On December 31, 2017 at 10 pm eastern time, I hugged my parents, yelled feliz año nuevo, and made my way to the rest of the family. It was midnight in Chile and that was our first celebration of the night. The following celebrations happened between 10pm and 11:45 pm when a few family members began finishing up their 2018 vision boards and sharing them. I learned something new about every family member:
- Papá has always participated in the life of his local church. I grew up watching him visit the elderly, take care of the sick, and prepare inspirational sermons. What I didn't know was that he wants to take more guitar lessons and his progress is happening en la iglesia. #RockStarDad
- My suegrita had pictures of two banks and said she hopes to switch banks because the current one she's with supports the border wall (CEO of Chase Bank invested in Sterling Construction Company in 2017 and is funding and profiting from private immigration prisons) #WokeFam
- My sobrina, a senior in high school, will be off to college this year. I know all about her college application process but now learned about her 2018 goals around music and photography.
It all started for me when Klay Williams, a friend and lifestyle consultant, encouraged me to reflect on what I wanted for my life one year and live with purpose. Even though challenges exist, and oppressive institutional practices are pervasive, this visual reminder helps to keep me focused. One year, Klay helped my 7th graders create their own vision boards. They ended the activity by sharing "I Am" statements affirming their identities, passions, advocacy, and goals.
For the visual representation of my 2018 goals, I started with art by Melanie Cervantes ("Viva La Mujer") and Kehinde Wiley ("The Two Sisters") that spoke to me and worked from there. While my parents started with a list of their goals on a sheet of paper and then went to create their vision board, I had already thought about some big themes for 2018, thanks to teacher friends on their break who joined me a week ago. During this process, we listened to Ibeyi's Ash album and then the Another Round podcast episode with Rahawa Haile, two of my favorites from 2017.
I thought about how community, meditation, my relationship to the natural world, herbal medicine, immigration justice, writing, reading, teaching, love, and listening to my ancestors were all themes that kept emerging in my journaling, teaching, writing, reading, conversations, relationships and dreams.
From my goals to connect with Harriet's Apothecary to Heinemann. From my travels and experiences in Medellín and Cartagena, Colombia to practicing mindfulness at a retreat at Blue Cliff Monastery. From my advocacy inspired by Make the Road NYC to Latinx in Publishing and Miss Rizos with Carolina Contreras.
It was a beautiful process thinking about the images, organizations, people, and words that will continue to remind me this year of what I decide to put my energy into and how I will protect my time and my health.
I'll keep you posted on major updates this 2018!