybe that might also have been, in some ways, a limiting belief now that I think about it; that might’ve been a con in a way.

I definitely feel like there was a lot that allowed us to grow both, uh, as students, as people. And I feel that it was a really good time for us.

We came from Mexico. There was always that concern that would our English not be up to par, but I especially proved myself more than capable. English was one of my best classes.  I think, especially for myself at that point, I had reached my academic high point. Which would make things a little later a little interesting, as I put it before when things didn’t turn out quite so well.

I would also like to add one other point that I think holds a lot of relevance for us here, regarding 9/11. That after the events of that day, I remember thinking to myself, when would it be okay to be happy again? When would it be okay to smile? I remember that if something came up and say, I found something funny and I laughed, or I smiled. Then the feeling just brought back the memories of what had happened. I’m like, well it doesn’t feel right to be happy right now. There’s this horrible tragedy that happened. I shouldn’t, I have no reason to be happy if there was so much suffering. 

I think this is important lesson I learned, even as a youngster at the time, a teenager. Tragedy happens all the time and we can’t let it dominate us. We have to move on, you have to move forward. In a way, we essentially move on by being happy, by celebrating these good things in life, because there’s so many horrible things out there. By celebrating the good, by defending it, by protecting it, by doing what is right, we are actually doing a service towards all those who may have lost their lives, who have suffered by progressing for. We have to always try to improve in that way. And I think that’s a valuable lesson that I learned as a result.

Fabian:  I love that you said that. It’s fascinating to think that you already were thinking those thoughts as a kid still, you were so young. I mean, I feel like the recurring theme with you in all these episodes, but you were putting this harshness on you. And I mean, why can’t you be happy because everything around you is going to hell? It’s something that is crazy to think about, but you know so many people think that. It’s an important lesson that those things don’t necessarily  have to be mutually exclusive. Just because something bad happened around you doesn’t mean that you can’t be happy, it doesn’t mean that you are dismissing it or disrespecting it. It just means that you’re living your life and it’s already been impacted, but you got to live it still. And I think that’s something that everyone can listen to and learn from. 

But I find it super interesting that you had this lesson, but at the same time, in the last episode, we talked about your issues of moving on and dwelling. So it goes to show you that it’s not so black and white. That there’s, uh, pieces where you learned that and that you did it and then there’s other things that you couldn’t move on. And you still dwelled and you weren’t able to smile and just be, like, okay. That’s super interesting to me that for some things you could and some things you couldn’t. And it goes to show you that there’s a lot of complexity to every single person and every single situation. 

With that said, it sounds to me like overall, we could define Colorado was a great experience. It was an opportunity for us to really get to know ourselves pretty well. We identified, more so now than ever, with the American culture, with the English language, with this group of people. We were happy, we were thriving, things looked amazing. We could still go to Mexico, we could go to Germany, we could practice our language. Everything was going well. And then a major thing happened. My dad comes to us, I remember he invited us to our kitchen to sit down and be like, Hey, we’re gonna have to move again. And that’s when everything changed. 

And we’re going to stop here because you will find out next episode where we move to and all that came to that. I would be very curious to hear about you Alejandro, but for me, I was excited. But also because it was a new place and new opportunity to do things and figure out a new home and get new furniture and have new experiences. But at the same time, it was like, wait, this is, this is home. This really was home.

And I think, I think that’s going to be one of the themes for next episode. How, how, how, how do you define home? What is home for you? And that’s what we’re going to talk about next episode. So, um, any closing thoughts before we say goodbye to our audience?

Alejandro: Any closing thoughts? These conversations are really just so fascinating, if you really think about it. I mean on one hand you could say, Oh, I’m just talking about my life. What could be so interesting about that, but really these experiences just, uh, not everyone has them. And there are a lot of things that I’m grateful for, especially reflecting upon it now. That we’ve been able to exposed to different cultures, which I think will definitely come up in our next episode. So stay tuned on that. 

And I feel like, I mean so much about the self-reflection here. These are a lot of things that are that I’ve thought about, we’ve discussed, but I mean, like you said, we haven’t really done this deep dive before to this extent.

Then starting to see some of these things in a new light, from a new perspective. And I mean, we’ve talked, but have we really had this real talk like we’re really having now? That’s the thing, that’s the thing. And this is a learning experience as much for you viewers, as it is for us. About, about ourselves here, we haven’t discussed a lot of these things and this is a really interesting and exciting opportunity here that I’m, I’m glad you’re, you’re a part of.

Fabian: Perfect. Well, I appreciate you Alejandro. Thanks for being open. Thanks for sharing your experiences, telling your story. Always super insightful, enlightening, emotional, but at the end of the day, it’s powerful to hear these experiences.  I’m excited that you, the viewers, get to learn about this and hear this with us. Because as my brother said, this is not something that you will just sit down  and talk about when you’re having lunch or dinner.  I mean why not? You should, but it’s just, it’s not how we were raised is not how human culture really is. You don’t have these deep conversations most of the time.

And we’re looking to change that. We’re looking to get people to get to this authenticity, to get comfortable with being vulnerable. So at the end of the day, yeah, it’s kind of scary at first. It feels a little weird. You feel like, Oh, should I say that? But then once you do, it’s rewarding. You start thinking about stuff and you realize that even those not so good times and not so good moments, for example 9/11, had some positive changes in your life. It changed your course, it changed your mindset. 

And that’s really a good takeaway, it really summarizes this episode for me. Is that even in the dark times, in the negatives that there could be a change of path.  This happened, it sucked, but it opened a new road for you. And that, that is powerful. 

So with that said, it’s been a pleasure having you guys.  Please subscribe, follow us, keep commenting. Tell us what you like, what has been going well, what hasn’t.  We love your feedback. We appreciate it because at the end of the day, this is Real Talk. So we dish it out, we got to take it. And with that, we’ll see you guys next time.  I would love to hear some of your guesses on what was the next place that we moved to. Right Alejandro?

Alejandro: That’s right. Should prove interesting.

Fabian: See you guys!