As we walked back to her place in Morningside Heights in the early hours of January 1st, all dark and cold and openspace and free, Maria turned to me and said, -what’s your goal for 2017? I thought for a second and said, -finishing the first draft of my book. -By December? she asked, always nosing me forward, older sister style. -Yeah, I said. -11 months. 11 is lucky. I just gotta bust it out, get this story out of my body and onto the page.
Then I asked her. I expected something of her wisdom and self-assured, ever-rising power. She thought for a moment, and what she said shocked me into gratitude and joy.
-To be with you again at this time next year.
As we lay on the fold out bed on the ground floor, we spoke our dreams into dawn and past it, sleep coming like the word before the last word. Restful and sure, we nodded off, to wake later into a new-same world, I writing of Gráinne Ní Mháille for work and she standing a couple hours later to put healthy food in our new-same bodies. Almond milk, berries, banana, mix.
In the spirit of rising truer, deeper, lighter, with sisterhood and self at the center, here are my goals for my lucky number year.
1. finish a full draft of my book in 2017.
2. be with m.t. to ring in 2018.
3. see m.y.x. in Thailand for 春節.
4. to wake up at 6 a.m., or before the sun, every day.
5. to spend that dark-into-light morningtime bathing, praying, readying, walking in nature, and writing.
6. to read after writing, under a tree or in the MRT.
7. to write poems for children once a week. to submit them.
8. to move my body every day, to music. my mama’s words echoing in my ears: -if you want trauma to leave the body, you have to move.
9. to study the courses I’ve written for myself, once a day.
10. to buy healthy food and put it in my body, five times a day.
11. bubbly water over soda.
12. to go to Da’an Park once a week. I love it too much to see it so infrequently.
13: to walk by the river every second or third day.
13. to visit the sea once a month or more. (much more?)
14. to climb mountains.
15. to let everything bring me up.
16. to feed my spirit joy all the time.
17. to remember who I am.
18. to walk when I need to walk. up toward and away.
19. to write letters to people I admire and have never met.
20. to keep writing letters to people I love.
21. to buy a kalimba and learn how to play it.
22. to interview my mother and tape it.
23. to interview my friends and tape it.
24. to interview myself and tape it.
25. to buy a tape recorder.
26. to give to relief and revolution.
27. to save weekly for the future.
28. to become financially literate.
29. to use library/kindle resources, especially for poetry.
30. to read 117 books.
31. to chase sky. to chase water.
32. to put my hands in the earth.
33. to give away what I no longer need.
34. to make before I criticize.
35. to discern, not judge.
36. to know the truth in my gut and in my mouth.
37. to use my voice.
38. to give thanks to God for my health, heart, and mind.
39. to keep talking to him, to my angels, my saints, and my ancestors.
40. to observe how people react and respond to my demands for respect before jumping in to fix, regulate, or soothe them by stroking egos or smoothing ruffled feathers at my own expense.
41. to remember that I am not responsible for regulating others’ emotions.
42. to stop people pleasing and start people watching, again.
43. to find and listen to birdsong.
44. to listen to good podcasts.
45. to establish routine and prioritize it.
46. to keep my ear to the ground.
47. to write down my dreams.
48. to learn how to read tarot.
49. to keep a bullet journal for the first time!
50. to carve out space to be alone with my thoughts and with my work.
51. to never forget that women are the funniest people on the planet.
52. to call my friends, to call my family. to laugh and laugh and laugh to our deadpan, absurdist humor.
53. to remember that sharing humor and little connections are central to my life. one day, I’ll be in a physical space that facilitates that again.
54. to reach out out out, up up up.
55. to rise.
56. to sparsen my writing.
57. to go straight to the heart of things; or, to follow and strengthen my intuition.
58. to keep learning Mandarin. to not give up.
59. to praise and praise and praise. happily accepting and rejoicing in amalgamation is part of living and understanding the unified self.
60. to know myself and my past selves; to center liberation wherever we are and pull us all toward our destiny.
61. to show my brother this place I’ve been.
62: last and absolutely not least: be with my mother this summer. I stayed away far too long.