It’s been a while since I last wrote one of these, hasn’t it? I’ve been very busy during the festive season and of course trying to keep on top of things happening in my life. But I always love this period, these last few days before the New Year. It’s a time of reflection on the year of life you’ve just lived and even more so this time around as we head into the big 2020! Nerds will say the technical end of the decade is not until 2021 but screw that, this is the start of the Roaring 20s 2: Electric Boogaloo.
If you’re unaware of it or simply never used it – Spotify does this incredible thing where it shows you what songs you have listened to the most for the year. As I’ve mentioned before I’ve always found music to be a powerful tool of expression – so looking back on songs that have had you going back to again and again over the year is an interesting way to pin a theme to the year you’ve just had. My most listened to song for 2019 was technically Porch from the Infinity War soundtrack but I believe that was due to me accidentally leaving it on repeat for a few hours while I was off doing something else. So my actual most listened to song was Juice By Lizzo:
So I’ll start by acknowledging that this is somewhat of a ‘girls anthem’ sort of song. But hear me out when I say the song is more than that and I feel perfectly encapsulates my year in tone. Juice is a song of bubbly 80s-esque energy of self-importance and simply put – loving yourself. That might sound negative to some but this song is an upbeat tribute to everyone trying to do better, being their best selves and not just believing but knowing that they are worth it. I think why I especially like the song is that when I first heard it playing over the radio at work and I thought wow I’ve never heard this and I know most 80s big hits. Then I found out that it was released this year. Incredible to see something that may sound like something from the past to me when actually it just has the energy of an era gone by is what surprised me. But the upbeat, poppy track complimented by the feel-good lyrics is what stuck with me this year.
It’s been a few years in the making and don’t get me wrong, I’m still very much working on it. But this was the year I felt I had hit some big goals in my determination to become a better person and make something of my life. Be more and make myself be better because I want to achieve. As I stated when I started this blog I never wanted it to be a sappy dear diary sort of affair of my feelings but I’ve always struggled with certain self-imposed blocks as I know every single person does. It’s a fact of life but wasn’t is having the courage to step out and attempt to find that dragon in its lair and kill it before it destroys your village. That’s a little extract of wisdom from someone I’ve been following for a while but this year really got behind his work as it helped illuminate challenges I needed to put to myself. Jordan Peterson. More specifically I began reading his 12 Rules For Life after listening to him on podcasts for a long time. The book (though I’m still about halfway through due to being busy) has been a great help in putting ideas in my head that actually will improve my life and more importantly my mental health.
This year I have become more of who I am and at the same time rose the bar for myself to meet. Holding yourself to a standard of self-care is a great tool for identifying problems in your life. Whether it be being scared of taking on responsibility or cutting out dead weight “friends” who hide behind false smiles as their contempt and jealousy bring you down daily. The expectations are only set higher for this fresh new decade, 2020 which I hope will be another big year.
Another incredible thing out there for looking back on the year, but in this case as something larger than yourself is Google’s A Year In Search…
…the video itself is so terrifically made and really has always hit the top notes of the year and does a great job encapsulating the year in a retrospective note also our humanity. This year Google identifies that we searched for heroes. This works and really hits a note because we all know that for the last couple of years we have collectively lived in stark turbulent times where perhaps we all feel lost and uncertain. And who do we look for when we feel like we need saving? Heroes. I can see it in my own year, from looking to people like Jordan Peterson, valued friends and mentors in my social circle to becoming a hero for myself. So I could do something with my year and leave behind the laziness, the paranoia, the self-doubt, the anxiety and the lovelessness that plagued me before. I started looking forward and now if I do peek behind I notice I have also moved forward.
If I had to encapsulate this year for myself and do my best to put my finger on the pulse of the zeitgeist – it would be a cool line of some sort to pin feelings of saving, bettering ourselves and feeling good about who we are again. Remembering our humanity and yet finding we are utterly divided and still uncertain about what lies ahead. But that is where we look now. To a new decade. It is a perfect time to organise yourself, set goals for the year ahead of you and leave behind things in your life that are anchoring you down. Of course, you will always have times of trouble and things that cause turbulence, none of us can truly fly. Love and happiness are out there for you, we need only rise up to it and tell ourselves that we deserve it because we all do. I hope we all find new peace and prosperity in the next year and decade to come.
I wish you all a Happy New Year!