Intrepid Girl Reporter

Friday, 1/1: I and love and you
January 2, 2010, 1:29 am
Filed under: life progress, music

The line between therapeutic and self-indulgent is often fuzzy. For example: I got the new Chuck Klosterman book for Christmas (ostensibly from my little brother, although I suspect he’d be hard-pressed to tell me the title), which is neurotic enough to make me feel not alone and not crazy, but at the same time prevents me from moving on to higher planes of thinking. I.e., not gazing at my own or someone else’s navel. By the same token: even if the Avett Brothers express exactly the sort of cranky anguish that I have returned to, intermittently, for the past few months and longer, is it really necessary for me to listen to such music when introspection might be the last thing I need? Shouldn’t I be listening to, I don’t know, Os Mutantes or something?

Unbelievably, it appears that I have failed to write on this blog about my favorite New Year’s song ever, Dan Wilson’s “What a Year for a New Year”; I feel like I have, so what probably happened is that I wrote about it on my old/current secret blog, likely multiple times. Yes, Dan Wilson is the guy from Semisonic (hi Brendan). I’ve been listening to it on or around December 31 since, I don’t know, probably high school – the Maybe This Christmas compilation came out in 2002, so that would be about right. Every year it feels more applicable than ever before, even if that’s not true. It probably was true, last year, which was spent more or less in a holding pattern. This year it probably feels like it fits solely because of the last two or three months, but to be fair, I have changed houses and jobs multiple times and gotten into and out of the realest relationship I’ve ever had, as well as, you know, paid bills and stuff. So maybe it qualifies.

I made a mind map and subsequent chart (using Curio, natch) of my resolutions and goals for the year. It’s a big chart, mostly because I have broken them into obstacles, solutions, next steps, etc. This both does and does not represent progress for me: the use of productivity tools shows that I am both wanting to and getting a better grasp on my life, but the extensiveness of what I’ve done shows that I retain the false belief that anything can be done with a plan, no matter how impossible it actually is. The summary of it all is that it’s probably going to be another year of changes; God willing, I’ll be going back to school, probably moving, definitely not getting married (unlike most of my high school and college classmates), etc. Having to shift from adult paradigm to student paradigm – which, in some ways, it feels like I’ve never left anyway. I guess the most important takeaway is how necessary it is for me to start being okay on my own: which means a) maintaining the relationships that contribute so greatly to my life, and b) doing things that make me happy – in which “happy” is not to be conflated with “I am depressed and this habit makes me feel less bad.” That is how people stay in bed until it is time to get ready for work. Which is fine, as long as your work doesn’t start at 11 AM, like mine does. Dwelling on the past essentially has the same effect as doing that – it feels okay for a while, but you’re not getting anything done, and it’s getting things done that makes you feel good. Where “you” is “me.”

I guess, in that sense, listening on repeat to Dan Wilson qualifies as self-indulgence, at least a little bit. It would be better for me to find something new, to quit dwelling on the idea that this new year has to be better PLEASE GOD and not giving thanks, because that’s the same idea I’ve had for the better part of this past decade. And yet I keep returning to him. I guess this is part of the human condition, this perpetual trying and having mixed feelings about it all?

What a year for a new year
We need it like we needed life I guess
Last one left us lying in a mess
What a year for a new year

What a night for a sunrise
And we thought the dark would never end
Reaching out to try to find a friend
What a night for a sunrise

What a day for new day
And our star shines like a miracle
And our world is almost beautiful again
What a day for a new day
New day

What a year for a new year

What a night for a sunrise
And we thought the dark would never end
Reaching out to try to find a friend
What a night for a sunrise

Soon we’ll be lying in our beds
And new dreams will fill our heads
And the old ones will be ended
Hope we’ll forget about this place
Let it go without a trace
Wipe the teardrops from our faces
Oh! What a year for a new year!


2 Comments so far
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Two Dan Wilson songs that make interesting companion pieces to “WAYFANY:” “This Will Be My Year,” off Feeling Strangely Fine, and “Good Morning Baby,” off (wince) the American Pie soundtrack. The latter has played a role, to me, similar to the one you describe above.

Very glad you’re blogging.

Comment by Brendan

Hey, you’re not allowed to stop posting right after I comment! Now I look like the blog-killer!

Comment by Brendan

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