List of Promises (Bi-Monthly Report): SoCal Getaway Brought New Motivation
Getting away for 11 days was the break I needed and I bring back a whole new level of motivation as summer is coming soon. Personal goals have also been looking pretty promising, so safe to say this edition is positive without any legitimate concerns.
I've been brushing it off, but the new and improved site with my personal domain will come by June, so consider it the last under the Wix banner.
Okay, let's get on with my bi-monthly report. After nearly three years of unwanted baggage and frustration being at home, I felt that not only going to Long Beach, reporting and taking photos for Motorsports Tribune, was going to be special, but also the beginning of being at peace with myself. At least for 11 days.
Getting the opportunity to juggle both photography and covering the track activities panned out really well. Felt amazing being able to capture photos that are resume worthy. Maybe a bit overboard (1106 photos up on Facebook to be exact), but that's what happens when you get credentialed taking photos for the first time.
When I left Long Beach, a bit sudden since I had to get to Los Angeles before 6:30pm, I left with no regrets. May have lost a hat I purchased, but everything I wanted to accomplish, was accomplished with success.
Knowing that I was going to be at Long Beach for the IndyCar race weekend, I felt that going to San Diego and its surroundings (ex. La Jolla, Mission and Ocean Beach) after the grand prix madness, would serve me well.
During my KUOI days, I've said countless times that I will make a trip down there. This year felt it was the time to turn talk into reality, and found some new resounding passions that I've never had or even missed.
Face the music, I suck at karting. Even got angry at other drivers, but at least I knew that I was piss poor and moved out of the way. Had some time to spare in trying vegetables and having quality cereal before leaving for my next adventure and going to bed. My body felt great, but you know what made me feel that way even more?
That damn bike at Mission Beach. Spent two days, blasting quality music (dudes appreciated some Pantera, which I found comical) and rode for about a grand total of 10 hours. I felt alive than I haven't felt in years that isn't about motorsports or my career.
Perhaps my biggest takeaway, is understanding that I have a ways to go on my personal needs. Whether it's five, 10 or even 50 years, life is a growing process. I may not be satisfied on my career and being at home for a long time, I know that a payoff will come soon.
At least that's what I hope, and I shall just be proud, live the moment and again, have fun. Being at the track and taking a vacation got me to think about those life elements. Maybe because I was able to tap my potential without any restrictions that really helped, but it was a vibe. Where I got myself to think about life and how far I've come from being nothing after Idaho. I may say I'm at my peak, that not only it's genuine, but physically, mentally and emotionally. Not bad for a 24-year-old man.
Now back at home, waiting to catch Avengers: Endgame later today (as I'm writing this), reality of all realities kicked in being in Washington. There's some changes on how I view things, and while I'm still not in the greatest terms with my father, I'm more focused on what lies ahead and simply myself that I think will bode well as spring is near its climax.
With that being said, here's my progress as of April 25, 2019:
Promise No. 1: 500 Miles (Completed)
I can't express enough how this photo epitomizes Daytona's wicked nature. The strong crowd, the sun setting and a driver's dream of winning ending at the snap of a finger. In this case, getting involved in a huge wreck that's out of your control like Daniel Suarez went through.
Reflecting back on my trip to Daytona in February, I've felt that the Sunday afternoon where I felt overwhelmed with frustration and embarrassment carrying over back home. Especially two weeks later when NASCAR hit Las Vegas.
Rather than venting about that weekend, I learned a whole lot. Sometimes, no matter how hard you work or covered this big story, it may not mean jack shit to others, especially higher ups. To be frank, that mindset bothered me for the longest of time, but maybe not thinking about it when I went to Long Beach proved me that everything is going to be alright.
I just focused on what I do best when I'm at the track. Write, take photos and make the most out of my social media accounts I have access. These little things like updates on Twitter, mostly for the site I write for, were key. I know that's my plan going into Texas in June and any race I'll be covering this year.
Daytona is just a learning curve that I needed and sure, I may need to work on polishing my questions where I don't choke or keep the tone at neutral, it served me well in my prospering media career.
Accomplished: Covering the entire Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway.
Promise No. 2: Profiling with the Videoscope (Slow Progress)
I've done a video project, which I'll mention shortly, but nothing yet on making videos focusing on people.
There may be some time in the coming months to make it happen, but it's something that can't be rushed. Maybe there's a decent chance over the next month or two, but as the old saying goes, expect the unexpected.
Promise No. 3: Eastbound and Down (Completed)
Being back on the West Coast was a bit of a transition after a week in Daytona over two months ago, one of the things I had to get used to is Pacific Standard Time again. It was a grind adapting into the Eastern Standard Time and constantly threw me off when I was at the track.
It's unlikely I'll hit the East Coast this year, maybe not until either Daytona or Indianapolis next year, but it was nice experiencing a different coast.
