My songs to kick off 2012

I’ve started three different drafts of New Year’s posts. I started to look back at 2011 and tried to pick out the highlights, but it felt forced. 2011 was a fine year – I started a new job, I spent many fun days and nights with great friends new and old, I saw a singing, dancing Harry Potter on Broadway. But I can’t sit here and say unequivocally that it was an amazing year.

I then started to write some letters to the men who were part of my 2011, but couldn’t bring myself to hit publish. Partly because I was afraid some of you are out there reading, and partly because I didn’t feel like another “Dear Ryan Gosling, stop being so Ryan Gosling” letter would benefit the internet very much.

So I finally arrived at this post – a few songs that I’m taking with me into 2012. These aren’t necessarily my favorite songs of 2011, but the songs I’m thinking about today as we close out one year and enter the next.

I know what you’re thinking… “Really, Brenna? The shuffling guys?” Well, yes. It’s not the most brilliant song ever written, and someday it might go down in history as the single most “OH MY GOD GET IT OUT OF MY HEAD NOW” song ever written. But this song reminds me of great times with great friends in 2011. It makes me smile every time I hear it, and who doesn’t want to start a new year by party rocking?

Unfortunately this song took a hit a few weeks ago when HBO 24/7 revealed it to be the Philadelphia Flyers’ victory song, but I still love it. I’ve loved it for months. I can’t help bouncing my head and tapping my toes when it comes on my iPod. I want to go back to college and choreograph an Orchesis routine to it. I love that Mac is a Pittsburgh boy, and I love the reference to Eat & Park cookies. This song makes me happy.

Sorry, Adele, but in my mind Kelly Clarkson put out the best breakup song of 2011. In fact, in my mind, this might be the best breakup song of all time. This is the song I wish had been released two years ago. This is the song that I will blast and belt at the top of my lungs next time a guy hurts me. This is the song I will send to my friends when a guy hurts them. We all know it’s true, but sometimes we need a little reminding – doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone.

And I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t
So here’s to drinks in the dark at the end of my road
And I’m ready to suffer and I’m ready to hope
It’s a shot in the dark and right at my throat
Cause looking for heaven, for the devil in me
Looking for heaven, for the devil in me
Well what the hell I’m gonna let it happen to me

There are so many brilliant lyrics in this song that it’s hard for me to pick just a few lines to highlight. To me, this song is about letting go of your past and everything that is holding you back. About shaking off all the demons, the fears, and the people you’re clinging to. What better way to start a new year, than to let go of whatever didn’t go right in 2011 and look forward to whatever 2012 brings – good, bad, scary, or safe.

I hope you and your loved ones have a happy, safe, and prosperous 2012. I hope those of you in a relationship continue to love, trust, and be honest with your partner. I hope those of you who are single embrace the freedom, fun, and excitement that being single can bring, and have a bottle of wine ready for the heartache and sadness it can also bring. I hope you all have friends and family that you can turn to in bad times and celebrate with in good times.

Happy new year, everyone.

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