This video was taken at City Plaza in Athens, Greece in August. In April 2016, activists broke the locks of the shuttered hotel and turned it into a completely autonomous community for 400 refugees, the majority of them children, who live there with dignity despite their lives in limbo. At least 9 languages are spoken there. Kids were running around practicing Greek and English with me, shouting nicknames and punchlines at each other in Arabic and Farsi. I had never seen such a pure example of solidarity among a group of people—war refugees, economic migrants, and Greeks without work alike—that felt so powerful despite its complications. On that trip back to Greece, which felt very selfish, I kept running into shocks of bright pink in the dusty city flanked by blue wild sea. It felt energizing, hopeful, a reminder that our experiences are bigger than just ourselves. .
I spent the afternoon of New Year’s eve writing thank-you notes. (New year, same me, though. Y’all will most likely get them in March 😬.) 2017, you were a wild one. Thank you for gutting me. I learned to question everything. I learned to keep an open heart. I was reminded of the dark truths in this very fucked up world, and am forever grateful for and changed by the people who bared their souls, their secrets, their pain, and their dreams with me so we could share the stories and fight it all together. My amazing inspirations in work and life became my friends, badass women who I could never thank enough for lending me their time, their brilliance, their collaboration. On a very personal level, I learned to depend on people. I learned to listen to my body, and found a (badass woman) doctor who I could trust. My family and friends reminded me I don’t have to do everything by myself (despite my best efforts to). Thank you to my angel of a mother and my friends who kept me fed and nourished during a couple scary months, who visited, who sent treats from NY and the UK and had abuelitas lighting candles from Texas to Colombia. My only resolution this year is to pay it forward with as much love, attention, support and presence I can muster for my people. Y’all deserve it. We all do.