Wake Up, Wake Up, Wake Up

Tomorrow is December 1st and I’m very excited for more than one reason.  For one, it’s the FIRST DAY of the LAST MONTH of 2011. Can you believe it? This is the time when most start going holiday-crazy; Christmas gifts and music, travel plans, family, budgets, money, work, resolutions,and let’s not forget the unforgettable New Year’s eve. For me, December marks the end of an arduous semester, gathering materials for grad school applications (UGH!), the wonderful GRE exam, and a little downtime in the Sunshine state for the holidays with my mother.

December also marks a high time for REFLECTION. I think about all the changes that happened; the good, the bad and the ugly. I take charge of everything I’m responsible for, admit mistakes, mourn the losses and celebrate the gains on this roller-coaster ride. Most importantly, I try not to take any negativity into the NEW year. This reminds me of the first time I spent the New Year abroad in 2008. I traveled to Guayaquil, Ecuador with 11 other City University students, and we got to see first hand how the Ecuadorians bring in the New Year. Basically what happens is they spend hours making these paper-mache figures of anything and everything– political figures, cartoons, objects, or anything popular, these are called “años viejos” or the past year. These figures are symbolic for anything negative the past year to represents– whether it be actual people, emotions, objects, or addictions. At 12am on New Year’s Day people take their figures to the street and burn them…and all the negativity goes up in flames with them. Years ago, I didn’t really understand the need to physically burn what is symbolic. But now that I’m a little older, and more experienced I wish I could take a couple of things out into the street and REALLY let them go/let them burn.

Instead of being arrested, I’ll have to settle for purging some things in private and in public. Globe Tracer was born mostly out of the pain of 2011 and although I am not 100% better I am taking BABY STEPS! I can’t deny that I have some open wounds that have not closed yet…but I’m not afraid of scars. I’m immediately bought back to one of my favorite novels, Little Bee by Chris Cleave. In it, one of the protagonists has forever etched the idea that scars are beautiful (and even necessary) based on a couple of lines…

I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.

Happy First of the Month.

From one survivor to another,



Wake Up, Wake Up, Wake Up