Once in a great while, I am bestowed the gift of time in excess, without any responsibility it its company. The “to-do” list is ignored for a little while, so contemplation can take place. This chemical process is necessary to decompress, add or subtract value, and refocus. With the ending of another year (by Gregorian count, anyway), comes the desire to look back to the past twelve months in both awe and suspicion, criticizing and self-congratulating when appropriate. When one reevaluates their time on this planet, it is natural to calculate the things they’ve done, the places they’ve been, the adventures they’ve had. This is how we have been trained to measure. This year was, for me, replete with such markers of time passing.
My Fiscal Cliff:
In 2012, I became 98% debt free, at the same time that I decided to go back to finish my degree in bilingual/Spanish education. Being debt free by paying off student loans is not something many people are able to enjoy these days. For me, it was the first time I felt free of such an uncomfortable weight in nearly a decade. It took a lot of meditation to decide to go back to college. I’ve always been a lover of academics, of classrooms and note-taking and essays and my amazing skills at procrastination. Suddenly, though, with the perspective of motherhood filtering all my choices, the decision to go back was much more urgent and terrifying. I am able to say it was undoubtedly the best personal decision of the year.
My Musical Career:
In 2012, I started learning to play the guitar. I have always considered myself a musical person. I grew up singing, dancing, mastering and the unmastering the piano. I’ve always wanted to play guitar. And, after a conversation with a dear friend at my son’s first birthday party, it suddenly became a reality. Though my natural outlet for expressing the other side of things is through written language, guitar is for me, an outlet that has become just as vital and just as powerful. It feels, when I play, ancient and profound and terrestrial and human. The skill that I began to learn and will continue to hone as long as I can, was the best gift I received this year.
My Jet-Setting Status:
In 2012, I travelled. This is not (and will never be) an exception. However, this year was one of the most complete when it came to movin’ around. Not including flights to see my family on the East Coast, I was able to take as much advantage of my time as possible. Domestically, I got to know Philadelphia and New York City, as well as new parts of the Midwest. The United States is so big! I’ve lived in many different regions since moving here from Mexico but I still have a never-ending list of where I want to go next. Internationally, I stepped for the first time ever, onto the continent of Africa after first going back to the Old World. This was the most exciting event of 2012. My gypsy ancestors would be excited for me.
My Parental Adventures:
In 2012, I continued to raise my son. Though I work nearly full-time and also am in school, I highlight and celebrate my role as a mother most of all- and the closing of 2012 marks my second year as a mother. Though this is perhaps the most important part of who I am, I will speak of it with the most brevity, simply because I would need an entirely new language to express the joy and love I have for Inka, and our time together. His growing height, skills, and mischievousness teach me new things every day, and I am fortunate to have the opportunity to be around someone who is so full of light.
2012 was also full of horrible things, for me, and for the world. Sadly, there are too many to list, and that list does not belong here anyway. These negative personal and public events are inevitable, however, and also worth contemplating, understanding, and analyzing. Presently though, my aim is to take into the new year, all the lessons I have learned in this one with positivity and balance, abstaining from resentment, fear, or doubt. In my reflections on these cold, gray days, I have wholeheartedly realized how much momentum I carry inside me, and how this momentum has given me chances throughout these twelve months to accomplish more than I thought I had room for. To all those I have had the pleasure of meeting this year, and to all the others that I have loved and continue to love as fiercely as ever, I hope you all have a bit of extra time to sit and weave through the memories this year has befallen you, and can in turn appreciate its pattern and weight. Feliz año nuevo, al mundo entero.