While I sat and thought about my 2018, I realized that I couldn’t remember things that clearly. But I could (almost) always link a song back to a moment. Bear with me.
January: “Timmy’s Prayer” Sampha
I said goodbye to my loved ones for 4 months. Set off to study abroad in Prague. Nervous. Nervous. NERVOUS. There was a lot of anxiety but I knew I needed to go. “Timmy’s Prayer” came on shuffle on the plane. I played it on repeat for the rest of the 11-hour journey.
February: “OG Heartthrob” Majid Jordan
Wanted to go home. Immediately. I didn’t really know if I could be away from home this long. Spent most of my time wrapped up in my sheets on the phone with my parents. Majid Jordan’s newest album kept me afloat.
March: “Spotless Mind” Jhene Aiko
Saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for the first time. I cried so hard while watching it that I was late to class. I didn’t even care, I just knew I loved the movie. It kind of felt like it was speaking to my relationship at the time. It was exactly what I needed to see. I saw one of my best friends near the end of the month and spent a lot of time with her. Felt so lucky.
April: “If Only” Raveena
Every night I dreamt I was back home. I couldn’t even talk to my siblings on the phone without wanting to cry. I fought that loneliness by traveling. “If Only” came on in a smoothie shop in Amsterdam and I felt like life was coming together. I loved this song already so it felt like divine intervention when it played. Someone above knew I needed a sign and this song was just that.
May: “Trader Joe” Junglepussy/“Protect My Heart” Kelis
I woke up one day and decided to walk to a random park near my apartment. I walked aimlessly for hours. Don’t remember what led me to this point but I do remember that JP3 made me feel comfortable in such an uncomfortable city. I laid on a bench and thought about life a lot. I was so thankful for everything I experienced in the last few months. I couldn’t go anywhere without listening to Kelis’ Tasty. Came back home.
June: “Jaguars in the Air” Lykke Li/“Come Over” The Internet
Turned 21. Moved to NYC for the summer. Tried to get myself acquainted with the white empty walls in the room I rented in a basement apartment. I was never able to. Listened to a lot of Lykke Li. Spent a lot of time smiling at my laptop while watching the “Come Over” video.
July: “13 (Demo)” Abhi//Dijon
Had my first major breakup. Spent most of the month in tears. Cut all my hair off. My favorite song “13 (Demo)” was part of my healing process. I saw Beyoncé for the first time with my best friends. That was definitely the highlight of July.
August: “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” The 1975
My siblings and I spent a lot of time driving around listening to this song. We’d replay it over and over again while trying to figure out why some people didn’t like it. We came to the conclusion that they were haters. This month was a big time in everyone in my family’s life. Some of us started school, some of us moved away, and some of us watched kids grow.
I honestly don’t have much recollection of September. Everything felt muggy. I just know it flew by.
October: “Do U Wrong” Leven Kali ft. Syd/“Yes Indeed” Lil Baby & Drake
Leven Kali and Syd’s voices are the best mid-semester medicine. “Do U Wrong” was the song keeping me company as I made my sweet potato and avocado dinners on school nights.
At the beginning of the month, I went to the state fair with my siblings and best friends. None of us fit in, but we had a blast. Fried Oreos are phenomenal. On the drive back, we kept blurting out lyrics from “Yes Indeed”. Every moment of silence was broken by “WAH WAH WAH, BITCH I’M LIL BABY!”.
November: “What’s the Use?” Mac Miller
This song took on another meaning when Mac passed away. I spent a lot of November listening to Swimming. Maybe I thought it would bring him back or maybe I just wanted to try to find closure. I’m not sure. But I do know that November a whirlwind month when it comes to school, and this song helped me keep the pace.
December: “Powerslide” by Ryan Beatty
Smiled a lot. The holidays were exactly what I needed. Loved every moment of it. My brother showed us “Powerslide” and it brought a piece of summer to December.
2018 made me feel like an adult. While writing this I realized there was a constant. I was always happiest with my family and friends. That is not a coincidence. I am my best self when I am with them. Thank you for always bringing out the best in me.
In 2019, I hope to write my songs of the month in real time so they won’t have to be in these scattered sentences. I’m excited.