PODCAST: Inspired by estate-sale journal find, XOXO Gina centers on the female experience

PODCAST: Inspired by estate-sale journal find, ‘XOXO Gina’ centers on the female experience

Debut episode recounts host’s experience coming across deceased woman’s diary

“XOXO Gina” is a podcast created by women for women as a space to share their stories as well as individuals who seek understanding on topics relating to the female experience in an ever-changing world.

“XOXO Gina” is hosted and produced by San Diego City College film major Frida Tellez.

Can’t access the recording? Click here. Keep reading for the transcript created by otter.ai or click here.


Frida 0:01
Hi, welcome to the first episode of Xoxo Gina.

I’m your host, Frida Tellez. And before we get into who I am and whatnot, I want to tell you the story behind the podcast. Most importantly, I wanted to answer what is probably the biggest question you have so far. Where’s Gina? Well, I would like to start off by saying, I never actually met Gina. She’s the deceased owner of a journal I found while estate sale-ing.

In April of this year, I went to the estate sale of a Betty Boop collector in Spring Valley with my roommate. When we arrived, we realized pretty quickly that the Betty Boop items were really expensive. So we did start looking around the house, you know, kitchen, bedroom, office, etc. And we’re walking around taking in everything that made up this woman’s life, you know, a room
filled with Christmas decorations, the three boxes of blue and purple hair dye she had in her bathroom, the infinite amount of purple lipsticks. But the thing that stood out to me the most was that she captioned her pictures.

Yeah, like the ones hung on her walls. She captioned them like comic strips, and I found it very endearing. And I remember making my way through her home and coming to a stop in the living room, getting ready to pay for the things that I’d collected only for the lady who organized the sale to tell me “Oh, have you taken a look through the books? They’re half price” and me being
the bookworm I am, I decided to have a peek. Funny thing though. I’m actually not the person who found the journal. that credit goes to my friend, she had picked it out for the cover, and she hadn’t even bothered to look inside of it until we’d gotten home. And the moment she’d open and realize that she’d bought a diary, we spent no time reading it cover to cover. And with that
came the startling conclusion that regardless of every woman’s individual journey, we’re all tied together through womanhood. We’re all born and then we’re little girls until one day, we’re not, we become young ladies. And even though we’re not adults, we aren’t children anymore. After that you become this being who’s played with all the triumphs and miseries that come with being
a woman. It’s a universal experience, a phenomenon that transcends cultures, languages, ages. So it got me thinking, if I could create a space for women to share these experiences and moments they feel alone, then those listening can find understanding or community. Now that you have background, allow me to introduce myself again. My name is Frida Tellez, and I’m many things. I’m a daughter, a sister, a godmother, a girlfriend.

I’m a 24-year-old Chicana film major here at City College. And I’m from a small town in the high desert. I’ve only been living in San Diego for about a year and a half now. But there wasn’t any room for growth there. And I knew that if I stayed I’d just continue making excuses for myself working jobs I hated and living only for my weekends, not really living my life.

And that’s not to say I hate Lancaster. I love my little town with all my heart. But I wanted more than the tiny life I was living. And when I left, I remember feeling so guilty, even with my mother’s blessing. And I felt so guilty for leaving her behind and leaving her alone. And sometimes that guilt still eats away at me. And on the days that I can’t find it in myself to get up.
And everything’s wrong. And I’m so frustrated. I don’t know whether I want to scream or sob. I get up day after day again and again. Because I’m living the life my mother dreamt of at my age. And I try my hardest to keep going because when she talks about me back home, I want her to do it with joy on her face and pride in her voice.

And this is just a snippet of my journey. But if you’re listening to this, and you felt the same way. I see you and I understand.

That was our first episode. Thank you so much for listening. And as a little treat, I’ve decided to read you a passage from Gina’s journal. So here we go. Dear God. Talk about the perfect title for a journal… Life. What a roller coaster it’s been lately. I’m so happy yet so sad. I’m lonely, I feel ugly and I’ve made the people I work with mad. I care too little about Julia and grandma, and too much about my future, money and assets.

I want so badly to make it for show, security, etc. And that’s ridiculous. And I think it has something to do with my lack of confidence within myself. I’m so easily affected by the thoughts and reactions of others. I hate myself for that. Please help me to find someone if that’s your will, Lord. Sometimes I think I’m so ready. And other times I know I’m not either way, get my mind off of Alex because I don’t even know them. And they interfere with my work. Plus they mess up my head. Besides, I think I’m too emotionally unstable to get involved with anyone right now. Please be with me, Lord, open my heart so I can feel you. I love you, Gina. And that’s all for our first installment. Thank you so much again for listening. Until next time, Xoxo Gina.

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