Name: Andres Contreras

Social Media Handle/Username:@not.even.that.cool 

Introduce Yourself/Tell About Yourself: My name is Andres. I’m 26. My friends call me Andy for short. I live in Washington where I was born. I am a father to a 6 year old girl(Maggie).

What Inspires You Every day? : I find a lot of inspiration in music. I feel inspired to make genuine connections with new people and make people feel seen/heard. 

What is some words of wisdom you live by?: It’s healthier to let go. Don’t deny yourself the chance to live life fully.

What is your ultimate goal in life? : I want to be a great father to a big family. I want to be a leader in my community, show young adults and anyone willing that there is so much out there to learn. To lead with kindness and openness.

How have you been during the pandemic and how has it affected you? : It’s really been strange. A few of my closest and most involved relationships have been tested. For example, my boss is also one of my closest friends, we have known each other since 7th grade. When this lockdown started we were both naturally worried about the small business we run. We luckily did very well at the start but out of precaution he cut my hours by almost half, to try and ensure that we would stay afloat. We continued to do very well for the months to come, but that did not reflect in my wages. Still to this day things are more or less the same. I work 32 hours a week for $17/hour as a Manager of the small business. I have never been greedy but watching my ex coworker make over $800 a week from unemployment and the bonus that was given out was hard to watch. I remained a loyal employee and in my opinion a loyal friend to my buddy, I didn’t choose to stop working when my peers had, I did what I felt was the right thing, and ultimately lost out on a lot of money. The pandemic has shown me that if I don’t put myself first, other people might say they do but don’t actually. It’s not their job to. 

What is a message you would like to give others? : Do what you feel is right. Love who you want. Don’t be afraid to tell someone how you feel. You are not alone.

What else would you like to tell others about you or your life?: I was in a deep slump for almost 3 years after the mother of my child and I separated(7 year relationship). I felt undeserving, ashamed and overall depressed. I thought she was the one and I blew it. Over the years, I learned things about myself. Learned how to appreciate the things I bring to a relationship. Low after low, disappointment after disappointment, and failure after failure I realized something about myself. I persevere. I think you do to. There is a reason you are here. It might not make sense now. It’s just a matter of time. So allow yourself the space to fail. Feel what you feel. Try not to shy away from the moments that make you feel uncomfortable, you may find something amazing about yourself there. 

I am now in a loving, healthy relationship with an amazing woman. I love you Grace

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