In which the Tailgate Society’s Sylvia June gets personal about her New Year.
The end of each year is a momentous time for me. But not exactly because we are ringing in a new calendar year — I celebrate my birthday at the end of December. Birthdays are the occasions that I believe are the most special for each person, because they are the one holiday that is particular to your existence on this Earth. A “personal New Year,” if you will. The changing numbers in the year for me are just a bonus.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, in the traditional sense of the word, for the same reason I would never give anything up for Lent — it is superficial and usually just a pile of bullshit anyway. If you want to live a healthier life, you don’t need to wait for the “new year” to do it. And let’s be real, most people don’t follow through with the things they promised to do, anyway. Unless they promised to be an even bigger asshole than they were the year before. That’s doable.
I try to set intentions, instead. Promises to myself that are more, well, intentional. I never share them, because they are meant for me to meditate on and they are usually pretty private. They help keep me focused on what is important for my life throughout my personal New Year. This year, though, my intentions are going to become absolutely clear. I have an increasingly insatiable drive to be a parent, and because I am not getting any younger I cannot wait anymore for circumstances to be “right” or for the “right” person to come along to help make that happen. I am well aware of how hard it is going to be, but I am not sure what meaning my life has without it. Every intention I have is about supporting that goal, whether or not it even happens this year.
These 5 songs describe how I am feeling going into this very different type of New Year. Maybe they can be helpful for your New Year, too:
Smashing Pumpkins – “Today”
I clearly have a thing for music that sounds bright and happy when it really isn’t, probably because it’s kind of like me. Today truly is the greatest day, in fact it’s always the only day we have to make the most of what we’re given. But I have also wanted more than life could ever grant me. Billy wrote this song when he was at rock bottom, and the irony of it does not escape me.
“Today is the greatest
Day I’ve ever known
Can’t wait for tomorrow
I might not have that long”
Scott Weiland covering Depeche Mode – “But Not Tonight”
The original version of this song is good. I love Depeche Mode. But Scott’s voice and slightly more modern interpretation of it really helped me connect with the song itself. I really haven’t felt this alive in years.
Is shining in the sky
Of so many other nights
When my eyes have been so red
I’ve been mistaken for dead
But not tonight”
Kesha – “Woman”
This song is like “Independent Women Pt. 1” for the new kids, and I am feeling it like a motherfucker. I run this shit.
“I buy my own things, I pay my own bills
These diamond rings, my automobiles
Everything I got, I bought it
Boys can’t buy my love…
I’m a motherfucking woman, baby, all right”
Nina Simone – “Feelin’ Good”
“Feeling Good” is so sensual and amazing even a cappella. Then the beat drops, and its like you’re witnessing the creation of a new universe. If you want a version that bangs in the club, check out this remix by Bassnectar. This is a new dawn, a new day, a new life, my friends.
“Stars when you shine
You know how I feel
Scent of the pine
You know how I feel
Oh, freedom is mine
And I know how I feel”
Lana Del Rey – “Ride”
I think y’all may have figured out by now that I love Lana Del Rey. This song is one of the reasons. I have actually written a few things she says here about myself, before I ever heard this song, before she hit the music scene. I’d like to think she just read my mind.
I belong to no one and everyone. Who are you? Are you in touch with all of your dreams? Have you created a life for yourself where you can experience them? I’m trying.
I am fucking crazy, but I am free.
“I hear the birds on the summer breeze, I drive fast, I am alone at midnight Been tryin’ hard not to get into trouble, But I, I’ve got a war in my mind So, I just ride”