“It was challenging because I was 22 trying to figure out who I was and how to be a parent to a teenage girl. My parents decided to move to Fresno and she was just starting her freshman year in high school. We all knew the move wouldn’t be good for my sister so that’s when I decided to have her move in with me.
It was challenging, I had to do a lot of growing and hard talks with her. There were some tough patches where she would live with me but we didn’t talk very much. But I definitely grew from it and it made our relationship stronger.
I have a difficult time with how masculinity is defined. I think it stems from me having a hard time with how my culture defines it. It’s been a process but I’m okay with not following certain norms just because I know that’s not me.
I think gender expectations shouldn’t be a part of it. I was also a student-athlete in high school and college, so I‘ve seen one extreme of it where there is a sense of hyper-masculinity.
You have to be the loudest and be the biggest person in the room. Even though I’m 6’10” I’ve never really been that guy and I’m okay with that.
TATTOOS REALLY REPRESENT ME STARTING TO OWN WHO I AM...
I guess the tattoos really represent me starting to own who I am. I’ve been told many times to hide them in the professional environment. But if someone doesn’t want to hire me because of this then I wouldn’t want to work for them.
I am much more than my tattoos. They’re personal to me and represent different parts and stages of me. I’m ok with wearing them because I’m
comfortable sharing or sharing to an extent. It’s about me owning who I was, who I am, and who
I will be.
When I went to Greece it was the first time I went off by myself. I had always wanted to take a solo trip. It was much needed because I wasn’t on anyone else’s time. In part, I was also able to reflect on what I wanted for myself. I was able to think a lot, write a lot, and see a lot. I like to watch people and places.
A part of who I am is drawn to storytelling and hearing people’s experiences. We had some good talks and I wrote parts of them down just so that I could remember the experiences there.”