On the first week of 2016, the family welcomed the newest member, my nephew Uriel! In mid-January I finally traveled back to Georgia after almost 8 years. It was a privilege to visit friends, family, walk along my High School. I also walked in front of the house of the person that my heart chose to love. Our eyes were not able to confront because he did not want to come out and I did not want to go knock up to his door. The greatest gift was to be able to spent time with my family.
I returned to San Luis after spending weeks in Georgia. In February I traveled to Jalisco with my mom to visit a town which has a lot of culture/traditions called “San Juan de los Lagos”.
In March, I participated at the CONAHEC 2016 Conference, I confronted a representative from the US Embassy, I was able to expose in front of her the exclusion, discrimination and injustice to our community of returnees/deportees. In March I always remember the birthday of that person I mentioned earlier, that person that was chosen by my soul. The same day of his birthday I received the news that he was in risk of losing his vision. After so many prayers, everything came out great with his surgery (at least that is what I was told). In March my garden flourished many Alcatraz flower, they are my favorite.
In April, I traveled to San Francisco – Sacramento – Sonoma to take some of the voices of our community of deportees/returnees. This was a special trip because I was able to meet with a special friend, whom I have admired and known for more than 3 years. It was a great experience to meet a lot of wonderful friends, take our voices to that area and also walk along the Golden Gate Bridge, which BTW we happen to share birthdays and the history behind it is amazing! In April I also got my first tattoo, those eyes that even though I have not seen in over 8 years and I probably will never see again they still represent love and strength. On the positive side, I also made my first watermelon cake this month.
Even though May is the most awesome month (cough, cough birthday is coming up), this year on May 1st the family suffered the loss of an uncle who I had grown up with back in Dallas, Texas. In May I also made the choice to let go of my job at the fast food restaurant after working almost 3 years in a very stressful, on minimum wage and working so many hours and weekends. I felt really good about this decision and started to look for something different. On the 27th I also celebrate one more year of Life, I received so many lovely messages, calls and hugs from so many special people!
In June, I started working as a bilingual interpreter and I have learned so much in the past 6 months. I also cooked my first “pozole” all on my own without help. I traveled to CDMX, met some new returnees, had our first ODA picnic, some workshops and talked to some groups. I also put up a new piece of art on my living room, Alcatraz flowers!
We are half way and there is still a lot more to this rollercoaster, a lot of people know as Life. In July I finally understood and accepted Mexico as my home too! I will never erase or not love everything and everybody who has been part of my life back in The United States, those memories will always be something special to me, but after so many years and after being able to have mobility between both of these countries I finally felt like Mexico is the place I want to be in for right now. I have accepted and I am proud of truly being bilingual, bicultural and one day I will also be recognized as binational. This month I also brought home an addition to the family, my PINK and AWESOME guitar, which I absolutely love.
In August, I was ready to let go of some people in my life, I did let go of a place, of some friends and I had also let go of that “special person” the one my heart belongs to, but there was more to this love, the last breath perhaps or should I say the confirmation that this love is stronger than anything else in my life and that it will continue in the next life. . I do regret that I actually started to feel good about letting him go… I did a lot of awesome things, I went to see The Beatles Symphony, I went out to walk around Parque Tangamanga here in SLP and I had some homemade “elotes”. I also had several great “girl’s nights” in August with friends. We also introduced our official ODA logo and website, which I can still stare at it forever.
In September, I started the month with RED hair. I traveled to CDMX, participated at The “Students we share” Symposium, we had a support talk for deportees/returnees, I also had a couple of days to walk around CDMX and enjoy taking a bunch of photo with my cell phone. I also went to the “Feria del Migrante” it was meaningful to hear other stories of migration.
In October, I started it in Guadalajara for a several days; I spend some great days just exploring new places! I was able to get myself my very own Rebel T6i camera, this is officially my best buddy in the world, no offense to La Luna, you and my Rebel are my world, obviously along with my friends and family! In the beginning of this month I started to be in touch with that special person, after being separated for over 3 years, we had started talking a lot and everything was coming out great, there really was a possibility but… On October 26th on his way to SLP, he had just arrived from The States to his house and was on his way to my house to give me a surprise, but he never made it to my house… I rushed to be next to him during his last hours, I never left his side, we were able to be together during those last moments and he promised we would wait for me so together we could walk side by side to the next life.
November was a hard month, so much going on with ODA, school, interviews, courses and trips, but at the same time with my heart broken down into tiny pieces. I started the month going to Guadalajara to take a test, although all I did was take the test and spend the 3 days in my hotel room. I also traveled to 3 times to CDMX and 6 days to Tijuana. I also had a beautiful dinner with some friends from ODA to celebrate Thanksgiving Day in CDMX besides a really helpful course on mental health and Migration. I ended the month making my “Altar de Muertos” which has always been one of my favorite traditions as Mexican, but this year I did it with extra care because it was for that special person.
December is finally here and I was clueless on where I would start living in 2017, Guadalajara, CDMX or where? It finally turned out to be that I will be at least a couple more months in SLP since I was offered to participate in an awesome project, which is related to my passion, to what I would like to do the rest of my life; photography! This month we started our ODA crow funding campaign, which I am uncertain of the outcome. I spent Christmas with my family in Santa Maria del Rio.
As you can see 2016 had A LOT going on, diversity in colors and music. It was a lot about my activism, my role as a returnee, there have been a lot of difficult moments related to my commitment since I was given that mobility privilege. It has been very painful to try to navigate the opposite way as the government, as the majority of society and as a supposed “Dreamer”. As you can tell 216 has been a year full of blessings, love, friendship, difficult moments but also a year of a lot of learning!
I want to prepare myself to receive 2017, if not with a smile at least with a lot of hope. I can already tell it will be another year full of adventures and I am determined to make it a lot more about me. I am clueless on what will happen with my activism, as of right now I am still holding on to that light of hope that we will be able to take off as ODA and as the community I have been part of for the last 3 years. I am sure there will be ways to continue the “Lucha” to be recognized as “De Aqui y De Alla”.
I wish everyone a very Happy 2017, full of love, hope, health, peace, joy and gratitude!