Dear 2011

Dear 2011,

You were kind of a son a bitch, weren’t you? You kept whacking me left, right, up and down. And I know I’m not the only one, over the last few days my newsfeed on Facebook has been littered with status updates bidding you good riddance. What happened? Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed when we cheered you in? Was this planned? Did you mean to mess us all up a little, or did you change your mind somewhere in the Spring to shake things up?

I’m sure you had your reasons, maybe we all had to learn something or come out a better, wiser person from all the follies you threw at us. But I’m a little scorned, I feel like you might have been picking on me a little harder then some. Although, I know other have gone through even worse then me this year. But what happened? I thought we were both on the same page in January? I was feeling optimistic. On the heels of 2010 I was beginning to heal and move forward from what was thrown at me. I was doing really good actually. I had plans. I had hopes. I was starting to feel like myself again and then you just decided to show up. One after another you picked open old wounds. Some completely unexpected, some I knew were simmering and I had hoped to not peel of the band-aid, and some I thought would never happen this year. You took my heart and layed it an open field for all to touch, you cut open scars from my family and made me blubbering mess some nights. You know how much I hate been a blubbering mess, how idiotic and vulnerable it makes me feel.

I know walls are supposed to come down sometimes, to remind us we’re human. But I’ve had enough. Enough 2011. I get it. I learned. I grew. Learned things about myself. But now please stop. I can’t breathe anymore from the weight of thoughts and emotions that are constantly running through my head that either make me a quiet zombie, or on the verge of tears when a heartful Christmas commerical comes on. My liver is screaming for mercy from every binge I go on from the tornados that you caused. I don’t want to listen to the saddest songs anymore, I don’t want to think of scenes from you played over and over in my head and what I would have done differently late at night, I don’t want to toss and turn anymore, I don’t want to feel constantly tired, mentally unstable that causes innapropriate sad laughter fits at a sushi restaurants with Franz, and I certainly don’t want to think anymore what I should be learning from all of this. Because I have, so go away.

You’ve done a lot this year, some things I’m still angry at you for, but lets shake hands and move on shall we? I think you are exhausted too. I’ll tuck you in, we can both go to sleep. I’m calling a truce 2011. We got 2 days left together, lets make em’ count and bury the hatchet? Por favor?
So here’s to 2012 my friends, and to all those who have been reading my thoughts this year, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Even just seeing “2 views” somedays motivates me to keep dreaming and working hard on my ultimate goal. The goal that will drive 2012 for me. There is a buzz in the air, the buzz of redemption and hope. The weights are slowly lifting off my shoulders and my heart is starting to feel a little lighter. Most importantly, it’s starting to focus on where it should be right now, myself.

I just arrived in Tofino. The powerful waves are crashing on the beach ready to sweep you away. I’m curious what lays ahead, but god damn I can’t wait. Here are my last words to you 2011: I forgive you.

Julia

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The year in music, it’s a list y’all

One of the things I got into a habit of doing almost once a week (I skipped a couple, oopsie daisy) on this blog somewhere along my third post is posting my top 5 songs of the week. Whether they were new, something I just discovered, or some old nostalgic faves, it proved to be more an exercise for me to reawaken my musical soul, as opposed to supplying you with new songs to add to your playlist every week.

I kept up my promise to myself by posting in this blog weekly. It was the first step in starting the next phase of my life, which is broadening my writing and moving into working in the scripted field of television. Writing in this blog might seem so simple, but to those who blog as well, we all know what a bitch it can be to figure out what we want to write about, or more importantly, what people would even be interested in reading. Your blog isn’t a diary, it does need some sort of message. At first I relied on posting my songs to keep up the habit, but slowly I realized what I wanted to convey through my blog, which was to simply tell life experiences I go/went through to help all those other people in their twenties to remember that sometimes it’s okay to laugh at yourself, it’s okay to cry,  and to have a glass of champagne before breakfast.

So here’s my tribute to this year in the best way I know, the top songs that belonged with it. The songs that constantly rotated through my iPod, the ones that no matter how much I had heard I would never skip, the ones blasted loudly at parties, the ones listened to in the wee hours of the morning when I think I’m the only one awake, the ones that kept me accompanied on my walk home in the rain, the ones that I loved and will always remind me of 2011.

sweet glorious music

TUNES OF DA YEAR!!!

Future Starts Slow by The Kills

One of my favorite bands came roaring back this year with a new album that continued their musical superiority (I  might be biased). I saw them twice this year, and both times were magical. The opening drum line marrying into the guitar riff makes my whole body pulsate every single time.

