We had the good fortune of connecting with Jhonatan Jaquez Díaz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jhonatan, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
A JOURNEY IN ITS COURSE Jhonatan it’s my name, the name that my parents gave me when they didn’t have an a clue on how that small vulnerable kid would turn out to be. Being Jhonatan it’s not an easy job.. being Jhonatan is like being Willam James Sidi and the daredevil
It wasn’t always like that, at the age of 12 I was a lonely kid, shy with not a lot of friends but always remained different from everyone else, with the ability to perform tasks that others couldn’t.
When I turned fourteen years old that’s when I started high school, I began to come out of my comfort zone and this is were things started to be different, I had more friends lived new experiences and new feelings
At the age of 14,was the point in my life where sports began, those being baseball and cycling. During this time I would study and also work on my dream of becoming a professional baseball player, on top of that being at war with the lack of education that I had, under a mediocre system where the coach suggested that studying wasn’t necessary and my full time should go to my sports. That is when I made a key decision in my life, I had two options, focus on sports or school I decided to stay in school and leave my time outside of that for other things, because my mind was always in the future not present, my focus was on school not everything else. The sports for me was just an adventure because I did it as a passion, I did it because it’s part of my culture
And yes I did it, after almost 7 years of being here and there, many trainings, a lot of try outs, many let downs with that came good days and bad days. July 2nd of 2017 at the age of 20 I signed a contract with the team in Arizona Diamond Backs and I became a professional baseball player. Within those two years that I was with the team, I faced a lot of challenges, I learnt many new things and really understood what it was to have a bad game and go to bed thinking that the next day things would be better, I can say that it was a good experience in which I learnt to be more demanding with myself, I learned to understand that everyday it was a blank page where you can write your own story, it was a short part of my life, after two years of signing the contract the team released me and it felt like all my hard work was useless, seeing the disappointment in my parents face was the hardest thing for me to do
It felt like the team didn’t appreciate me, my discipline and hard work, despite that I kept going, moving forward without worrying about baseball, because at the end of the day I was just a person that could be thrown away at any moment.
A little bit after that I decided to stop playing baseball, I thought that God decided that wasn’t the path for me, then I listened to that, accepted it wasn’t my path
I spent around three years in different job occupations in which I was never happy because I don’t accept things to be done badly, if something is wrong I will be the first to say that it’s wrong because I am an honest and direct person, those jobs occupations were not an exception and they were not made for me.During that time I started college, started studying electric engineering, I had all online classes because it was a little bit after starting the COVID-19 pandemic. Another decision appeared, which was whether to stop or keep going, finish, I decided to keep going and it was very challenging under the pandemic but I was able to succeed in my studies
Now I will talk about the riskiest decisions and most important decision in my life
About 8 months ago I had the opportunity of taking a job, but not just any job, a job outside of my country, in another word literally, it was an opportunity that took me for surprise especially because I wasn’t ready, I wasn’t sure and I wasn’t very trusting on the situation, because this opportunity required me to leave in another country where I don’t have a family close to me where I wouldn’t speak the language, it was a whole new world for me
It was something so unexplainable, because I had little time to decide and little time to get ready, I had to do everything that was necessary, I had to ask for borrowed money, I had to ask for suggestions and ask how that other country was, I was heading there… but the hardest part of the process came
Leaving my family, leaving my mother, my father, my brother was the saddest part for me, making the decision of leaving everything behind, everything I started, literally my life, my friends, all my hard work, my accomplishments to start from 0 in an unknown world.
It has been 8 months since I made that decision, which has marked my life before and after, because despite the fact that I came into a unknown world, I feel as if I should of been born here, it sounds crazy but yes, maybe everything that I did before in my life was the door to the room of what was waiting for me. Here I am able to be me, work in what I like to do, I met special people that if I had to describe I would say that those people would be angels from God. I would never regret the decision of coming here, because that decision is taking me to where I want to go and who I want to be, I want to be big, an individual that others recognize, have influence in people to use that influence and be able to change the educational system in my country, I want to use the influence to fight for equality, I want to be that angel that God sends for others, where people pray to that angel and ask him for things with a lot of faith.
In short, after being here in the United States many things have happened and my life has changed in many ways, I am achieving goals that when I was in my country would never be possible, now I am a model and actor in New York City, every day I learn more English, every day I meet new people who open doors for me and definitely all of this is the result of having made that decision in my life, leaving everything and starting from scratch. Thank you for the opportunity, I hope this story can serve as inspiration for those people who have not decided yet, who have doubts or fear of failure, failure should be the fuel that fuels the desire of each day to move forward and pursue our dreams.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a person who is super demanding with myself, every day I challenge myself, I am not a perfectionist, no matter what position I hold, I always try to be the best, I currently work as an organization manager in a pharmacy.
That is my part-time job, in my other time I look for jobs that are in the area of modeling or acting, give as an extra for films or short films, or photo sessions with brands or products
It is easy for me, because now I am doing things that I like, the challenges become my fuel, the main challenge for me has been the language, at first it was difficult for me to communicate but with what little I have I can understand a lot english, and speak it.
I would like to be a person used as an example, that people are inspired by my story, and that they can realize that everything is possible if you propose it, perhaps not today, perhaps not tomorrow, but one day I will be great.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Wow, how difficult, I have been in so many beautiful places and with great people, the first stop would be a visit to meet my beautiful grandmother, I love her with all my heart, everyone has to know her because she is love at its best splendor .. Then I would take them to visit beautiful places that my country has, beautiful beaches, beautiful fields and we would end up eating pizza in an Italian restaurant, why is it my favorite food..
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to thank my family for being the driving force and inspiration for me, my parents for being the example to follow, for teaching me to always do things in the best way, to respect the elderly, to listen to advice and above all to help those who need it .
to my manager Nacho Díaz Sacamoto, for teaching me a bit of Japanese culture, to work hard and understand that obstacles are only in the mind and can be overcome.
and last but not least, to all my friends, close people who have always believed in me and supported me in everything I decided to do in my life.
Other: On these two platforms I share 95% of my work
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