Accomplished: Going to Florida from February 12-18
Promise No. 4: SoCal Vibes (Completed)
My trip in SoCal summed up in one single photo. A fun obstacle. Much like the Porsche 911 IMSA GTLM No. 911 entry going around Long Beach Friday morning.
I'll give you a rundown of how my schedule went in 11 days (my Instagram documents it from a visual point of view):
April 10: Left Seattle, arrived in LAX. Then headed to Long Beach before hitting Beverly Hills to do a photo shoot. Not that long after, I catch a Clippers game at the STAPLES Center, which was huge and eye-popping, before getting back to my place in the LBC.
April 11: Covered the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame, where Will Power and Sebastien Bourdais were inducted, and interviewed a few IndyCar drivers. Stayed in Long Beach for "Thursday Thunder," where Carlin's Max Chilton and Patricio O'Ward's pit teams demonstrated a pit stop and saw motorbikes doing amazing jumps.
April 12: Struggled finding an area to take photos until the closing stages of IMSA practice. Once I found how to get to Turns 9-11, the rest was history. Wrote a few articles, including Jarett Andretti's announcement of running at Indianapolis. After an eventful day, I came by to see Emily nearby Huntington Beach.
April 13: IndyCar qualifying and the IMSA race dominated Saturday before taking an impromptu, last-minute visit to Torrance and spent the night at Dave and Buster's.
April 14: Cram Day. Set up a game plan to cover the IndyCar race, write two articles, take photos at Turn 1 of the opening laps before heading back to the media center (took me 28 minutes). Afterwards, hit victory lane with 10 to go, so I can get a decent spot for photos and was only going to stay for the main celebration, not the podium ceremonies. Once all of that was done, I sprinted back to the media center for podium interviews. Wrote the articles and by 5pm, I was done and on my way to Los Angeles, to see Cailtin. Came back to the LBC hours later and spent the last night packing.
April 15: Left Long Beach and grabbed the bus to San Diego. Dropped my stuff at the guesthouse at La Jolla, grabbed groceries, dropped that off and went to Petco Park. I went to the Padres game just for a foam finger (Drake & Josh reference), okay to see some baseball.
April 16: Spent the whole day at Mission Beach, where I rode the bike from like 1:30-6:00pm. I was able to see golden hour and said to myself, "I think I'm going to like this place."
April 17: Rode the bike some more at Mission Beach before seeing Megan, Nick and Tom at Ocean Beach. Bomb ass Turkish taco at the market and had the biggest slice of pizza of them all.
April 18: Visited Old Town before racing some karts in Downtown San Diego. Finally, as that one cover title The xx did, I had a chance to visit La Jolla Cove. Was hoping to see a nice golden hour, but the cloud covers changed that ideal vision. Either way, it was a vibe.
April 19: Went back to Ocean Beach and had some salmon tacos at Mike's. Suddenly, the day consisted of watching "The Office" for the first time and didn't took long to be invested into the show. Came back to the guesthouse and reflected on my time in Southern California, might've played "The Night We've Met" (that one 13 Reasons Why song) for a few minutes.
April 20: Quick stop at Little Italy before going to the airport, where I said farewell to the area. Arrived back in Everett, WA past 5pm.
If that's not a tour, then I don't know what I described to you is. Wouldn't change a thing.
Accomplished: Going to Long Beach and San Diego from April 10-20
Promise No. 5: Autism Awareness (Completed)
I knew that I was going to end up using my sunrise video from Daytona Beach somewhere. Wasn't really expecting it to be in a video discussing autism awareness, but it worked out well.
Since 2017, I've wanted to do a video about autism. A video where I talked about the struggles and how me and others think others view the subject matter. Last year, I was more disappointed of not accomplishing this goal.
Out of all promises, I think this one was my proudest because this year was the year to share my own speech. The video footage was supposed to be different. It was supposed to have me walking, wearing different attires to represent my words. That didn't worked out, and so I went with a different plan.
As some have saw, it's just footage I got on Valentine's morning at Daytona Beach. Felt like a peaceful and relaxing footage that doesn't feature anyone will work well. I would've also liked to have other people say some lines, but personally, saying my words have a stronger impact and stuck with that plan.
The responses were great and as were the YouTube comments. It brought new hope getting myself back into creating original videos. I'm thrilled to get this promise done, which now leaves me one more that's been on the shelf for twice as long.
Accomplished: Posting the video before April 2nd and came with rave reviews
Promise No. 6: Last Note of Freedom (Preview Being in SoCal)
Ignoring the tractor, everything about this photo I took at La Jolla when it was pushing 7pm was how I envisioned it would be like during my radio days.
Not thinking about home or the problems I'm battling was a true breath of fresh air.
