When Christian Phillips looks to his future, he sees a military career, and maybe someday owning his own nostalgia-themed store.
Phillips, who soon will graduate from M.E.A.D. Alternative High School, said nostalgia, vintage clothes and music are his passions. He also hopes to travel the world and find a career where he can serve others.
When he started high school, however, he had a much different mindset, he said.
Starting in middle school, he said, he struggled with loneliness and depression and started spending less time at home and more with new, toxic friends.
Phillips stopped attending class, partied, and eventually transferred from Mead High School to M.E.A.D. Alternative School in his early teens.
“I was kind of just doing what I wanted, being a teenager, thinking that I knew everything,” he said. “I didn’t really care who I was impacting at the time.”
He said the person who was impacted the most, however, was his mother. He said making her sad has always been the last thing he wanted to do. Seeing her upset, he said, was when he realized he needed to try to do things differently.
“As long as she knows I’m doing good and I’m trying,” he said. “That’s all that really matters to me.”
His schoolwork improved his sophomore year and he distanced himself from many of the friends who weren’t willing to change, he said. Now, at 19, he’s close to graduating, has a job at Applebee’s and spends much of his free time browsing record stores and thrift shops for rare finds.
He said owning his own store is still far in his future, but he hopes it will be a way he can meet more people who also love nostalgia and thrifting.
“Stuff made back then was better quality, and the clothes, to me, tell a story,” he said.
Phillips’ mother, Cerrina Crane, said she and her son have been on their own for many years, and she is proud of the person he has become.
“I couldn’t be prouder,” she said. “He’s really, really come a long ways, not without struggle, but he’s definitely pulled himself up and turned himself around.”
She said the family will soon move from Mead to the Shadle Park area, while Phillips works and prepares for the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test.
Phillips said his father and older brother are Army veterans, but he hopes to join the Air Force. He said his mother’s boyfriend, Scott, traveled the world during his Air Force career.
Phillips said he’s lived in the Pacific Northwest all his life, and he hopes the military will give him a chance to explore places he’s never been.
“I forget that there’s a world outside of Spokane that’s so much bigger,” he said.
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