I broke down the year overall already – now let’s dig into the tunes behind it
According to my Spotify Year in Review, I listened to well over 130,000 minutes of music. That doesn’t include the hours I spent listening to records, or the radio, or podcasts. I take in a lot of media, but I didn’t think it was nearly that much. I figured since I clocked in so many hours of streaming, I should probably put my two cents out there in what the year looked like musically. I shared with Atwood what I thought the album of the year was — but you’ll have to check that out to see what I thought. I’ll link it here when that gets published. Here, though, we’ll break it down by month, and what struck me as big for that period of time.
Hamilton — Original Cast Recording
The past few years over the few days it takes to ring in the New Year, I spend the time with one of my closest and oldest drum corps friends, Kayla. The last two years, she’s introduced me to new musicals I end up being obsessed with for the year. Last year, it was In The Heights. This year, it was the musical that’s taken the world by storm, Hamilton. This bad boy has been on repeat periodically throughout the year, but mostly during January. Easily.
Galway Girl — Steve Earle Since I spent most of the month traveling, and much of that in Ireland, this was a song that we’d listen to as we got ready for the day or a night out and want to channel our inner “Irish bar music.” “Galway Girl” will forever remind me of the craziness that happened over those two weeks abroad this year.
Wow, what a freakin year. As I went through pictures this time around, I found an astonishing amount of goofy selfies and embarrassing snapchat screenshots of my friends, so the fact that I was able to pull as many “normal” pictures as I’ve got in here is nothing short of a miracle. As I was writing this blog post last year, I knew there’d be a lot to talk about… but I never imagined to have the year shake out like it did. Anyway, here’s 2016 in somewhere around 6,000 words. Stay with us.
The fact still seems near-impossible to believe that it’s already been a week. A week since we ran chunks of any kind of the show; a week since our last set of 1&1 as a color guard; a week since we were dismissed from a rehearsal; a week since we sang Salvation for the last time in uniform. So many of the things we took for granted all summer — gone in the blink of an eye. I’m nowhere near new to the feeling of post-tour depression and readjusting to the “real world,” but there’s so many things that were different this year, it almost feels like a different kind of PTD.
A concept that I’ve found myself thinking a lot about as I’m undergoing the final weeks in my Junior Year at Columbia are what’s shaped me as a person up to this point. How have these things affected my values? My goals? How much have I really changed since starting high school? How about college? In the past year? How about this semester? Am I progressing towards my personal and career goals? What am I doing to make myself a better person than the day before?
It’s a lot to grapple with — and those are questions I need to answer within the next five days, since that’s when our Leadership Profiles are due for the semester. One aspect of this assignment is a project we had to do earlier in the semester; and that’s a Journey Map. I had a love/hate relationship with this project, because although I’ve done a handful of different things that has shaped who I am today, it was hard to decide the few things that have had the biggest impact. (But honestly, probably my favorite part of this assignment has been hearing my classmate’s journeys. Man, I go to school with some awesome people).
Well, I narrowed it down to 12 things. Not too bad, considering I filled up a page originally. So in order to fill my blog with more content, and to prove that I’ve actually been doing quite a bit of writing this semester and I’m not just neglecting y’all, I figured I’d double-dip.
Another trip to Atlanta is in the books — this time around, for the final audition camp of the 40th Anniversary Season for Spirit of Atlanta. I’m incredibly excited to say I’ve solidified my contract and I’m so humbled to be included in this casting under our fantastic new staff. But that’s not all — this means that the next time I’m boarding a plane will be to Charlotte, South Carolina, to spend quality time with one of my best friends before we move in for the summer with the corps.
I hate being in one place for an extended period of time. That’s one of the reasons I love drum corps so much: we’re constantly on the move and seeing different sights. That’s also the reason why I jump whenever I get the chance to go somewhere new. Although it’s comforting to be settled in a place for a bit; to have my running route and go-to places for food and other essentials, I can get a little stir-crazy.
So it probably won’t surprise those of you who have been around with us that after I found some mega-cheap round-trip flights from Chicago to Atlanta for the weekend of the February camp for Spirit of Atlanta, I made sure I could volunteer, and booked the flights immediately. (It came out of my budget plan for Europe, so I was good for the funding).
Not only did I get to escape Illinois, after being grounded for just under a month (I was recently in Europe?? Catch up on those adventures here), but it was a chance to see some of the people who mean the most to me, and an opportunity to start the biggest project I’ve ever embarked on: an audio documentary… or something along those lines.
Some realizations and learning outcomes of the Covering Europe experience: J-Term 2016 with Columbia College Chicago
I spend a lot of time on my own. I’m not saying that to get pity, or as a statement of “I don’t have friends,” because I do. I sure do. I have some of the best friends in the world. The only thing is, they’re scattered around the United States, or in even worse cases, across the globe. When I registered for this trip, the last thought on my mind was how close I’d get with this group of strangers; but at the same time, I didn’t think about how valuable I’d find walking around in a foreign country by myself. I’ve always treasured the times I’m around people I love — that’s why I make a point to go to Georgia every year for New Years. I never realized how much I treasure some of the times where I’m alone, too.
Maybe this is crazy, but we live in a world where romance is overly-romanticized. There’s an entire film franchise for it, there’s a holiday for it, and one of the online communities I frequent (Tumblr), has an entire section of blogs dedicated to wishful quotes and pictures of couples doing random things together. If you’re not careful, it’s pretty easy to slip into a mindset that the only thing that matters is companionship. Likes on your Instagram pictures; followers on Twitter; photos of you and your life companion splashed across Facebook.