Shake It Off

To say that 2014 has been an interesting year would be an understatement.  Going in I did not expect that I would not only be divorced but would also have spent close to $8000 in home repairs by the end of it.

Like many people, music has helped me articulate, contemplate, and just plain deal with they myriad feelings I’ve experienced in the past twelve months.  There are certain songs that held my hand through the different moments.  So, this is just a little recap of what I’ve been listening to this year and how it will be stamped in my memory.

At the beginning of 2014 I was listening to the The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12.  This album of songs inspired by the first Hunger Games movie features a variety of artists and was produced by T-Bone Burnett and reflected not only the melancholy of life in the fictional District 12 but in my life as well.  “Safe and Sound” by Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars is probably the biggest hit from the album, but there were several different songs to which I listened repeatedly:  “Abraham’s Daughter” (Arcade Fire), “Kingdom Come” (The Civil Wars), “Run Daddy Run” (Miranda Lambert), and the two songs by Taylor Swift.

I remember a particularly bad night, though, when I was hitting the worst part of my depression.  My marriage, well, was closer to being over than I really believed.  I was driving around in my car after dark in the cold with tears streaming down my cheeks, listening to this song by The Secret Sisters:

I would normally listen to the same five or six songs over and over again, but as winter passed to spring and then summer and I separated from my husband and started to put myself and my life back together, I gave another song on the album a chance for the first time, “Nothing to Remember” by Neko Case.  It really hit home for me.  For some weird reason, it made me feel strong.

The week that my marriage finally received it’s “kill shot” I packed up the kids and went to stay with my parents in Kentucky for a week.  The kids and I just needed some distance.  That was the week that Frozen was released on DVD.  I grabbed a copy to keep the kids occupied.

We had seen the movie in the theater, and I knew that “Let It Go” was going to be the break out song from the movie.  When the movie came out on DVD, though, is when it seemed to really be everywhere.  Now everyone is sick to death of it, but during that scary, crazy week, it was the song that resonated with me most.  It was my declaration of independence as much as it was Elsa’s.

I discovered Catholic singer/songwriter Marie Miller a few months ago, and fell in love with two of her songs.  The first is “The Shoe Song”, which Marie wrote using text messages between my favorite blogger, Jen Fulwiler, and her husband Joe.  It is a hilarious look at the perils of parenthood.

Before and during my divorce, I discovered for the first time in a long time that I had a circle of friends on whom I could depend.  And for the first time in a long time, I felt in a position where I could reciprocate their friendship.  This was my love song for the wonderful group of gals God brought into my life:

In recent months, on the long drive back from picking up the kids at their dad’s apartment, I’ve been listening to some of the stuff to which they listen.  Most of modern pop is not really my thing.  I think Ariana Grande sounds like a screeching cat half of the time.  But I’ve been finding myself drawn to songs that are just plain fun.

I’ve become a fan of Meghan Trainor.  She’s only 20, and in her own words “she can write a hook”.  I also like how her songs that I have heard so far have positive messages about body image and expecting men to treat her like a lady.  While it hasn’t been officially release yet, my favorite is “Dear Future Husband”.

I also have another guilty pleasure:  Taylor Swift.  She first caught my attention on Songs from District 12, but I’ve really been enjoying the singles off of her latest album.  “Blank Space” reminds me of a few relationships I’ve had in my time.  But “Shake It Off” is just pure fun, and it just makes me want to shake away all of the shadows that have been haunting me for so long and move forward.

 

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