You guyzzzzz……I have had this complete & total explosion of ideas the past few days! Ugh! I’m gushing. Can’t wait to share. But I feel the need to do things chronologically.
So…it’s the last day of the year. And holy crap. A lot has happened. So much has changed. I don’t really want to rehash all the details in words (go back and read my blog from the beginning if you’d like to). So instead I’m giving myself and you this playlist available on Spotify here. Take a listen! It’s like my life story in 2016. No joke. Ok, fine. So here’s a bit of (con)text for each song too.
Winter: Lyrical Courage
I started the year still with my anthems from when I first decided to come back to Company T after getting laid off by them as well. It was lyrical courage to keep going! And I was energized Jan – March when I still had a major project to chew on top of my team–
“Without Me” by Eminem. This was my ANTHEM walking through the doors at my first day back at Company T back in August 2015. Lyrics were so fitting with “Now this looks like a job for me / So everybody, just follow me! / ‘Cause we need a little controversy / ‘Cause it feels so empty without me.” I held my head high and hid any hurt, shame, anger, unworthy feelings I was feeling by leveraging this song continuously to stay focused through intense days on a major project.
“No Rest for the Wicked” by Lykke Li. On repeat from the day I found out I would have to present to my CEO celebrating a major project I worked on. Frankly, I didn’t feel like celebrating shit with him after he laid me off a year earlier. I used this song as therapy in the weeks leading up to the meeting so I could pour on sticky, sweet liquid sugar talk instead of the hate I really felt every time I was in his presence. He is quite possibly the most inauthentic, disingenuous leader I have ever seen after working for four different Fortune 100s. I couldn’t stand him before I was laid off and that feeling certainly didn’t change even after meeting him in a more intimate celebratory setting. #RealTalk #UnapologeticBitch
Spring: Shoving It Down
I moved into this new phase of awareness. The distraction of a major project was over. I had time to actually think—why was I feeling so melancholy? Why wasn’t I feeling confident? Why wouldn’t the impostor feeling go away? Instead of taking time to reflect and address I just shoved the feelings down hoping it was just a phase of dissatisfaction leveraging these songs to muscle through…
“Iron Doors” by The Lighthouse and the Whaler. I tried hard to follow the lyrics of the song–“I have closed the iron doors / the things I keep / from growing out / I know you’ll hate the way I feel / Eyes watering / I am disguised” because I knew so many people would truly hate to hear the way I felt. People had helped me get back here! They would want me to suck it up and muscle through. No time to hear that I was feeling worthless and had a huge burden of proof on my back. I felt like I had to show I was good enough to work within the four walls of this organization that threw me out a year ago. So shove the feelings down. Too much work to do.
“Out of the Woods” by Taylor Swift. I asked this question on repeat. When would this phase of awareness & extreme discontent leave me? When would I finally be out of the woods?
Summer: The Screaming Universe
I experienced 4 deaths in 4 months. It felt like the Universe shouting at me to wake. the. heck. up. Life was short for these people and it could be short for me too.
“To Know Him is to Love Him” by Amy Winehouse. Hey! Look! It’s the song that inspired the name for this blog. I played this on repeat constantly remembering each man who died in this time frame. I wanted people to be able to say “to know Shannon was to love her!” like they had for these men. Hell, I just wanted to know MYSELF so I could start loving myself again. But I didn’t really think anyone could love me at that point. I was consumed in my work and had time for nothing else.
“Live Like You Were Dying” by Tim McGraw. I started getting a little inspired & hopeful listening to this. I wanted to answer the question posed in the song what if “tomorrow was a gift and you got eternity to think about what you’d do with it? What did you do with it?”
The Day I Quit: Clarity & the Shakes
Yeah. This one day gets 3 whole songs all to itself. Just deal.
“First” by Cold War Kids. I had NO idea I was going to quit the day I did. Did you know that? I had an 8am appointment with my counselor and we agreed that after 7 weeks with her the decision couldn’t wait anymore. I texted my husband…
and then I blasted this song. I was finally “flying like a cannonball” into the office ready to own it because “There comes a time / in a short life / turn it around / get a rewrite.” I was ready to finally break free and take my chance to rewrite my life making it look the way I wanted it to!
“America’s Sweetheart” by Elle King. The very next song I played on my drive in was this one to remind myself that I’m no longer America’s Sweetheart. Take that pressure right off. I needed to do what was right for ME. Besides, I was constantly being told I was too passionate, too bold, and “too LOUD for this town.” I did as the song says “so I lit a match and burned it down.”
“Unsteady” by X Ambassadors. I walked out of the office at 7pm after an emotionally taxing day. It was POURING BUCKETS of rain and I had no umbrella. I didn’t care. I let the rain wash all over me and savored the coincidental timing of this song popping up first as I hit shuffle on my phone. It was exactly how I was feeling. Unsteady as evidence by this text stream with my hubs…
I wanted Company T to hold on to me, to ask me to stay. I was so scared I had just made the biggest mistake of my entire career. But at the same time I knew “this house no longer feels like home.”
Fall to Now: Clean & Happy
“Clean” by Taylor Swift. NOTE: Sorry! It’s impossible to find her version, so this cover will have to do. Yeah, I’m a 30 year old woman who loves T-Swift. This is my jam right now and I’m going to write a LOT about it. It is THE song for me this year. This one song sums it all up in a pretty little bow.
I used to say I “bleed red” and I drank “the koolaid” so the fact that there’s a lyric saying “You’re still all over me / like a wine-stained dress I can’t wear anymore.” Just YES. This captures so much of what I feel every day since leaving Company T. I loved that dress (my experience at my old company). I freaking LOVED it. But I couldn’t wear it anymore. The layoffs just wrecked it all spilling wine all over its gorgeousness for me. I was like a battered woman going back to her abuser. Might as well have been a blood-stained dress. Dramatic, I know. But that is exactly how it felt in hindsight. I’m still on a journey to get “clean & sober” and it’s not always easy. Like I said. I so dearly loved that dress. I loved the people there that helped me make it so much so that I’m arguably still clingy…but I’m working to get clean & sober and make some wanted posters for new REAL advisors, friends, etc. for the people who really want to be in my life and not just a part of my time at Company T. Until then though, I cling.
My 2nd favorite line in the song–“I screamed so loud / but no one heard a thing.” I had cried out for help to sooo many people who I thought were mentors while I was there. But no one wanted to go there with me. How could I not see that this was never going to work? It’s a place about 80% full of people who are not capable of meaningful human connection. If you’re reading this and you’re still there please know you’re probably the 20% that IS capable of it. So go A) change the culture (I have a great TED talk to help you with this) or B) let me help you RUN to the nearest exit.
“Anything Could Happen” by Ellie Goulding. Legit, most days now I wake up thinking “Oooooo!!! ANYTHING could happen today! ANYTHING! What do I want to bring into existence today?!” What exciting possibilities. The panic is pretty much over and I feel in charge of my own destiny again! This is probably going to be my jam all 2017 long.
And on that note…I can’t WAIT to tell you what I want to bring into existence next year, but that will have to wait for 2017!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Question of the Post: What song or songs sum up your 2016 experience? I’d love to hear below!
PS: Did you know I’m obsessed with all kinds of music? 8 credits short of a double major in music (I dread performing).