Any day is a good day to start a project, to realize a dream. However, at the beginning of each year we repeat the ritual of setting goals for the coming 12 months. Some of them will be met, others will remain unfinished and added to the agenda for the following January. There are those that address personal matters, like having more time for family, playing sports, making that postponed visit to the dentist... but the list can also be tilted toward professional aspirations such as changing jobs, finishing some research, getting a degree in a new subject.
I've asked some friends and acquaintances what their desires are for 2014 and the answers are a kaleidoscope of intentions. From "get strong in the neighborhood gym," "sell the biketaxi to buy a motorcycle," "fix the roof"... to "finish my university degree," "reunite the whole family in Miami," "make a video," or "open my own snack bar." Visas to emigrate remain among the commonly shared desires, particularly for young people. To the point that many professional plans are primarily aimed at accumulating resources so as to be able to leave the country. Nearly six years after they were begun, the so-called "Raul reforms" have not managed to significantly improve our individual standard of living or the national economy.
Personally, after a 2013 that changed my life, my sequence of projects is so diverse as to be impossible to complete in its full scope. I will continue offering courses to teach people how to use the new technologies. This year my dream of an independent digital media will finally see the light, a project that has had me running all over the place the last few weeks. Like all births it will bring rupture, pain, joys and anxieties. In the coming weeks I will publish the schedule for the "birth." Stay tuned.
In my room there is a mountain of books that I would like to read for the first -- or the umpteenth -- time. How deluded am I to believe I will have the free time to do it?! I want to return to the pages of the masterful Kapuscinski, reconnect with Truman Capote, and find some texts of Javier Cercas that are missing in my library. I will continue to devour magazines about apps, gadgets, software... because, I confess, every year I am little geekier.
Friends and readers have an important place in my annual plans. Hopefully I can pamper you a little more, spending time in good conversation with a coffee in front of us. To those who are far away, I only hope that "the gods of technology" will take pity on me and give me greater access to the Internet so that I can answer your emails. But you already know, Olympus is capricious and Zeus does not release the lightning bolt of connectivity.
My house, my little family, my plants and animals, which complicate my life and make it happy, are also among the priorities. I can't complain, really, because they don't ask for much and they give me everything. I hope to review with my son his first lessons in philosophy, and to bring Reinaldo to that "dirty piece of sea" we made ours twenty years ago. I will focus on them. Because in times of increasing pressure, they have been the people I love who have helped me to keep smiling.
The center of all my plans is my country. Without it I would have neither home, nor family, nor friends, nor things to write about, not plans to make... nor even a potted yagruma to care for. Although I know that home can be anywhere, mine, I have decided -- for good or ill -- is located on this Island. I stay, despite so many acquaintances having departed and the continued blocking of the great national potential by an outdated and intolerant power. I stay, also, to help create, through journalism and information, a free, democratic, prosperous and inclusive Cuba.
As you can see, I have in hand the list of resolutions for 2014. I will have to cross some out along the way. Which? I don't know. But for now I like to think that all of them are possible.
Yoani's English Language blog is here, and her posts also appear in TranslatingCuba.com here, along with those of over 100 independent voices writing from the Island. You can help translate Cuban bloggers at HemosOido.com here.