Pretty sure we can all agree that 2020 has been an absolute shit show for most people. Even other writers, those of us who thrive on social distancing ourselves from anyone and/or everyone, are starting to feel the struggle…which is why I kinda feel bad for this next part.
This past year was amazing for me.
There have been down moments (remote learning is not fun to deal with, and some a$$hat got hold of one of my credit cards), but overall, my life has changed for the better. I’ve got a new job I love (except for the idiots who come in, refusing to wear a mask) and coworkers I enjoy working with. I graduated college, summa cum laude. I self-published my first book. I finally got my teeth taken care of, I’ve started eating a little healthier (I’ve lost 10lbs! *dances*), and I’m taking steps to keep the momentum. I’m about halfway packed for my move next month and have paid off one of my big monthly bills.
I’m trying not to jinx anything, but I can’t help but to be excited for the new year.
We have new leadership (suck it, dumpster fire!), a new vaccine (yes, it was rushed; no, I don’t exactly trust it, either, but it’s better than nothing)…in 39 days, I’ll also have a new address and a new roommate. It’s hard not to feel hopeful.
I am standing by my decision from last year; I’m not going to focus on any new year resolutions. I’m just going to keep on working on where I want to be in 2030. For 2021, that means the Indiana side of Louisville, Kentucky. Between now and the end of January, there’s going to be a LOT going on. If anything good happens, I’ll share it, but what fun stuff can come from packing? And why do I have a sudden sinking feeling that this move is going to be more eventful than anticipated? 😬😬😬
We’re jumping back into the music with a story, feet first! This was recommended by a friend. I didn’t understand at first, because I am not a car person (except for Mustangs. 😍), but then I read the lyrics. It’s actually not a bad sci-fi story. I was not expecting that. The only group from that time frame that I ever thought of having any kind of storyline was Pink Floyd, and that wasn’t sci-fi. I guess this is what you get when you’re left to your 70s/80s child sister to raise? I grew up with Bowie and Michael (George and Jackson) and missed out on a lot, apparently. Kinda disappointed, though. My dad was a huge sci-fi fan, but he never introduced me to Rush or told me about Brian Mays being an astrophysicist! To be fair, he might not’ve known, but still. I have so much geeky catching up to do…
For any of you behind like me, here’s Rush with “Red Barchetta.” (Those of you who already knew, got any suggestions of where to start?)
This is going to be my soapbox song, because so many people don’t seem to realize that LGBT+ people have the same relationship issues as non-LGBT+. They argue over who will cook, who will clean, whose job it is to walk the dog this time. They live, they laugh, they love, and sometimes…sometimes they cheat.
I finally sat down and listened to this song and watched the video. At one point, she writes “I think you’re super cute” in a note for the person bussing the tables, but really? The entire video is super cute. It captures that feeling of peeking around corners at the person you think is good looking, the shy smiles and ducked head, and just…everything about it. Oh, and the end? With the hands? MY HEART.
Frankly speaking, I’m NOT a fan of this song. His voice, the style of the song itself, etc., however…this song was also recorded and released in 1970, just one year after the Stonewall Riots, and was the subject of controversy due to its subject matter. Even now, it’s a tricky matter with arguers going back and forth whether it’s transphobic or a love story. I’m not sure where I see the transphobic side, but as a cisgender person, it’s not up to me to decide which one this is.
In 2016, 49 people were gunned down at The Pulse, a nightclub and gay bar in Orlando, Florida. Sia later released the video for her song, “The Greatest,” paying tribute to those who had their lives stolen from them. Starting with the hashtag, #WeAreYourChildren, and ending with a room full of dancers collapsed on the ground in front of a wall riddled with holes, the video is a stark reminder of the cost of hatred, ignorance, and intolerance. June 12th, 2020 will mark the 4 year anniversary of the tragedy.
This is the last week of Mental Health Awareness month, but unfortunately, the suffering for those with mental illnesses continues, as does the stigma, which arguably, does the most harm. Did you know 1 in 5 Americans will suffer from a mental illness in any given year? I know, thanks to Nikki’s efforts last year in opening up about her own struggles. The truly heartbreaking thing about this, is the knowledge that those “1 in 5” aren’t getting the help they need, and it’s only partly because the help isn’t there. The other part is the stigma. It stands to reason that, if we reduce the stigma, we might be able to increase the odds of a person getting help, and making that person’s life so much easier. I don’t know about you all, but it’s worth it to me.
Now, onto the main event. The final song for this month is by an Irish singer, Rosie Carney. I had never heard of her before this year, but apparently she is very open with her own struggles. Her calls for reducing the stigma surrounding mental illnesses is also echoed in her song, “Awake Me.”
Week three of Mental Health Awareness month and this is a song that always makes me cry. There are many celebrities who struggle with mental health issues. Some of them keep it to themselves, and some, like musicians Chester Bennington and Justin Furstenfeld, turned their struggles into art. You’ll see plenty of Chester and Linkin Park around here eventually, but for today, here’s “Hate Me” by Blue October.
For week two of Mental Health Awareness month, I’m bringing you more rock. Two very important people in my life suffer from anxiety, among other things, and the daily battle is real. This song by The Veer Union is all about fighting the “enemy” in your head “until the bitter end.”