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Another Year Fades Away

Life as an adult is strange. Time ticks away with little time to savor, what I am told are, the best years of my life. The stress of surviving has left me in a fog that I rarely escape. I find myself looking at photographs from that very day and wondering why I don't take the moments to enjoy things more. I sometimes see photographs of my nearly three-year-old son and seriously think about waking him to play I need to be more in the moment. I need to be less in my head. kids pick up on that stuff.

2015 has been a wild ride and I am not always confident that I will survive it. As I compile my annual "Best Of" mix I cannot help but notice that many of the songs that have resonated are deeply connected to my struggles. This shouldn't be information that is greeted with surprise -- music is something that we use to lick wounds just as much as to celrbate, maybe more -- but hearing these songs back to back has left me wondering exactly where my mental state currently resides. Some are obvious, such as Frank Turner's "The Next Storm", and hit me like a freight train on my first listen (But I don't wanna spend the whole of my life indoors/Lay low, I'm waiting on the next storm). Other's operated like a Trojan Horse and took a hundred listens before I understood its connection to my state of mind. Calexico's "Falling from the Sky" has become a real symbol for the year (Where do you fall when you have nowhere to go?/Where do you go where you have no one to see?/What do you see when you have nothing to feel?/What do you feel when you're all alone?) and some of the painful turns that things have taken. The songs illustrate a strange mix of "woe is me" and "I think I can" that, upon reflection, leaves my head spinning. Ben Folds tells me that I am "Capable of Anything" meanwhile Jr. Jr.'s infectious "Gone" leaves me with hope that falls through my fingers (I can't be everything you want me to be/Finally, I can see the light through the leaves/But it's all gone). Songs about mothers fill the tracklist with dealings of abandonment (Sufjan Stevens' "Should Have Known Better"), fragility and decay (Daughter's "Doing the Right Thing") and what could have beens (Lewis & Leigh's "Only Fifteen"). Let's finish the year of music off with a dash of spiritual questioning from the likes of Jason Isbell's "24 Frames" (You thought God was an architect, now you know/He’s something like a pipe bomb ready to blow) and Cloud Cult's "No Hell" (Mama said the stars are the universe's eyes/I can feel them watching over me most of the time).

I suppose that really sums up life: Survival, Family and Faith. I will enter 2016 feeling confident on my stance on faith but the rest is a bit murky.

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