Every year presents it’s own unique tune that somehow perfectly captures the way I feel about the progression of my life within that 365 days. 2011’s themesong was Pursuit of Happiness, 2010’s was The Dog Days Are Over, and 2012’s defining song for me was certainly Joel Plaskett’s epic closing track off Scrappy Happiness – Lighning Bolt. I don’t believe anyone could listen to this song and feel anything but pure joy and freedom.
Life is fucking short – and 2012 was a weirdly deadly year where hurricanes collapsed entire cities into the ocean and men with guns walked into cinemas and elementary schools, showing us just how short and cruel it can be – but that’s exactly the point. We can sit here and cry (and that is a very necessary part of life) but in the end you have to realize there’s not a damn thing you can do to change the outcome of bad situations. It’s not your fault! Shit happens, shit will continue to happen… there will always be some fucked up people in the world who feel the need to harm others, a lightning bolt could strike you dead at any time, there will always be some jerk who wants to use you, some mean girls who want to bring you down, jobs that will come and go regardless of your reliance on them to eat – it is completely out of your control! Accept that, and life gets so much easier and happier. It’s that simple. We can only control our own actions towards those we interact with, who we let into our lives and how much we learn from mistakes of the past.
I was sick but I’ve been cured
Gentlemen, ladies: rest assured
It’s not your fault
This life’s a lightning bolt
Don’t let it bring you down
You get one go around
Baby, that’s all she wrote
My life’s a lightning bolt
All that we get for free is electricity
When I think of just how my life has changed over the past three years, it kind of blows my mind (in a good way, of course).
MY YEAR IN REVIEW
While 2012 wasn’t quite as overwhelmingly awesome as 2011 was, that is only because it was stagnant, and by the end of the year, I was forced out of that comfortable place. Some amazing opportunities came, but not everything worked out – and there was more drama than I’d prefer to have in my life. Mistakes were made by certain people around me, and no doubt I made some as well. I am still working on forgiving some people, and trying to decipher the true friends from those who just want something. But when I think back on the year I am mostly grateful for all the awesome people I met, the things I got to do, and the happiness I felt.
January and Feburary of 2012 are kind of a blur to me, in that I can only remember my choice to have all four of my impacted wisdom teeth removed, and the horrible pain that led to. I was actually pretty excited to experience something new (surgery) and that part was kinda fun – I’d never been sedated before – it’s weird in an awesome way to feel your body go completely numb when you know it’s only for a short time – but when one of my sockets got infected I was in so much agony and so swollen that it pains me to even think about it now. As easy as the surgery was because of all the drugs, they didn’t give me anything when they were draining the disgusting infection, and I was crying like a baby the whole time. While that part sucked, I am very thankful that I was able to finally get them out because of the dental coverage my job provided.
March was much more eventful, with my first ever trip to Montreal followed by CMW making for a nice transition out of winter. Canadian Music Week was actually where I finally saw Joel Plaskett for the first time, and heard Lightning Bolt live and fell in love. I also ran into some slightly hilarious controversy when my review of The Dears forgettable set was read by a member – and this was a kind review if we’re being honest – so that was a nice lesson in the fragile ego of quasi-celebrity. I certainly don’t expect bands to google themselves desperately seeking reassurance that they’re still good – reading reviews of your own art is always a bad idea since it’s all just one person’s opinion anyway. I try to make it a point to only write about bands I love, but the randomness of festivals means I might actually have some not glowing things to say.
Spring always means it’s time for Hot Docs – my most favourite of all the film festivals – and this year I got to cover it for work, which was a bit of a dream come true for me. May also meant some serious stress, making my parents 30th anniversary/mom’s 50th birthday party happen. Luckily the party was a great success, and some of the most fun I’ve ever had with my extended family. I am very grateful for all the help my sis and I had from family and friends in making it happen.
June was similarly awesome because of NXNE – this was my first time doing the ‘party’ thing and that in itself was so much fun. I also discovered what has become one of my ultimate favourite bands – The Lumineers – that week. One of my goals this year is to make my own showcase for NXNE, so watch out for that.
