19 December 2016

Las Altas y Bajas: Katherine's 15th Annual Mix 2016

Around mid-May, I remarked to my family, "I think 2016 is going to MY year!" And I honestly really thought that. Things seemed awesome. I had completed my dissertation. I fell in love. My whole family came together to Nashville to celebrate my graduation in May. And, I was planning to start a new chapter of my life, with another person. Or in other words, it was "Las Altas..."

And then, it was like, the world came crumbling down. That new chapter got paused, and then, stopped. Then, I lost my two #catpilots. Then, I pseudo-lost my man. And fuck, things just seemed to stay in: "Las Bajas..."

Therefore, the year was one of ups and downs. When I look back upon what I've written in past years, it doesn't seem all that surprising. I mean, honestly, every year contains these ups and downs, right? But honestly, this year had some of the highest and lowest moments that I can remember in quite some time. I wish I had more to say at this moment. I wish I could really write about how it feels, but I just can't. I'm still processing. But, at the moment, I think the mix can do that work....and as I think about writing the end of the year blog, I might get closer. 

So for now, enjoy las altas y bajas. 

You can find it in the following locations:

3) Or, I can send it to you....if you email me an update on your life and your address...

1) I Must Belong Somewhere: Bright Eyes
So, this year’s big lesson didn’t come until quite late in the year.  BELONGING. I realized as we circle around December, that I want to belong. I want to belong somewhere. I want to belong to someone. I just want to belong. And, at the time of writing this, I still don't know where I belong. I think it was what made leaving Germantown really difficult. For the first time in life, I lived in a neighborhood in which I felt like I belonged. I belonged somewhere in between Silo and the 8th Avenue North Market. For most of my life, I've been somewhere in between. I AM THE IN BETWEENS. But, I'm starting to get tired of that. I'm ready to belong. I'm ready to put down some roots. I'm ready for some permanency.

And here’s hoping that in 2017, I find where I belong.

2) I Found You: Alabama Shakes
At the end of last year, I started to fall in love. At the beginning of this year, I fell in love really hard. I spent part of my winter break and spring break and summer break with a man. And y’all have heard it already, you know who he is. I spent most of this past year in love. I started to plan a wedding. Seriously, I was THAT in love. I actually wanted to get married. And we made plans. We were to be married in May. And then, it was June. Then, it was July. And then, it wasn’t. But I knew that the universe brought someone to me, the person I was looking for my entire life.

“I traveled a long way. And it took a long time. To find you. But I finally found you.”

3) Knock on Wood: Otis Redding
Once I found him, I don't have any plan to lose him.

“Oh ‘cause your love is better than any love I know

I said, “It’s like thunder, glowing like lightening”

Baby, the way you love me is frightening,

I think I better knock, knock, knock, knock on wood…”      

4) Soy Yo: Bomba Estereo
Theme song of 2016. I played this song for my students on the first couple of weeks of classes. And it became their theme song too.If you do anything, you should watch this video. And then, you should go be the weird little freak that you are.

5) Hamaki: Agmal  Youm
Obvi, my Arabic isn’t that great. But from what I’ve been told this song is about how it is the best day for him because it is the day they see each other and are together. Yep, that sounds about right. I'm counting down the days.

6) Hands to Myself: Selena Gomez
When I was driving back to Nashville, I kept listening to this song. Because its so true, when you are waiting to see the person you love so very much, you can’t wait to get there. And put your hands on them. Again, I'm counting down the days.

7) Sherine: Sabri Aleel
All I really know about this song is that it means "I'm not patient." That's all, folks.

8) Scars To Your Beautiful: Alessia Cara
I dedicate this one to my ladies. Because, ladies, you are beautiful just the way you are.
“She just wants to be beautiful,
She goes unnoticed, she knows no limits,

She craves attention, she praises an image,

She prays to be sculpted by the sculptor,

Oh, she don’t see the light that’s shining,

Deeper than the eyes can find it,

Maybe we have made her blind,

So she tries to cover up her pain and cut her woes away,

‘Cause cover girls don’t cry after their face is made,

But there’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark,

You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are,

And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart,

No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars, and we’re beautiful…”


9) The Party: Regina Spektor
And then, I lost Igor. This one is about Igor. It is the song I listened to on repeat when I had his funeral. Because he was like a party. He was my little man. My first therapy appointment after his death, my therapist said: “I’m so sorry. You and Sabine lost your little man.” And I realized, he was our man. He was the man who was always there. And his stinky breath still haunts me. I still miss him every single fucking day. So tonight, I raise a toast to the ones who loved me the most. Another round of applause for the best. Because he was the fucking best. 

10) I Have Never Loved Someone: My Brightest Diamond
And then, I lost Sabine. FUCK. I still can’t believe how fucked up this semester has been for me. I lost Igor, then, I lost Sabine, within a week. And to speak of belonging, I lost the two who always made me feel like I belonged. When I came home after work, those two were always there waiting for me. When I moved across the country, they were right there next to me. While I felt incredibly lonely in the past two years that I lived here, I always had the two of them to come home to. And then, in a week, they were gone. I’m still not over it. I’m not sure I’ll over be over it. But, Sabine, she was my girl. She was the strongest of the bunch. She kept both of us, me and Igor, in line. She reminded us that we needed to be strong. And so, when I lost her, I forgot. I forgot how to be strong.

