Saturday, January 3, 2009

2008: A Year of Becoming

Each month this year, I have created a playlist with the songs were trappeda in my head or best described the phase I was in at the time. Since it is the end of the year, I compiled a sort of 'Best of' playlist. 

1. Do you realize??- The Flaming Lips

2. Bodysnatchers- Radiohead

3. Promises in the Dark- Pat Benatar

4. Don't stop believing- Journey

5. Silver Lining- Rilo Kiley

6. Don't stop me now- Queen

7. Peaceful, easy feeling- The Eagles

8. Wonderwall- Oasis

9. Real world- Matchbox Twenty

10. Fireworks- Animal Collective

11. Don't think twice it's all right- Bob Dylan

12. What I got- Sublime

13. Two of us- The Beatles

14. Desecration smile- Red Hot Chili Peppers

15. I'll believe you when- Matchbox Twenty

16. I'll make a man out of you- Mulan (heh..heh.. I babysat all summer)

17. Bohemian like you- The Dandy Warhols

18. Fool in the rain- Led Zeppelin

19. Getting better- The Beatles

20. Bittersweet symphony- The Verve

21. Sweet girl- Fleetwood Mac

22. Fire and rain- James Taylor

23. Third week in Chelsea- Jefferson Airplane

24. Ten things- Paul Baribeau

25. In the mausoleum- Beirut

26. Dreams- Fleetwood Mac

27. Brother Sport- Animal Collective

This past semester, I feel like I've pushed through another vagina into a brand new world. Essentially, that's what college is. Suddenly, you're forced out of this comfortable place where everything is provided for you without you really needing to do anything but grow and there's this endless expanse of brightness and strange people and stuff you have no idea what to do with this new world. 

I cut the umbilical cord when I permanently moved into my own apartment, but I didn't realize that I not only detached myself from a home, but everything that was a part of it. I woke up one day and realized I'd somehow slipped out of one world and into another, and I'd left behind people and ideas and bits of myself. There was a period of panic and overwhelming "oh shit... who am I.. where am I.. what am I doing??" and when I finally pulled out of it, I held hands with my fears and transformed them into friends instead of foes. I did it completely on my own. I found myself for the first time without people pushing me and supporting me. And I watched others around me go through the same thing.

I understand all the things my mother used to tell me all the time. Stuff like... "Let go, and if it was meant to be yours, it will come back to you" or "The friends you make in college are friends for life" or "Sometimes you have to do what you don't want to do, because it pleases God and makes you a better person". Watching people I knew in high school transform and bust through a second theoretical vagina, into a bright new world, has fused unbreakable bonds of understanding that I can only hope are mutual. 

I will always have a special, unconditional love for the people who were close to my heart in my troubled high school days, though I recognize the different paths we have separated upon. I was always the weird one, and that was embraced by my inner circle, but I now feel it's turned awry and outcasted. I have progressed within my former longings and innermost desires and my self has expanded, which makes me even more eccentric, weird, and misfitting amongst my high school crowd. As part of my growth, I have erased nearly all judgment and expectation of others to become increasingly more accepting and open-hearted, but that leaves me to their judgment, a heavy gaze I'd rather not walk under. I don't feel unwelcome, but I don't fit in anymore. I've grown accustomed to a family of people who watch out for each other and don't hold feelings of pettiness, judgment, or compensation. We are so unified by an underlying sense of community, love, and simple understanding that returning to a world where it is not so is difficult. 

Being on my own is probably the most difficult thing I've had to come to terms with. The detachment from old close friends was paired with having to accept the fact that two more would be leaving in a year. On my trip to Austin for ACL this fall, shitty cell reception cause me to lose contact with the friends I came with and met up with and I had to fend for myself, on one occasion without any money, water, or food, and I did okay. I managed. I made a great time for myself. It wasn't as bad a thing as I'd always expected it to be. As the semester continued on after that, I pulled myself out of a pit of irresponsibility, found the best job I've ever had as well as my calling in life, and everything fell into place. 

I figured out who I am and who I am not. I don't know where I'm going, but I know what I love. I'm going to do what I love, love what I do, and hold the people I love close to my heart. I've found a balance, I've figured out how to control myself for the first time in my entire life, and I'm not afraid to be afraid.

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