9 West Valley View, Avondale, Arizona, Friday, June 1, 2012
Westview grad debuts memoir tonight
by Sara Clawson staff writer
it all. An outsider might believe Julia Garcia had
As a pupil at Pendergast Elementary, Garcia was on the cheer squad, in student government and in the National Junior Honor Society.
She continued to excel at Westview High School, where she was captain of the soccer team and played softball, ran track and cross country and participated in student government.
point average but barely graduated with a 2.6.
She entered high school with a 3.9 grade
“I think I painted this image ... the happier I painted the image, the sadder I felt inside,” Garcia, now 24, said during a recent interview.
“I’m sure they thought I was the happiest person alive, and when you get used to that, then it’s how people know you,” she said. Garcia was far from happy and her recently published book, “Somewhere In Between” describes an internal conflict with self-love, worth and loathing, she said. “It covers a wide variety of topics.
College on a soccer scholarship. She left during her sophomore year when she received a scholarship to play soccer for New York Institute of Technology in New York City.
Everything from divorce to suicidal thoughts to being depressed and sexual assault, addiction — it’s a lot,” she said. “It’s so many different things, but I think what links it all together is that I didn’t know how to cope with anything. You can tell I had no self-respect or self-love and it showed in all the negative things I was doing because I didn’t care about myself and there were a lot of negative consequences because of that.” Garcia graduated from Westview in 2005 and then attended Phoenix Community
Leaving the West Valley allowed her to run from her problems, Garcia said. In the book, which
was published by Morgan-James Publishing, Garcia shares memories of her mother’s pill addiction, her cousin’s death from methadone, and how she was date raped at a house party by “friends.” But in New York
City, her troubles followed.
opportunities to talk about her own story, though. “Even at first, when I was doing
“Somewhere In Between” will offer a book signing at 6 tonight at Barnes and Noble, 1446 N. Litchfield Road in Goodyear. An after party is scheduled at Ground Control, 14140 W. Indian School Road in Goodyear. It begins at 8 p.m.
“When I was chugging down a bottle of vodka, I wasn’t thinking what that was doing to my dreams, my future, my family, myself,” she said. One morning, after she awakened from a drug and alcohol-induced blackout, she was truly faced with the consequences of her actions. The soccer coach told her to enter rehab or get off the team. “She had never truly let anyone inside of her pain before, and she wasn’t convinced that she even could, but she knew there was no other option,” Garcia wrote in her book. “She had grown too accustomed to numbing everything she had felt in her life with drugs, alcohol and sex that she didn’t believe rehab could save her; that anything could, but she knew it was the only option she had left.” She worked the early morning shift at
Starbucks, attended school and then soccer practices before leaving for rehab every day for about five months.
She didn’t use her motivational speaking
Garcia also started to refocus her education and created Truality, a company that offers motivational speaking through the arts.
Book signing Julia Garcia, author of
motivational speaking, I wasn’t talking about my story, I was just motivating,” she said. “I hid. I knew I had a lot to say but I was still ashamed and afraid. It took about two years in the industry to really start opening up.”
Eventually, she started to write her book.
to share that and I hope it will help someone else out,” she said. Her family didn’t know about her internal turmoil, or that she entered rehab, until after the book was finished. Garcia returned to Avondale for about
“This book, I wrote it thinking in my head that no one was going to read it, so that way I could be as honest as possible. When it was done, I felt free of everything and I felt like it was my responsibility
two years to rebuild relationships with her parents, siblings and friends that had been damaged. “I knew that I could never be happy or successful if I didn’t face past demons,” she said. Now, Garcia has once again returned to the
West Valley. This time she’s launching her book tour. “I want to bring the community together because whatever it is that they want to do, if they know someone like me who grew up around the corner can do it, they can too,” she said. To learn more about Garcia or her
motivational company, Truality, visit www. truality.org
. or www.thetrucatalyst.com
Sara Clawson can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
View photo by Michael Clawson
NEW JERSEY AUTHOR AND MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER Julia Garcia sits at her old stomping grounds, Westview High School in Avondale, May 23. Garcia’s first book, “Somewhere In Between,” is her autobiography and features her learning experiences from high school and beyond.
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