11) Don’t Let Me Down: The Chainsmokers
When the cats died, I felt super lonely. It was hard. It was hard to navigate the stupid bullshit of the day-to-day without family. Like, who is supposed to help me drive to the crematorium? It was fucking hard. And I felt really lonely. And so, I was happy to find that some people were there to help me. But it also became super obvious who the people who were there for me and those that weren’t. It was like a line in the sand. Let's try to stay positive, for those of you that *were* there for me and sent me flowers and gifts, you have my gratitude. Thank you.

12) Stormy Weather: Etta James
And then, I lost him. Or, well, I sort of lost him. We were in the middle of planning a wedding. We had picked a date. I had ordered a dress. I had ordered a veil. I had started to plan with a florist. Even, my best lady, Ashley, had ordered a dress. And then. It stopped. But Katherine, this is confusing, aren't you going to see him soon? Yes, see, its fucking complicated. I didn't lose him because we don't love each other. Actually, if there is anything I'm sure of in this life, it is that we love each other. But rather, we had some familial issues. I don't think its fair to go into, but we had to call off our planning. And, we distanced ourselves from one another for a few weeks. And we still have no idea how this will all really end up. It's hard y'all. Like, really fucking hard.

13) Copper Mines: Mothers
I heard this band for the first time in my favorite coffee shop last week. And it broke my heart, because yesssssssss. It resonated.

“Stillness of limbs

I am hardly what I say I am

I’ve imagined you

One hundred pennies

Underneath my tongue

And my soft dumb heart

Grows stale at the thought of it

What I have to give

Is small but at least I can admit it

But the sum of it may add up

To your pin-pricked finger

Or the number of times

I’ve dreamt it

This is me combing your hair

In the wrong direction

In the wrong direction

This is me mouthing words to you

From the longest distance

From the longest distance…”

14) Close: Nick Jonas
Yeah, okay. I have a crush on Nick Jonas. I’m happy that he wasn’t someone that I adored in a boy band when I was younger, so I don’t feel weird about my crush. But the notion of being close and how problematic that can feel is resonant to me. But seriously, the real reason this is on the mix...ya’ll, he’s handsome. Treat yourself and watch the video.

14) Needed Me: Rihanna
“Fuck your white horse and the carriage.”

15) Here You Come Again: Dolly Parton

16) My Church: Maren Morris
This song reminds me of Michelle and Andrea. It makes me think of our nights together around the table. And when I’m driving across the country, I'll be in my church. And I can't fucking wait.

“When I put this car in drive,

Roll the windows down and turn up the dial,

Can I get a hallelujah?

Can I get an amen?

Feels like the Holy Ghost running through ya

When I play the highway FM

I find my soul revival

Singing every single verse

Yeah, I guess that’s my church…”

17) A Losing Season: Sorry About Dresden
I’m pretty sure this song isn’t by Matty O. But, it felt right. Matty O. wasn’t one of my best friends. But, he was very dear to the so many people that I love, particularly those folks from Omaha and Chapel Hill. I remember one night at a house party in Virginia (maybe), where Matty O. said to me, “Hey, Chapel Hill Girl….” because those days I spent so much time in Chapel Hill, he thought I lived there.

And I suppose I felt saddened by Matty O's death for a few reasons. For one, I was worried about his friends and family. I think about how it must feel for Conor to have lost his brother. It makes me wish I could put my arms around him again and tell him it'll feel better one day. But, I think the bigger thing for me was that it reminded me of a past life. I think about all those people that I probably would have never met if it hadn't been for Tomich. I think about how our lives intertwined for a few years. And, how even after all this time, I still miss their faces and laughs and all the trouble we caused. But I guess that's the thing, you share your life with people for some unspecified amount of time, then, life changes, you go different places, you are a different person. They always stay in your heart, regardless of how much time has passed. 

So, I think this song works, because this has been a fucking horrible season for many of us. A losing season.

18) You are the Treasure: Antony and the Johnsons
This one is for Ashley. That woman is my treasure. She is a treasure for all of us, but in particular, she is my treasure. On those days when I thought I was about to lose everything, she was there to remind me. And even, as I continue to navigate some pretty tough times, she is always there. Like a sunrise, Ashley is there to remind me of my magic.

19) All Night: Beyonce
Redemption. For my grandmother, and my mother…This song breaks my heart every single time. Please, promise me, if you do anything, LISTEN to this song. And share it, with your best friends, sisters, mothers, aunts, grandmothers.

"Grandmother, the alchemist, you spun gold out of this hard life. Conjured beauty from the things left behind. Found healing where it did not live. Discovered the antidote in your own kitchen. Broke the curse with your own two hands. You passed these instructions down to your own daughter, who then, passed it down to her daughter."  

Everyday, I still miss my grandmother. Because she knew. 

And I am reminded… “Nothing real can be threatened, true love brought salvation back into me, with every tear came redemption, and my torturer became my remedy.” Because, the truth is, my torturer is myself. And, I am my own remedy. 

I’m ready to find my redemption, my remedy, my belonging. But in the mean time, I’ll also be patient. I’ll try to remember that love takes it time. Sometimes, life takes a crooked path. And sometimes, we have to wait. And, god knows, I'm waiting. And I'll find my belonging. And then, it will happen.  

"We can't hear them."

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