Under Pressure

By Monica Martinez

The worst part about flipping the calendar from December to January is the blank slate. The same space that you have to fill up with resolutions and ambitions before you even finish eating the grapes during the New Year’s countdown.

10…9…8…7…Stop overthinking everything.

6…5…4…Call Mami more…and try not to cringe when she tells you she can barely understand your Spanish.

3…Be honest with yourself.

2…Good vibes only.

1…Try to be better than last year.

I recite these statements almost as a prayer, hoping that running them through my mind repeatedly will force me to turn them into a reality. But the noisemakers and the tears and the feliz años just make my breathing more shallow and my thoughts race faster. Better luck next time.

Last year I said, “This better be the best year ever”. I wanted to stop being so afraid of being alone with my thoughts for too long and I wanted to improve. This time around I felt unprepared. 2015 seemed so daunting and I didn’t know how to make that January 1, 2014 12:01 AM promise to myself again. “Este es tu año, m’ija,” my mom said when she hugged me at midnight. Hopefully her prayers are louder than mine.

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