It brought me back to the better days at Idaho, but with more freedom. Allowing myself to get some me time, and not worrying about anything proved to be the medicine I needed for new confidence now that I'm back.
I felt healthier. I felt more open and maybe a bit smart. My genuine self was back. Now I just need to channel it back home and all will be phenomenal.
Promise No. 7: Driving at Last (In Progress)
Figured to hit the book once again and aim to get that elusive dream at around June. That should give me some time to have some driving experience before early August. It's pretty straightforward at this point.
Promise No. 8: Bi-Monthly Reports (In Progress)
Felipe Albuquerque after a hard fought victory at the BUBBA Burger Sports Car Grand Prix in Long Beach. This photo showcased how excruciating the world of racing can be, and when you're on top, it's a huge sigh of relief.
There's been some changes into my racing schedule, but it's for the better. Not just because it'll probably some sanity for the family, but also not be an issue at my other job.
I know Texas (IndyCar) will be the next race. Sonoma (NASCAR) should remain unchanged, but the month of July may be open as the idea of possibly hitting Iowa (IndyCar) may not happen. So the next race after Sonoma will be Portland (IndyCar). That's when the remaining races are still up in the air as to which one I may go.
The races in September I'm not sure which one I may give it a go are Las Vegas (NASCAR), Laguna Seca (IndyCar) and the Charlotte Roval (NASCAR).
One thing is certain, the last race will be Phoenix in early November. That is the plan at the moment. Homestead is a definite TBD at the moment, but Phoenix is a definite circle on my calendar. Not because it's another NASCAR race under my belt, but also the K&N West finale.
If I somehow do go to Iowa, may give me more time on a big project I'm working on. It'll start at Texas and no, I'm not spoiling the project.
Promise No. 9: Photography Expansion (In Progress)
When I wrote this caption on an Instagram post, I used a Beverly Hills, 90210 reference. That's because I'm still actively watching the series (almost done with Season 4 of 10): I may not be a Walsh or a McKay or a Sanders, let alone a Silver, but one thing is certain, the SoCal environment has its glitz and glamour. I think that's right, but who am I saying such statement. I'm just Luis, a man who's following his dream and exploring new ventures a day at a time.
At the moment, taking photos at Long Beach is part of the expansion and totally loved doing that on the side. It's a way to keep from being bored or freaking out on not having anything to do at the track.
Outside of racing, I have some projects in the works that will fulfill this promise. Even if it does get accomplished early, it won't mean that I'll stop expanding my horizons. Stay tuned on my projects when I get the new and smoother website up come June.
Promise No. 10: Belongingness
As I've alluded on accomplishing the autism awareness video, this is the one video that's been on the shelf for years now. Not sure when that'll come into fruition.
This time around, I'm not aiming for a July date, but hopefully it can be accomplished before the decade wraps up.
Promise No. 11: Building a Connecting Audience (In Progress)
I figured I took the chance of appearing in a video. Quite a memorable episode as well.
Kind of getting there, but far from feeling that I've reached an audience and following to put that little check mark on this promise. Got a minor bump in follows on Twitter after appearing on the "NASCAR Weekly Podcast."
I think once the summer stretch arrives and wraps up, I'll have a great feeling as to my audience is really there for me or I have a long ways to go of getting over.
Am I over? Not exactly, but I'm willing to accept the progress and hope that boom happens. Outside of Daytona, I tend to have a boom on my posts on Twitter, either my account (@TheLTFiles) or MT's twitter (@MotorsportsTrib). So there's that.
Promise No. 12: Pitch Memoir Project
To be frank, I must figure this out soon and see if I can get someone to publish my story and ongoing journey. Only setback is the starting and end point that I'm willing to share that shows what I've been through over the years.
As one person told me, it's doable, but I'll say this, it's going to be a stretch. I'm no author with connections. My world is motorsports media at the moment, but it can change.
Promise No. 13: Securing a Home (In Progress, For Now)
Waiting on a shopping statement to get there via mail. Otherwise, the progress is slow but we have a place in mind that should end the dark days and start all over. I'm confident that we will move into a new place and begin the true progress of feeling legit and free to do other projects that I just can't right now. Besides, I know that I'll have some ownership, which will feel splendid.
At the same time, my desire of leaving Washington is still active as I must leave to pursuit my career like I want to pursuit it. Will see how that goes in the coming months, maybe years.
Promise No. 14: Knowing My Worth (In Progress)
After a rough winter, spring has been hectic but a step in the right direction. The break is what I needed. Being at an IndyCar race for the first time this season, has also been something that I needed. Now, I need to channel my relaxation into anything at home to make it a better environment for myself. If all goes well from now until my next post in June, 2019 may be better than 2018.
That being said, until we meet again - I gotta go and see Endgame right now...
For now, doubt me if you insist, prove me wrong if I give consent.