One year ago, I was sitting in the bowels of the Kennedy Center watching President Obama announce that the United States and Cuba were "moving towards normal relations." There was chatter all around me and I wanted to whip around and shout, "Shh! This is a historic moment!"
But I didn't.
After eight years of exclaiming, 'Cuba, Cuba, Cuba!' I had finally learned that shouting Cuba from the rooftop wasn't going to get me or Cuba anywhere. Begging to be put on the Cuban beat wasn't going to make Cuba newsworthy and just because Cuban Pedro on 107th street was in fact a Cuban Pedro, didn't mean that I had a story.
But one year ago, all of that changed.
Now Cuba has its own folder at the Huffington Post, now there is such a sight as the Cubajournal and now, writers like me are being invited to Economist summits. All because of one tiny island: Cuba.
I learned in that fourth month of Journalism School, to stop chasing because eventually, Cuba will come. Like all children who grow up to realize that silence between old friends is silly and that Hi, the Cold War was like half a century ago can we please move on, Cuba would come 'round and when it did well, I'd have my own Cuba blog.
And beginning December 17, 2014, Cuba did come 'round. Or at least, it started to. Cuba returned Alan Gross, the United States returned the remaining Cuban Five, the United States took Cuba off of the terrorist list, Cuba opened its embassy in Washington, the United States opened its embassy in Havana, Netflix went to Cuba, Rihanna went to Cuba, Secretary of State John Kerry went to Cuba and President Obama said that he'd like to go to Cuba--if the conditions are right.
We are still waiting for Cuba to address the status of human rights. And Cuba is still waiting for us to lift the embargo. Just like in Journalism School, when it comes to Cuba its a waiting game but at least now when I sing Cuba on the rooftop, I'm pretty sure Cuba is listening.
After all, I'm going back to Cuba too--this time to sing. Because if nothing else, a love of music is what we two have always shared.
So let us continue to find our common ground and until then,