Nicolas Palomino, a 26 old fitness enthusiast from Los Angeles, works in the Casino Industry. He tells us more about his job: “I’m a Gaming Associate. I watch card game tables to make sure card games follow procedure and watch money payouts to players.”
Today, Nicolas is living his life to the fullest, making the most of each moment. But, his childhood wasn’t the same. He was afraid to be around people. He always wore long sleeve shirts or tried wearing long socks. As a teen in high school, Nicolas wanted to join so many different clubs, but just having to meet new people scared him. Reason? Vitiligo.
Nicolas had his first encounter with vitiligo at the age of 6 – a difficult time when his parents were splitting up. He recalls tough times, “During your childhood, you’re curious and learning about life and everything around you. You want to go out with your friends, jump in some pools during the summer. Unfortunately, it wasn’t like that for me. I feel like growing up I missed out a lot because my vitiligo held me back.”
Nicolas experienced bullying growing up from elementary to high school. “As a child, it’s very difficult to deal with bullying because I really couldn’t do much about it, but cry. As I grew older I began to accept it a little bit more. Although it would make me feel down, I tried my best to keep myself together by looking at the pros. I was a very healthy kid with a roof over my head which is what my dad would tell me to make me feel better.”
Nicolas says it took him a very long time for me to finally accept it. “I would say it wasn’t till last year (2018) that I decided to truly embrace it. I got tired of living a life full of regrets where my vitiligo decided what I could and couldn’t do. I look at all the people that inspire me and realized that they also had hardships and that they also had to overcome those hardships to get where they are now. So, I told myself that if they could do it, why can’t I?”
Today, Nicolas is very comfortable with his vitiligo and individuality. “I feel I have reached a level of acceptance because this is the life I was given and I will make the best of it. And, I’m glad that I was able to have vitiligo because it helped me become the person I am today. Yes, it has been rough, but I wouldn’t change it for anything else,” says the gaming associate who considers Christian Guzman, a Fitness YouTuber his ultimate inspiration. “He motivates and inspires by showing us that if you work hard and not care what people think about your beliefs, you can accomplish anything. Christian is indeed a true role model who has pushed me to chase my dreams.”
We asked Nicolas to leave us with a message for fellow vitiligo fighters. Well, he indeed had something insightful to share, “I’ve learned to truly love myself and all my imperfections. I’ve learned to be comfortable with myself and what I wear. You, too, can do the same. In the end, we’re only given one life. We chose how to live it then why not make the best of it. Why not go out and do whatever your heart desires. Live it to the fullest and don’t let anything hold you back.”