Sunday, February 2, 2014

What qualifies a good year is changing: 2013, and beyond

I realize that over a month into 2014 is a bit late to be posting a 2013 mix, and for awhile, I figured that this would just be the one year that I didn't make or post a year-end mix. But then I thought, "Who cares if it's 'late'?" I make these year-end mixes mostly for myself, as a sort of sonic representation of my attempts to process and make sense of what I experienced over the course of the year. And processing is just one of those things that takes as long as it takes.

I'll admit that I put off 'processing' 2013. It wasn't the worst year I've had, but it wasn't easy either. It was busy, and it was packed with relationships, events, conflicts, dialogues, and the occasional resolution, when I was lucky. Looking back through all of that was a little daunting, at first.

I wasn't able to avoid it for long though. I'd argue that the end of the calendar year is the one time when we all do at least some processing, even if to varying extents. Or at least, it's the one time of year that we're all really encouraged to look at our lives and our choices, and try to make changes -- i.e., the whole thing of making resolutions. Most of my friends are super-processors already; my oldest and best friend, Zoey, is a social worker by profession, a Cancer by birth, and a sort of but not really secret hippie. She actually likes hearing about her friends' feelings, and is very good at dissecting, scrutinizing, and unequivocally validating every single feeling you express to her. It was not a surprise to me when our first conversation of 2014 started with me saying "Happy new year!" to her, and her responding with,"You too! But, how do you feel about that?"

I was in my kitchen at the time, putting away some dried dishes. I closed the cabinet door and said, "I feel like I'm glad the holidays and 2013 are over, even though 2013 was the year I learned to how to tell toxic people to get the fuck out." After half an hour of 'processing', it became clear to me that all of the conflict I dealt with in 2013 wasn't my 'fault', and wasn't drama that I had caused for the sake of it; it was the result of me finally learning how to call people on their negative behavior, and walk away from them if they refused to deal with it, apologize, or at least talk it out.

Or, as another friend put it in a pithy and much needed text, "2013: The Year Shit Got Real". So, that's what this mix is about. It's about realizing that you don't have the support you need, getting sad, trying to talk about it, getting discouraged, getting angry, and then realizing that hey, at least you're working on it, you're making the effort, and that if you keep working at it, you're going to figure it out, eventually. That probably doesn't sound like a 'good' year, but as anyone who's been through it will tell you, it's better than feeling helpless, alone, or stuck with people who don't really care about you.

2013: 'The Year Ish Got Real' from rockandthesinglegirl on 8tracks Radio.

New Year's Week: Team Dresch - "Fagetarian and Dyke"

January: Hysterics - "No!"

February: Excuse 17 - "I'd Rather Eat Glass"

March: Q and Not U - "A Line in the Sand"

April: That Dog - "Every Time I Try"

May: Say Anything - "The Futile"

June: Sleater-Kinney - "02"

July: Swearin - "Just"

August: Rainer Maria - "Save My Skin"

September: Slingshot Dakota - "Never Hear"

October: Punch - "Time Apart"

November: Paramore - "For a Pessimist I'm Pretty Optimistic"

December: Aye Nako - "In Dog Years"

December/January/beyond: Pretty Girls Make Graves - "Pyrite Pedestal"