Music Saved My Year

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I don’t think any of my blog readers will be surprised that this year was a hard year for me. It included a lot of big decisions, disappointments, and complete meltdowns. I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said that their were a lot of dark moments, days spent in bed crying myself to sleep, wishing I wasn’t so lost and things weren’t so hard.

Of course, holiday time and the end of the year in general can make you reflect on all sorta of things. Reflecting on my year was hard and even though I feel like I’m in a much lighter place than at certain points in 2015, I’m sad that things turned out the way they did. Maybe not quite regret but a grief that has stayed lightly looming over me with all that I lost this year.

And like every year I check out DJ Earworm’s End of year mashup of all the chart toppers of the year. In recent years I’ve been turned off by pop music, choosing instead to find solitude in older pop albums and alternative things I found here and there.  While I appreciate the DJ’s clear effort in putting these video’s together it hasn’t been since his  2009 (Blame it On The Pop) that I truly enjoyed the mash up. Ironically 2009 represented my ushering into adulthood. It was a year that started with President Obama’s inauguration and followed the end of my freshman year of college and subsequent move to DC to attend George Washington University. It was my first year as a camp counselor at a place that ended up being a huge part of my life for the next few summers and introduced me to people I still talk to today almost 7 years later. The end of 2009 found me as a Congressional intern which shaped a lot of my internships for the rest of college. It was actually a great year and one clearly defined itself by the music I listened to me.

Which, is why I surprised when after 6 years DJ Earworm’s mashup 2015 (50 Shades of Pop) was easily one of my favorites. It took me through a year where even though things were hard was largely made better by the fact that it was filled with so many songs that pulled me out of my circumstances and brought me to joy. I spent a huge part of my year dancing, singing, and being all out silly when any of these songs came on the radio. In addition to the mash up my summer was  largely defined by a rediscovery of my favorite band’s latest live album where at any given moment 3 or 4 songs graced my Top 25 Songs playlist on my iTunes. Even though most of the songs on the album were already favorites I couldn’t help but sing at the top my lungs to every lyrics, every beat, and every song.

With two very meaningful breakup’s also dominating my emotions for most of the year I was lucky to find not onenot two, but three songs that perfectly defined my every emotion when I felt heartbroken and alone. What was even more appreciated was each of the songs left me feeling more empowered, more like I was going to be ok, and were lyrics that took the words right out of my mouth.

Music is a powerful thing and dancing it out while singing to anything from mindless pop to deep cuts. Music saved my life this year. Overtime I felt like giving up, like I couldn’t move anymore I could put on my favorites and feel… better. What songs kept you afloat this year? Feel free to leave them in the comments and check below for a full list of songs that defined my year!

 

Save My Soul – JoJo After almost 12 years out of the mainstream JoJo came back with a three single album that was anything but young. This song brought me to tears during the worst part of my breakup and continues to be my most cathartic song for being in the feels.

Brothers – NeedtoBreathe Ft. Gavin Degraw My two favorite artist teamed up this year for a single really inspired by family and friendship. Honestly neither of these two could ever make a song I don’t like but this one is both soul touching and kind of an unexpected “dance it out” song.

You’re So Beautiful – Jussie Smollett Ft. Yazz One of the biggest things to come out of 2015 with no doubt is the juggernaut that is Empire. While Exceutive Music Producer Timbaland brought out the best in super star Jussie Smollett this is hands down the best song of season 1. It is both catchy and extremely danceable. My favorite moment of having this song on repeat all year was when myself and one of my students sang the chorus of this down the hall with so much delight I can’t help but love this song forever.

Thunder – Leona Lewis Ironically the last time this beauty came out with an album was the magical 2009 year that was also defined by music. This anthem was a nice return and most definitely my power song on the treadmill all fall.

Downtown – Macklemore I may be the only person who is all about Macklemore (I think The Heist is one of the best Hip-Hop albums of the last 5 years) but this silly and classic song brings him back into the spotlight and it’s fantastic. It’s also the song that defined me and most recent ex’s relationship and the moment I think we fell for each other so it has a very special place in my heart.

Here – Alessia Cara Easily she is my favorite new artist of the year. Here album has 2 other songs that defined my year and this, her first single, has everyone I know in love with it. Ironically it defines how I feel overtime I go out anywhere. #NotYOLO

Keep Breathing – Ingrid Michelson This is a re-find from a Grey’s Anatomy song I found years ago. Yet it took this year to fully know and understand what it’s about and was a saving grace in moments when I didn’t know what else to do but listen to this song and try to keep myself from falling off the deep end.

Life in Color – Onerepublic I’m pretty obsessed with this Colorado band (Ryan Tedder anyone?!) and this song really came to me at the end of the year that pushed me to be more optimistic about 2016. It’s kind of perfect anthem for coming out of dark times.

You & Me – Bassnector  I’m not a huge dubstep person but this mix is almost the most amazing song I’ve ever heard. I think I listened to this at full volume with all the windows rolled down all summer.

