Why 12 raisins?

Dear 2017, Thank you!

Dear 2018, I am excited!

On December 31, 2016, sailing along the Tagus River in Lisbon, Portugal with my family, I made a wish. Actually, I made 12 wishes. It was beautiful, cold, very cold, but also magical. So magical, that I made 12 wishes, as I ate 12 raisins and took 12 sips of champagne. Ok, maybe it was more than 12 sips of champagne…It was winter, we were on the water and we were damn cold. Among the group of tourists from around the world on our NYE boat ride, my sister and I volunteered to play bartender and ensured we all stayed warm with a steady pouring of Portuguese spirits.

Maintaining Portuguese tradition, at the stroke of midnight, I ate 12 raisins, one at a time, each one representing one wish for the New Year. I didn’t have to think of them on the spot. Prior to arriving in Portugal, I had already looked up the meaning behind the tradition and had already thought long and hard about what my 12 wishes would be. One year later, upon reflection, two of my 12 wishes stand out to me.

One of these wishes was to write. Like, really write. Books, children’s stories, films, plays, blogs, anything. Just, write. For me, my 12 wishes were goals, besides one of them likely being to win the lottery… I think of them as goals, or items on my To-Do list, rather. Being particularly stubborn, relentless and determined at times, it works for me to think of my wishes, my goals, as items on my To-Do list, so that I ensure I get them done…how long that item may rest on my To-Do list is another matter, but at some point, I will get it done. As such, one of my main wishes was to write. I want to write. I want to write. I want to write. This is something I’ve said daily for as long as I can remember. I regularly put it out into the universe and the universe has regularly responded. It was just up to me to act, well… to write.

At the time of my wish-making, I thought, I have a phone full of ideas (many of which have already come to fruition by others as I sit on the sidelines pondering…or scrolling, rather), I have a shelf full of beautiful, but empty notebooks. I’d just finished reading ‘The Alchemist’ by Paolo Coehlo (Amazing!), and I’d just had an essay published through one of my professors, renown Anti-Racism Prof. George Sefa Dei, at OISE where I’m a part-time MEd student.

Chapter 6. A Journey into Anti-Racism: An Educator’s Perspective (April 2017)

For me, all of the signs were there, they were pointing me in the direction of writing. I needed to write. I need to write. But what do I write about? As an educator, I am constantly reflecting. As a dancer, I am constantly reflecting. As a traveller, I am always reflecting. Reflection is a regular part of my being and I’ve noticed that I do my best writing when it’s personal. Essentially, when it’s about me. There’s such vulnerability in writing about yourself though. It’s scary. I’m private. How exactly that’s supposed to work, I don’t know…but I’m going to try.

I have many creative ideas for where I want my writing to take me, but for now, I need not get distracted by my other ideas. I simply need to write and to ensure that happens, now, I’ll start with what I know best. Me. Doing what I know best. Reflecting. I will reflect about me, and where my journey in life has taken me and continues to take me. Which brings me to another one of my wishes. On that cold, but beautiful magical night, I wished to have a baby.

On December 31st, 2017 at 1:26am I got my wish.I got my baby. A baby boy, that I pushed out of my vagina with no pain meds. And so now, here I am in 2018, on a new journey that includes motherhood and an 18 month leave (Thank you P.M. Justin Trudeau) from one of my major distractions; teaching, and I’m going to write. I’m going to be a mother to my baby and I’m going to write. No more excuses, no more distractions. I figure, if I can push a baby out of my 4’11 frame without any pain killers, then I can write. And so, no more ignoring the signs, and there have been plenty. No more taking time for granted. No more putting EVERYTHING else first. I am writing.

 

 

Dear 2017, Thank you!

Dear 2018, I am so excited!

Reflectively yours,

12 raisins

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