2022 is finally here, and I am more than glad to leave 2021 and all of its chaos behind. I wanted to share some personal ramblings and share some general plans for the first months of 2022.

I just turned 34 and in a couple months it’ll be five years since my mom passed away. Five years since I embarked myself on a long journey to start a new life with my brother — one that just hasn’t gone as planned.

But this, the most important journey of my life, has not just been about an uphill visa bureaucracy with COVID-19 related obstacles that are impossible to bypass. It’s also been a journey about growing up, overcoming my self-doubts, lack of confidence, and flaws, about being able to stand on my own, finding my place in the world, and about helping others and improving their lives, even if it’s just by making them smile.

In other words, it’s about trying to become the son that my mother really deserved to have. To become a force of good, just like she was in life.

This story is far from over, and even when setting aside the ever so increasingly difficult obstacles that life has thrown at me in every turn (especially those of 2021) much road remains to be walked before I can finally say I’ve started to accomplish my life goals.

To say that I’m exhausted by the eternal Venezuelan grind and by all my constant failures and setbacks would be an understatement, as this all has been a continuous marathon since late 2015.

I really could use and desperately need a vacation, it’s been more than 20 years since I had a real one, but that’s not in the cards for me. I am being serious when I say that these first weeks of 2022 have been the closest I’ve had to a respite in over a year even though the routine remains the same.

Since I’ve finally been able to catch a breath as of late, I’ve been doing some self reflection, weighing what can I do or try to continue the fight. While I don’t have all the answers and I cannot predict what will happen, two things are certain:

I’m not giving up.

If I’m to keep fighting, some things have to change, and I need to patch myself up

The truth of the matter is that I cannot keep going like this, I’m extremely tired after everything that happened in 2021 and I’m very worn and burned out by it all, to the point that I feel like I lost my groove, so to speak.

I’ve grossly neglected my own health and wellbeing because getting my brother outta here was all that mattered. As a result, my health took a complete nosedive all throughout 2021 and if I keep going like this then I’ll just be a complete wreck by the time I do get a visa and a way to get my brother with me.

Currently, and because everything else has failed, I find myself waging it all on three things:

A right of blood, which would allow both my brother and I to travel around at the very least.
An old friend’s assistance, which would allow me to have a job in the US within a reasonable amount of time, all things considered.
My Crimson Dream, of which its first chapter is undergoing it’s editing phase right now (more info on that later).

All these things will take some time to materialize, and will be unfolding against the backdrop of the final twelve months of our passports. Anything after January 25, 2023 will require us to get new ones, thankfully, since the regime is trying to save face and present a pseudo sense of normality to the world, obtaining passports isn’t as much of a nightmare as it was before. They still charge $200 for each, though — in any case, that’s a problem for another time, and only if time works against me in that manner.

As all of this unfolds and runs its respective time windows I need to focus more on the one thing I never focus on: myself. I have to find ways to refresh and renew my strengths, to finally get in good physical shape (or as good as I can be), and to resharpen my mind while casting away much of the unaddressed burdens that I’ve been dragging for years — basically, I have to get my groove back.

That is the obvious conclusion I’ve reached during these past days of limited but much needed respite.

I’ve paused many aspects of my life for too long, and there are things that I’ve abstained from doing or attempting, be it entertainment, new hobbies, or even getting new things. Generally speaking, I need to try to relax more and just have fun, let things be and not drown myself in despair when things don’t go my way, which, with regards to our whole visa case, have certainly not gone my way at all ever since I started this journey in 2018.

All these years have really done a number on my mind, and I need to stop catastrophizing and being so anxious, I was not like this before. Like I said, I’ll try to just have fun and enjoy things for what they are without ever forsaking my responsibilities and the other serious aspects of my life (content, personal, etc), and while doing so, I hope to entertain and make others smile even more.

Some goals, like getting physical books to read, are of course be goals that I’ll still set aside for another time. It’s not like I could realistically bring a bunch of books with me when I finally get to travel out of Venezuela anyways.

I’ve started to accomplish my renewal of sorts through baby steps, like walking more, and just trying to unwind and relax my mind, worrying less about water rations, passport deadlines, and such. I’ve been simplifying some things in my life and will be retaking some exercises because my health is simply not where it should be.

Since we’re not going anywhere for a few months, I’ll take it up upon myself to improve our living conditions here and there through small things, nothing too dramatic (not like I’d have the budget for dramatic changes anyways). A new mattress for me, perhaps, that’s something I’ve been checking prices around.

One major thing I’ve been trying to arrange is to get a new ISP installed on our house, if only to stop being so constrained by the regime’s ADSL and its constant failures, throttling, and absurdly slow speeds. I’ll do this investment if only for my brother’s entertainment and for me to be able to do some more stuff and new forms of content — sure, to have some fun for myself as well.

These are just very initial small steps, but much needed ones, which I hope will refresh me a little. All I have left is hope, so I need newfound strengths if I want to take that hope and use it to finally achieve my goals and have the confidence I’ve never had in my life.

Thanks for reading this personal ramblings, I have a new Venezuelan related article in the works, stay tuned for it!