Lost in The Light – Bahamas I dare you to listen to this song and not love it. This song makes me think of my ex so hard that it is actually amazing that I enjoy it. But again, how could you not it’s epically a great mix of great lyrics, great sound, and a voice that naturally relaxes you.

 

 

 

Letting Go

920x920I’ve been writing a lot about having my heartbroken and it’s been an eye opening experience for me. Of course, anyone who went through two very hard, very meaningful heart brakes back to back is allowed some time to have the feels all over the place if it makes them happy.

To recap: (in the event you had a million other things to do without reading my emo blog – on that I say touché).

I spent the better half of a year falling helplessly in love with the most damaged man I have ever met (this of course is not true, I am the only girl lucky enough to experience this level of baggage twice… in one year… but I don’t know this at the time so…). It was a never ending cycle of push and pull and toxic co dependency and just a mess, a fucking hot mess. To give you an example of the level of hot mess this particular relationship was –  I lost two friends over my insistence to continue seeing this guy who very literally ruined my life (with the help of myself because I’m 25 and like Jon Snow, know nothing). It was as dramatic a relationship as it gets and it wasn’t until I finally realized that he was never actually going to be in love with me that I pulled myself away from going back and that lead to….

Meeting a guy who wasn’t any of that. To no one’s surprise but myself I met someone that was better in every single way. He was kind and understanding and caring – I had basically hit the lotto as some kind of cosmic reward for having the life sucked out of me in the previous relationship. It was suppose to go slowly but I think both of us were so genuinely excited and happy with one another we ignored common sense and logical thinking. Do you know what happens when you jump into a relationship with someone? What happens is it burns so hot that if you’re not careful you will set everything a blaze. I was damaged, he was damaged, looking at all the facts now I might have been the only one who didn’t see how doomed it was.

And so I experienced it all over again. Less dramatically, sporadically, and crazily as the time before but with all the same pain and frustration and loss that had just recently been a staple in my life.

I would like to take this opportunity to say that I can put up with a lot. I recently had an interview process that asked me what I thought my two greatest weaknesses were (why do employers put this on there? My greatest weakness is that I’m unemployed, duh). I put down a surprisingly honest answer on the questionnaire but couldn’t help but think about what my real greatest weakness is – my real greatest weakness is that I can put up with an inordinate amount of bullshit. This, of course, is why I excel at customer service jobs and working with volunteers, so in some cases it works as my greatest advantage. In relationships however, you can only imagine what this looks like. After each break-up my friends would look at me and wonder why I was crying before saying, “he’s an asshole”, a phrase my friends repeat to me so often I’m starting to be concerned that I hate myself.

My ability to put up with bullshit means that even after being treated pretty horribly and putting in commitment and caring into relationships with men who seem to want to run from those things, I kept caring about them! I should say that while these break up’s do have similarities they differ in important ways due to the nature of each relationship. Which is why there are different reasons I couldn’t let go of them. I couldn’t let go of one because it was all I knew, I had been yo-yo’d so much that I didn’t know how to let go and whenever I did I was so filled with hate and anger it permeated everything in and around me. With the other I couldn’t let go because I kept thinking I was in a romantic comedy and any moment he’d realize I was the one for him and a big romantic gesture would ensue (it’s obvious to me now that I watch too much Netflix). I held onto these relationships and wondered why I wasn’t moving on. I held onto these relationships and I couldn’t help but realize time was not healing me. I kept pushing it off further and further, “after Thanksgiving”, “after Christmas”, “after the new year”. Yes, after the New Year I would never talk to either one of them again. Ever.

And then I woke up this morning and I realized that I had to let go. As much as I wanted at least one of these guys to stay in my life, he didn’t want me in his. I was waiting, again, for something that would never happen. And so I sent one last text message (because I’m too much of an emotional person to not do this even though my favorite quote is “the thing is not the thing, the doing of the thing is the thing.”) and I cried for about an hour and then I started writing.

Letting go is hard. It’s harder even than the break-up’s themselves. Letting go of all the good and the bad memories, the feelings, the chemistry – letting go of something you once thought was so real you couldn’t imagine anything else is the most daunting thing I have ever done. It’s easy to let go of the people you don’t love anymore (I shouldn’t say easy I should say in my experience it is easier) but the people you do… well that’s easier said than done.

What I realized is that I was waiting for things that would never come. Holding on was only making it harder for me in the end. It kept me open, it kept me hoping, it kept me glued to my seat desperately wanting coach to put me back in the game. No where in my mind did I think I should just take off my uniform, throw down my jacket and fucking bail.

And then… I did. I blocked Facebooks, and deleted numbers and erased any and history of either of them. I sent one last text to one of them and I let go. If either of them wanted to talk to me they know where I live but it wouldn’t matter, I lost hope in apologies and grand sweeping romantic gestures a long time ago. It’s only now that I realize losing hope isn’t the same as saying goodbye and saying goodbye is the last step in letting go.