Hello, 2019.

It’s not even the end of the first week of 2019, and I have already gone and returned from my first work trip of the year. This time it was to a quaint resort village right by a (fully frozen) lake in Nelijärve in Estonia, just 30 minutes away from Tallinn by train.

My transition into the new year hasn’t been all that smooth; 2018 ended with me slipping on icy snow on New Year’s eve and falling hard on my bum. On top of a sore bum, I caught a cold on New Year’s Day which I am still trying to recover from.

On the positive side, my international project meeting in Estonia was really productive. As part of the pedagogical team representing the Finnish Peace Education Institute, I am looking forward to developing and delivering trainings for teachers from Finland, Estonia and Slovenia to tackle hate speech and make schools safer, more inclusive, and equal over the next two years.

I also had a really nice short hike in the surrounding woods, and a sauna session by the lake which included rolling myself in the fresh thick blanket of soft snow for the first time. (I’m not up for ice swimming yet though!) So that’s one more off the bucket list!

I’m looking forward to many other things in 2019 — new exciting projects with the Anti-Racist Forum (we got funding!!! keep an eye out for announcements!), going to New York in March for two weeks for my first proper vacation in at least 7 years (the current workaholic that I am, I said yes to working on two of my vacation days — I had received invitations to speak at Columbia and Yale 🙂 ), and to start my PhD studies in April. 2018 was a year full of professional growth despite the personal challenges, and 2019 already promises to be as professionally rewarding as well, if not more.

My new year resolutions for 2018 were to quit drinking coffee and to be more active at the gym. And I am proud to say that I stuck to them. For 2019, I aim to use social media less, to have more of a work-social life balance, and to be more intentional in documenting my life journey (all of it; the  good, the bad, the mundane, the ugly) now that I am at this scary but exciting juncture of starting this new 2-year training project for educators, starting my doctoral studies, and managing the growth of ARF all at the same time.

Hence this blog.

Hope you folks had a smoother transition to 2019. Last year was pretty rough for a lot of people I know, myself included (seriously, it must have been all those retrogrades). May this year be much kinder to us all.