I was at The Wiltern when a sea of people chanted, “We gon’ be alright,” with Kendrick Lamar. That moment of pure, positive energy in the venue woke me up. We all have our battles to fight. Some battles are more difficult than others, but they are all significant. As this year turns its final pages to end its chapter, I’ve acknowledged how much I’ve learned about myself in 2015. One alarming detail is that I’m not entirely sure who I am anymore. But once I had this ah-ha moment, I began to see my world more clearly and can now make moves to rediscover the kind of person I am and can be.
I shamefully admit that I compare myself to others quite often by analyzing their lives against my own. But I am nobody but myself. And when I try to push myself to be a certain way, I might actually be losing a part of what makes me Jenay. Life’s a strange journey of self-discovery. I think it’s a stressful, life-long mission that also has some gorgeous potential. Instead of spiraling into a panic of “WHO AM I THOUGH??” for the rest of my life, I’m trying to accept the intricacies of my identity by thinking of the journey as an opportunity to try new things, revisit what I loved as a child, and put this wonky little puzzle of my life together.
A few days ago during the Thanksgiving weekend, my family welcomed a new member, my baby cousin. It was love at first sight. It’s wild to feel so strongly about a person when you know nothing about them. In this case, he literally has no identity apart from his race and biological gender. I find it exciting because our family is able to witness his development as an individual from day 1. I find it fascinating to see how and why people become the way they are.
I’m already planning to be the auntie who discusses music with him, in hopes that he gains an appreciation for it. Music has played a huge role in molding who I am. This ’15 Soundtrack series documents which songs had an impact on my year, by month, which is one of my favorite aspects of it. I hope you enjoy the November playlist. As always, it’s available on Spotify, or you can click the video links below.
“Close To Me” – The Cure
“Wanna Know” – Dan Croll
“No No No” – Beirut
“Mad Hatter” – Melanie Martinez
“Alright” – Kendrick Lamar
“Better” – Banks
“Corner” – Night Beds
“L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N” – Noah and the Whale
“Valerie (Live at BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge)” – Amy Winehouse
“River” – Leon Bridges
“re:stacks” – Bon Iver
“Take It Back” – Liza Anne
“Search For More” – From Indian Lankes
“Ship To Wreck” – Florence + The Machine
“Where Are Ü Now” – Skrillex, Diplo and Justin Bieber
Drop a note in the comments section with songs you’re spinning lately.