Finally, 2019 is about to be over, time to exhale, at last.

This was a very volatile year overall. 2019 started simple, optimistic, and straightforward, but it rapidly escalated into something most unstable and haywire—until it all crashed into stagnation and exhaustion, not just Venezuela, but my life as well.

The purpose of this post, the second of three, is for me to look back at some of the incidents and occurrences that took place during the year, so that I can get some closure to this, the last year of the first decade of my ‘adult’ life.  

On crumbling plans

Before my mother was diagnosed with cancer back in 2015, we had been working towards legally migrating to another country and start a new life—you know, the kind of conclusion that you reach when your home country collapses due to a decadent ideology and all that stuff.

Her fight against cancer dictated our course of action until her tragic passing back in March of 2018, something that I can’t still overcome (and that I should really seek help for). 

Ever since that day, I’ve had a very short list of objectives that I need to accomplish as part of the promise that I made to her deathbed—escaping from this country and building a new life for my brother and myself being one of the cornerstone goals.

I spent the rest of 2018 evaluating my options and trying to assemble the documents required to gain legal entryway into whichever country; some of the options were limited by resources, others by the legal limitation of certain visas, which wouldn’t let me take my brother with me (for those that don’t know, taking your brother, who is over 21, isn’t as easy as taking say, your sons or spouse, which can be attached to certain visas with ease, depending on the country and all that).

Regardless, I had been working towards two alternatives, you only get one shot, so I had to absolutely be sure that I had all the cards ready in my hand. I was very close to playing my hand at the start of the year (which also happened to be around the time of my 31st birthday) when all of my plans got ruined by the start of Venezuela’s latest political crisis, which prompted the closure of certain embassies, and as such, it put a dent in my plans, as I only have the resources to make one jump, and I missed some crucial time-frames.

I felt disheartened, having to start from scratch once more, but I made a promise, and I wasn’t going to give up that easily. At the lack of a better alternative, I dedicated most of the year, and a considerable amount of time and resources into what may very well be, my last hand.

It’s not the be all end all solution to our migration conundrum, but it’s a start, the problem is that it’s moved so awfully slow, and has been stuck in bureaucratic hell to such high extents that I don’t know what to do at this point. 

I am open to suggestions and help in this regard, because quite frankly, I’ve ran out of options. This is what I get for trying to do things right and within the international legal framework.

On tangible fear

If obtaining that Visa as a Venezuelan wasn’t hard enough before, it certainly became harder after the closure of those embassies, and the need to apply from Colombia, I’m talking about a 80% rejection rate—and I need two.

If that wasn’t demoralizing enough, a series of events and circumstances aligned in my life around February, and my personal safety and well-being was at risk. If I had trouble sleeping, then you can imagine how worse I got, the same could be said about my stress, peace of mind, and other aspects.

I was a wreck during those days, this is something that didn’t saw a proper resolution until the end of April, which is when I was able to breathe and relatively relax.

I’ll go into detail one day, when I’m long gone from these borders, and I’m able to speak with more freedom.

On collapsing chaos

The long blackouts and collapse of our infrastructure that took place during March was another calamity wrought upon to us by this socialist revolution, which reached is twentieth year in power during 2019.

Those were very complex days. The Bolivar was effectively dead as a currency when the banking network was offline, no telecommunications, no public utilities, nothing. The country was shutdown.

To this day, Venezuela still hasn’t fully recovered, I don’t think it’ll ever will, at least not in the short term. Our power grid is held together by a shoestring, and water distribution has never been so erratic. 

Caracas, the capital of the country and seat of power for the Revolution, is being kept afloat at the expense of the rest of the country, for how long? I don’t know.

On mending wounds

This year’s volatile and chaotic nature had repercussions on my interpersonal life. Things happened and I had enough of certain people in my life, cutting them off for good when all you’ve done is try and help them—some people can’t be helped though. At the same time, the most unexpected happened.

Those closest to me and some of the people that I interact with on social media may know that the relationship between my father and I hasn’t been the most glamorous out there. There’s so much that happened between my mother, my brother, myself, and my father and his family—actual racial scorn, disdain, contempt, adultery, and a bunch other stuff, tales that I suppose, are fit for my memories, one day.

After twenty years of on and off verbal skirmishes (which got very heated after my mother’s passing), and the very dangerous situation that I found myself at in February, which threatened my personal safety, I simply had enough of the fighting, of the anger, of everything.

Naturally, we had another heated exchange during those days, his words were rather intense, to say the least, to which I replied with the following picture:

I'm dead serious, that Apu was what kicked it all off

Anyways, one thing let to another, and there we were, engaging in a very long conversation, and a turn of the page, making peace with one another.

While it doesn’t change or erase the past, it’s one fight that I don’t want to continue perpetuating. At some point, you just get tired of it all, you just want what little amounts of peace you can get in your life, especially when your life is at danger and the whole country is, for the lack of a better word, fucked up.

We met for the first time in 14 years towards the end of September, and it went well, we’re now getting his cooperation in attaining the last piece of the puzzle that’ll hopefully allow us to travel.

I understand that making peace with your parents when bad stuff has happened in the past isn’t a viable thing for some, not all tales are the same, and it’s definitely easier said than done, so I am grateful that at least I was able to accomplish that, one wound healed.

On health and self neglect

I don’t know if it was the copious amounts of stress, the fact that I went for some time without levothyroxine, or other factors, but my health sure took a nosedive throughout the year.

I got hit with a few stuff, from recurring flu and respiratory nuisances to amoebiasis, pretty much spent the entirely of October being sick. Self neglect, and a general lack of caring for myself is a fundamental flaw of mine, one that I really need to diminish or outright eradicate. 