July is always my favourite month because it’s my birthday and the days are long and the weather is glorious. It was this month where I finally fulfilled two of my big blog goals for the year – making Turn The Record Over’s first video (see below, a mini-doc of Edgefest) – and finally redesigning TTRO to make it look like a big chalkboard I get to scrawl my thoughts on. I had been working on it with my designer for MONTHS, and during July the changeover finally began. I think my blog looks amazing now and am so happy with the work Elizabeth did. I will fully admit I was quite demanding and hands on with every little detail (a designer’s nightmare, I know) and she met my demands fully. Though the blog was down for a long time (most of summer), it was worth it in the end. I think back on my previous layout and the terrible designer I worked with, and cringe. You get what you pay for, everyone!
By August I headed back to Montreal for Osheaga – being alone in a city where you don’t know anyone and the first language is one you don’t speak despite your French nationality is something I think everyone should make a point of doing – that is what a real vacation feels like. Completely cut off from the world, in a good way. Some may think going to a music festival alone is depressing, and part of me longed to be with friends while hearing so much incredible music, but for the most part, there is nothing better than seeing what you want, when you want, getting as close as you can, and answering to nobody. Experiencing Osheaga was incredible (particularly seeing The Jesus and Mary Chain in an almost empty open field), and the definite musical high point of my year. I am so thankful I had a friend willing to let me house-sit her place that week, or I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it.
September is my other favourite month, mostly because of TIFF. I might be one of the only people in the world who would willingly use up her vacation time to STAY in the city she lives in, but that’s because I live in a city awesome enough to have such an incredible festival that people travel all over the world to attend. I still don’t know how people like Roger Ebert see all the films they do and manage to write about them – there were about 10 I loved enough to blog about, but was only able to get to West of Memphis – another documentary, of course.
October was a fun month, as AUX had approached me to guest blog for them, which I think led to some of my strongest posts so far. They asked the guest bloggers some questions that really got me thinking about my relationship with music and how it has affected my life… and it was kind of a big deal to have them come to me and ask me to do that #feelsgoodman. One of those goals I had hoped for and put out into the world, but wasn’t expecting.
In November I was approached by another company I had always dreamed of being associated with, and the potential of a career change had my mind spinning. All throughout the year I had been complaining about feeling rather bored with my job – but was so comfortable and so happy to be paid to write from home that I wasn’t making any effort to upgrade my career. I was too scared to even ask for a raise (typical female in that regard, I am). Having what was once my dream employer come to me was a huge deal, but I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to take on a new job with a ridiculously heavy workload when my current situation (though not intellectually stimulating or in my niche area of interest) allowed me to focus on writing and blogging as much as I could.
Well, life has a way of forcing you out of stagnancy, and I got the proverbial lightning bolt in December when I was informed that my company was restructuring and many of us were being let go – and in the same hour got word that the other company that sought me out and brought me in for two interviews had decided to go with someone else. It was a bit of a double punch in the gut, but a punch I needed.
THAT’S ALL SHE WROTE
Now it’s January of 2013, a new year is upon me and in a week I will no longer be conventionally employed. I’ve honestly never been more excited. Most of my regrets from 2012 include not having the time to blog about all the fun things I was able to see and do (for reference – this post took me 6 hours and it doesn’t even have photos), and not having the time to really build this place into not just my blog, but a total music lovers resource and a fun place to be – so that’s what 2013 is all about. I now have the time to dedicate to this space in a big way, so no more excuses. I am grateful for the opportunity to really focus on my dreams, now that I’m so much more clear on what they are than I was just a few years ago.
So here’s to 2013 and another year of great music, movies, food, drinks, art, culture and the abundance of all things amazing for all of you out there. I feel nothing but joy when I look back on the past two years of my life, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that you are reading this right now. So thank you.
How was your 2012? What are your goals for 2013? Any big changes in the works? Tell me about it in the comments, pleeease!