We had the good fortune of connecting with Jose Diaz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jose, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Since moving to LA, balancing work, music, and personal life has been a tough yet educational journey. Throughout my life, I always enjoyed music as a passionate hobby. As I got older and the time came to decide what I wanted to do and be in life, it was clear I wanted to further my career in audio engineering. Time management has never been a friend of mine but becoming fully independent, moving across the country with a couple friends, and paying my own bills opened my eyes to how capable I really am of obtaining everything I want. In 2018, we made the move to Hollywood. Leaving behind our friends and loved ones was the first hard step to achieving our goals. “Hollywood year” was difficult to say the least. There were great moments, but there were also terrible moments. While working 2-3 jobs, I put myself through school at The Musicians Institute. In all honesty, that was probably the easy part. Home life included 7 roommates in a 2 bedroom apartment, including my now wife who worked 2 jobs. while being the “house mom”. Differences in morals and goals for the future lead to the group splitting up.
In 2019, we moved to North Hollywood. Balance was easier to keep with fewer stressors and outside factors that would normally make juggling work life and personal life difficult. We had jobs we liked, a pool we loved to be in and cook around, and our families got to visit and relax with us. Aside from little irritants, “NoHo year” seemed to be going very smoothly. In retrospect, any difficulties we faced here were small compared to the year that would follow.
In 2020, we had been in North Hollywood for about 8 months when COVID 19 broke out. It was a crazy time as we had never faced such uncertainty, let alone so far away from our support systems. My mother-in-law decided to make the drive from Indiana to California to be with us while we tried to navigate our next steps. During the same week she arrived we had all been furloughed from our jobs along with the millions of others going through the same difficult times. The night before Los Angeles was set to shut down we decided it was best to head back to our roots until everything settled back down. The 4 of us got up early the next morning, picked up and packed the uhaul with all of our belongings, and got on the road. Meanwhile, my sister-in-law and her boyfriend got to work setting up the house to temporarily move us back in. 32 straight through hours later we arrived back in Indiana.
Throughout the past 13 months, moments in time have allowed me to slow down and work on the important things to me. Being able to reprioritize my life has been the biggest blessing so far. We have been very blessed to be able to keep ourselves and our families “above water”. While we watched and prayed for those who had the worst year of their lives, we thanked God for blessing us with the means to stay busy, happy, and healthy along side those we love most in the world. Sometimes in order to “keep the balance”, you have to slow down and step back, reprioritize.
As you grow and go through the best times and the worst times, you learn how to navigate work and life in a way that keeps your mind level and sound.
Finally in 2021, we are back and settled in LA, returned to our jobs, and managing time based on the priorities that only move us forward towards all the goals we have put in place for the future.
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 dedicate my shout out to my friends and family. The people that have been here, supporting me since day one; My mom and step-dad who have always been so supportive of my music. I had a super broken laptop my sister passed down to me and I downloaded FL Studio on it. At first all I was making were a bunch of sounds but my mom and step dad would always give me supporting words and ideas. My sisters, Claudia, Veronica, and I bonded as kids over music. I would play drums while they sang karaoke to some of our favorite songs. Also to my wife and my in-laws, knowing I not only have the support of my family but a bonus family as well is pretty awesome. Lastly to my large circle of amazing friends, you all know who you are,