I’ve been extremely determined and tunneled on finding a way out for the two of us, and getting my book series rolling, that I completely paused every other aspect of my life, including my own well-being—and it certainly shows, because I sure look like crap right now.

On fleeting time

This year felt like a paradox, it sometimes felt like it’d never end; sometimes, it felt so ephemeral and fleeting. I’m still wrapping my head around the fact that we’re days away from it being over.

It feels like time just slipped through my hands, and it was all spent trying to fix stuff and overcome circumstances—only to immediately having to deal with another one.

Every moment that I take to idle and rest I tend to regret since I could’ve done something more productive instead; there are responsibilities that I must attend first before switching gears into doing what I want/like, which left me with barely enough time for myself.

On parenting

Sure, I may be a lonely recluse, socially inept, and as lonely as it gets, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have roles to fulfill.

I continued to fill both paternal roles for my brother, as well as being the big brother to the best of my ability. From making sure that there’s food on the table, to preparing it, make sure that we’re stocked on supplies should another blackout happen. Making sure that he’s got what he needs and all that.

My brother is an adult, but given his condition, there are many aspects that I need to assist him with; one way I’ve come up with to have him open up and learn and be able to do more stuff is to have him assist me during lunch preparation, and other tasks.

It is what I signed up for.

If life taught me anything this decade is that it can be a bitch, and as such, I must ensure that he has a future and can someday be able to fend off for himself should something happen to me. Both my mother and one of his brothers died to rare sarcomas, to say that I’m not afraid of the possibility would be a lie.

On promises

From the moment my mother died I’ve been driven by the promise that I made to her, I don’t have much going on my life, but this is one of the reasons that I get out of bed every day.

Since our escape has been met with so many obstacles and delays, I started to give though to the other half of the promise, to make sure that he gets to study and learn something that’ll let him unleash his potential and find his place in this world.

My brother is not a talkative person outside of his hobbies and interests, ask him stuff about something he likes, and he can give you an entire lecture—ask him about what he wants to do in the future and well…

It took almost a year, but he finally answered my nagging about it, and told me that he wants to learn how to make video games. I began to take steps towards assisting him with that,  Special shoutout to Mark Kern for pointing me in the right direction.

Fixing my older desktop computer so that he can use it for his learning is among my list of pending stuff, it’s just that I’ve been so invested in finding a legal migration solution, all the inherent Venezuelan stuff, and all the stuff on my plate that I haven’t done as much as I should’ve throughout the year in this regard.

On crimson dreams

Sword, Sins, and Soul of the Nation, the first three entries of my life project.

I finished the first draft hours before 2018 was over; for 2019 I had this basic road map: Go through the draft again, procure a second iteration of it, fix what I could to the best of my ability, and move on with the editing/publishing steps.

Then, the things that occurred on my life put Sword’s progress to a halt until I was able to solve things and stay out of trouble’s way. I still worked on a second draft while that stuff unfolded, even if I wasn’t at the best state of mind during those days, and the end result of that second draft really shows that my head was elsewhere.

A third draft had to be prepared, but life came first. Before I knew it, most of the year had come and gone, much to my dismay. On the plus side, putting the draft away for so long gave me ample time to think stuff through, to revamp the world and tech, improve the lore, sharpen the characters, and just overall make it better.

As it stands, half of the third draft is ready, I will have the rest of the draft ready during the first days of 2020. If you’re interested in checking out a non-properly edited preview of the first half, don’t hesitate to contact me.

My goal was to escape first, and publish Sword afterwards while immediately starting work on the second chapter, Sins. The way things stand right now, I may have to do the opposite, even if it means having to deal with the obstacles that are inherent to being stranded in Venezuela.

Who knows, maybe something will come out of it and we’re able to obtain that visa that has eluded us for so long.

On the country

What can I say, I’m beyond disillusioned with this country’s politicians

Guaido’s whole shtick was something that I approached with cautious optimist and went as far as to give the benefit of the doubt to actors that deserved none, given their track record—because well, it’s not like the country had another hand to play besides the one that was dealt at the start of January.

Here we are, nothing changed, nothing improved. It’s all so tiresome, all of it.

Who knows, maybe 2020 will surprise us, but I don’t have my hopes up. I can’t fix this country, but if my road map for the next decade comes into fruition, I should be able to help its people instead through a dream idea of mine, it’s something I’ve been pouring much though into.

More on that on a future post.

On exhaustion

This year really burned me, physically, mentally, emotionally. So much time and resources invested, waging it all on a gambit based on Jus sanguinis—and no results yet.

As much as I’d love to have a vacation (last one was back in 1999 before my parents divorced) that’s something I cannot afford right now in terms of time and money. There is so much that I have to do still, I cannot overstate that.

Maybe I will get to sleep in 2020, cause I sure didn’t this year.

On the future

This year was quite the ride for me.

Sure, bad and stressful thing happened, and I was this close of getting gulag’d, but plenty of good stuff happened too. There’s so much people that I need to thank for always being there for me and for helping me go through one more year of unscripted live action socialism survival.

Additionally, I was given the opportunity to speak and tell my tale on a series of articles published on Breitbart, and through radio and podcasts, for which I’m very grateful.

What will 2020 bring? I don’t know, but one thing is for sure, I will continue telling my story, continue entertaining, I want to create stuff that lasts, I will publish my first novel and start work on the sequel, I will keep taking care of my brother, carve a good future for the two fo us, and find ways to help others.

That’s what I want to do.

And yes, I will escape this country in 2020 no matter what, all we need is a visa, that’s the missing piece.

I will see you all on the next decade!