For a while, I’ve been the kind of person who spends a lot of time thinking about how I’m feeling and feeling about how I’m thinking. (Long-time blog readers know this well.) So it was nearly impossible for me to not notice a distinct… shift… in both over the course of this pandemic so far. And I’ve spent a lot of time wondering how to put it into words so I can better understand it myself, likely thanks to 2 decades of making a habit of crystallizing my thoughts into blog posts for a handful of friends and an unknowable number of strangers to read.
Time has been so strange during this era of human history and this past year was no exception. It feels both like ages ago and just yesterday that I was reflecting on a year of working from home, that I was seeing my coworkers for the last time, that I was nursing my husband back to health, that I was welcoming my brother to New York. Time doesn’t feel quite precise enough for reflecting on the past 2 years.
We made it through 2021, which was weirder than 2020 because, while 2020 was a steady hum of lows, 2021 came with ups and downs all year like the winter surge, the vaccine coming out, devastating COVID variants, seeing family and friends again, and NYC being in the grips of yet another surge during the holidays. (And, of course, an unrelenting news cycle, as per usual.)
This past year, I feel a lot less… ambitious than I ever felt. I just want to survive, you know? I’ve even found my usually competitive nature to be significantly dampened. Games with family and friends (online, as is the case for most of this pandemic) are less stressful and still as fun when I don’t hope for or expect victory? I’m already spending time with people I care about, so anything that follows is an afterthought. It’s fine if people think I’m bad at a game; they might be right, and I don’t have to get my pride hurt about it. I remember wanting to get my mind and my body to the BEST possible condition ahead of turning 30, but by the time my birthday rolled around I didn’t care. I was just holding on.
So my goals for the upcoming year are not super ambitious, and I’m trying to be even more honest with myself so that I can achieve them. As the years start coming and they don’t stop coming, I am really thinking hard about what kind of person these goals are supposed to help me become and why I want to be her.
On a whim, back in January, I started keeping track of songs that just popped into my head and wouldn’t go quietly. Now, 12 months later, I have 12 playlists of songs that I couldn’t quite get out of my head.
I tried not to post repeats of songs that were stuck in my head for multiple months but in general what you see is what we had, with maybe one or two exceptions for songs that weren’t on Spotify. Another arbitrary rule I set for myself was that the song couldn’t be something I heard somewhere or was specifically triggered by something, with the exception being if I kept hearing it in my head long after that moment. So for example, if I was watching a movie that had a song, it wouldn’t go on the playlist, but if I was still humming it days later, it would.
My plan was to end a monthly blog post with these but I couldn’t even get 12 blog posts out so, in reverse chronological order… here are the songs that were stuck in my head by month: