Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Don't Look At Me Like Another Lost Soul

And if all of our lives turn out to be lies
Then I'll go back home
To the people that knew me
Before I was old and grown...

I toyed with the idea of writing a year-end list. I scoffed at even attempting to make a list of 10 albums (I think I've listened to a total of 3 on repeat this year) and yet did end up coming up with a list of songs. The songs, however, are nothing interesting or unique. What is, however, is what can happen in the span of one year. I saw my life dissected, judged, with too many ups and downs to count. And while I finally learned how to make myself feel somewhat normal, all that was normal to me growing up quickly disappeared.

2008 started with some very major decisions. First up? Quit smoking. I'm proud to say that I have stuck with that new years resolution (probably the first) and couldn't even imagine sucking in smoke ever again. I was a heavy smoker for about seven years, and thanks to the strange sensation of a prescription drug (Chantix), I was able to kick the habit and still live with a smoker. I give myself a nice high-five for that. Once in a while, I think we all deserve a little praise.

The start of the year also saw a number of doctors appointments, swelled lips and hands, chronic hives, and the constant bewilderment of those claiming to be experts. I remember sitting in one allergists' office and after a long sigh while looking over my charts, he simply shrugged. "You're an enigma, Rachael," he said. That wasn't good enough for me.

It took almost half of the year to realize that I had had food allergies all along. If anyone had bothered to do a blood test, opposed to a skin test, they would have discovered that my allergy to wheat was the main culprit in my illness. It was utterly relieving, however frustrating to take on this new lifestyle. Constantly checking over ingrediants, and having special orders are probably things I"ll never get used to. I never wanted to be singled out of a crowd, and now, I'm feeling strange on a regular basis. Lucikly I'm finding ways to make this work for me so I can still retain my wallflower-ness.

As anyone who has read this blog for sometime knows, music was a huge part of my life -- and a huge part of my blog. In March, I decided to take a huge risk and quit my dream job, convincing myself that this was not the end of the road and there was something out there I still needed to achieve. And whilst I have not continued to write about the music I still listen to on this blog, I know that I'll eventually revist this crazy life I once lead -- if only to showcase that yes, I was once cool. But we all know that was always just a ruse.

I moved from Chelsea to Staten Island, I watched my once-happily married parents separate, I embraced my inner nerd, and stopped taking pictures at every show I attended. I'm not sorry to see 2008 go -- it was hard, long, and took a lot out of me. But there's one thing I did learn -- no matter how we identify ourselves, the real person exists inside. Through it all, I'm glad I never lost my sense of self, or my sometimes questionable thoughts.

In case you are curious, my number 1 song of the year is "Mistletoe" by Jukebox The Ghost [listen here]. It's just a demo, but hearing it live (and then begging for a demo version to listen to repeatedly) led to the following email to their lead singer Ben Thornewill.

....So anyways, the REAL reason I'm writing this is because I've acquired an unhealthy obsession to your song "Mistletoe." Seth sent me the demo a little while ago (I'm not sure if I was supposed to mention that, but oh well) and I'm pretty sure its the best song that you (and Tommy?) have written. It's fab. So I was wondering if you could do me a favor or sending me the lyrics? I just want to make sure I'm singing the right words when I'm freaking people out on the subway to work. Make sense?

Ben was nice enough to send them back with the following request:

now go freak people out on the subway

Somethings never change....

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