Feliz Navidad. Happy New Year’s. Have a safe and healthy holiday, people, while I’m away at my family reunion. I’ll be away for three weekends and two weeks. Away from my computer. Away from my e-mail. Away from all my Internet friends. I know I’m going to go into shock. And it’ll be just when I need my support system the most, when dealing with my family. I know, I know . . . it really isn’t that bad, but show one person who truly prefers to spend time with her/his family instead of being at the beach, going away with a significant other or something else like that and I’ll show you someone in denial.
New Year’s Promises
I promise to set goals and work towards them. I promise to set limits and acknowledge them. I promise to practice a balance of generosity and selfishness. I promise not to forget that I am loved and loving, serious and playful, inspired and inspiring, creative and hardworking, willful and willing, cautious and trusting. I promise to live this year with a healthy body, an active mind and a calm soul. I promise to be true to myself. I promise to treat myself with love and respect no matter what the circumstances.
I am inspired, I am awed and truly humbled by the latest post by Malinchista’s Susana Gallardo:
“damn, i hate ragging on other chicanos, it’s such a waste of energy on both our parts. but that’s what nationalism does….you worry so much about what’s a “real chicano” that you end up 1) spending all your time calling people vendido or malinche because they don’t measure up to whatever bogus standards you set, and 2) wasting all your time fighting with the very people you need to work with/educate/listen to/learn from.”
I am tired of having to defend myself, my fluff, my writing, my views, my existence and personality to people who have never bothered to look past their narrow view of me to see what’s really there. I am what I am. I am strong and passionate and vocal and occasionally wrong and occasionally right and defensive and short-tempered and alive and loving and stubborn and permanent. I am not going away. My views are not unique to me. My personality is not a personal insult. And you are not going to get an apology from me just because you don’t agree with me. Accept me and work with me or get over it and move on.
What is it about the holidays that makes people depressed? Is it all the fake cheer and the reminders of happiness that they don’t quite have? Is it the commercial aspect, the money they end up spending on that one single day? Is it the weather, with the warm summer afternoons a dim memory even on the best of winter days? What is it about this time of year that increases suicides, family arguments and personal angst? Whatever it is, I can’t wait until the holidays are over and the world around me returns to normal. Or at least to the version of normal we have in early November.
Okay, I’ll admit that I’m not the most religious person in the world. As a non-practicing Catholic, I’m not even close. But I am Catholic enough and Mexican enough to know that el doce de diciembre is dÃa de la Virgen de Guadalupe. I know it like I’d know the birthday of a close family member or a holiday. It’s a date that’s always been celebrated as a representation of a miracle, a testimonial of my faith and my roots. And even here, in the U.S. and in my non-practicing Catholic way of life, I give it enough respect and thought to say my Ave Maria.
“Dios te salve Maria
llena eres de gracia . . .”
Okay, I’ll admit that I’ve been very busy (or very lazy) lately. I’m assuming that it has something to do with the holidays. Or the weather. Did you know that it’s cold outside? How am I supposed to feel motivated to do extra work when it’s cold outside? I’ll try to give y’all something before I leave to MÃ©xico on Christmas vacation. I love working for the university, it means I get two weeks paid vacation during the holidays.