Infinity Guitar by Sleigh Bells

It had been awhile since I had discovered a new band that took over my iPod for 2 months. Sleigh Bells did that. I could not get enough of them. No matter how loud I put it up, it wasn’t enough. I think this might be their secret, no matter how much you listen it’s not enough, it needs to be louder, so you just hit repeat and try again. Sleigh Bells tease you endlessly, somewhere in the noise is a beat that hits against your heart, and the only way you can think of getting rid of it is by freaking the fuck out (which we appropriately did at Sasquatch Music Festival). Carry on Sleigh Bells, I’ve always liked foreplay.

Maggie May by Rod Stewart

In late winter into spring, I got back to one of my first loves, good old rock n’ roll. This absolute perfection of a song had me craving for summer nights, but we made do with dance parties in my living room. The first seconds of this song make me think of whiskey, sunsets, friends and looking forward to road trips. I always feel like anything can happen when this starts, and for 5 minutes and 21 seconds, anything does. Complete freedom.

Radioactive by Kings of Leon

Many panned this new album, and panned this video, but I ate it up. There is something urgent in the song that makes me want to be in my mid-twenties forever. Reckless and irresponsible, where the only thing I have to severely worry about is my rent check, getting enough sleep once in a while and showing up for work. Endless summer nights in a song.

Flying Upside Down by Cold War Kids

This is not my favorite song of the new CWK album by far, but it resonated with me the most. When Nathan yells out with every last strength he has emotionally “I need you to come in close tell me it’s all right, flying upside down, the steering wheel is stuck but I’m turning us around, we will see that sky above and let go of all that I know” hits me so damn hard I can feel every last tension and ounce that hurts out of my fucking body.

Sail by AWOLNATION

Something so utterly lonely about this song that I enjoy immensely.

King of The Beach by Waaves

Franz and I witnessed the revolution of this band live and we were stunned. They are like the voice of the generation after us, especially when the singer sings in a bland voice “I’m so bored” in his Ray Bans and 90’s Fresh Prince of Bel Air vintage clothing. It was amazing how much they ate it up (it was an all ages show). That being said, you can’t deny the catchy surfer vibe of this tune to carry you through summer.

I’m on Fire by Bruce Springsteen

Dangerous. All the things you shouldn’t do running through your head, but Bruce is telling you it’s okay. I can’t argue with Bruce.

For Today by Jessica Mayfield

I’m not one for folky girl singers but this one got into my soul. Something about the dreamy slide guitar and echoing drums partnered with the saddest vocals of all time delivering a message of hope after a broken heart is beautifully endearing. “I love the sound of you walking away, and I can see clearer, and I’m getting closer to finding out just who I am without you in the way, so hold me, but only for a little bit” is the most truthful lyric I’ve heard this year.

Love or Death by Rich Hope

Aching in a song. Harmonica will always kill you.

Make it Wit Chu by Queens of the Stone Age

I think we’ve all had that perfect make-out session with someone. It usually involves a beer buzz, heat waves and a house party. Here is the soundtrack for it.

Houdini by Foster the People

Every monday when I thought I couldn’t go on, this drum beat got me out of bed and pedaling fast on my bike to work. Or to the bar after work.

Coffee and Cigarettes by Jimmy Eat World

One of my faves coming back strong this year. The open road and your best friend beside you are the perfect accessories for this tune. Or when you’re feeling nostalgic. Then again, Jimmy Eat World will always be there if you’re feeling nostalgic.

All I Want Is You by U2

Somewhere along the year this song came back in rotation in my iPod. I can’t get over the violins and that gorgeous guitar from The Edge. I find myself playing this at least once a week. My imagination runs wild.

On The Floor by Jennifer Lopez

Pop music boils in my blood when it’s good shit, and this is good shit. Any time this comes on, Franz and I can’t resist pretending we’re in some overheated club in Spain spinning the night away. Get it JLO.

Dynamite Taio Cruz

Just a personal memoir of tipsy Franz and Julia turning a shitty night into something hilarious by giving into this song and dancing up a storm in an empty club. Now it’s a staple in the apartment if we’re going out. Or being stuck in traffic in Portland…. Either way you feel invincible when fist pumping to this.

Please Don’t Leave Quite Yet by Adam Agin

Number one song played on the iPod this year. Over and over again. So raw. So yearning. Kills me, every time.

Abducted by Cults

Devilish and brutal. Two voices, same story, different outcome. Somebody always loses in the game of love. “He broke my heart cause I really loved him”, she feverishly sings. Such conviction. “I knew right then I would be taking her heart”, of course you did.

Steve McQueen by M83

This month started with me enjoying the view of my breath forming clouds on my way out of work and enjoying the sparkling lights of downtown in the distance. This song came on and reminded me how much I love Vancouver, everyone in it, and that my life can be a lot fucking worse, even after everything that happened this year.

40 Day Dream by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Finally, if I could put a song over the montage of what was this year, this would be it. Perfection.