I like new beginnings.

Not just the first of the year, everyone likes the first of the year, but I like the first of every month. I like the fifteenth of every month, when you’ve hit the halfway point. I like Sundays and Mondays and sometimes Wednesdays, days where I can start over and start new things. So the new year is even better.

I already made my resolutions, I already started on my way. I got a new driver’s license this week, and after a few bills and some freelance projects I’ll be applying for my passport. It’s exciting. I want to go places, and even if I don’t get to physically go places, even if everything falls through, I still feel like I’m moving forward.

I like it.

New years are weird though. There’s that anticipation, that wondering what the next year will bring. Maybe a little bit of fear of time moving so quickly, or fear of what’s to come. You try to focus on your regular everyday life, but how can you? The world is spinning. You need to grab on to something or you’re going to be left behind.

12 Months of Manda, Act I. #bestof2015

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2015 was something of a renaissance for me. I stopped doing what other people expected me to do, and I started doing things for me. Keeping up with this blog has been huge for me, because I’ve been writing about what I want to write about with no particular audience in mind. And yet, here you are. Here everyone is, and we had a really great year.

This wasn’t my biggest year for concerts, but I still saw and loved a hell of a lot of great music this year: The Lost Brothers, Glen Hansard, Vinyl Theatre, The Mowgli’s, Bastille, about five minutes of Kaskade, Dear Rouge, Misterwives, Walk the Moon, Misterwives again, Aiofe O’Donovan, and Glen Hansard again. Everyone was incredible, and I can’t wait to see so many more live gigs next year.

I drove across the country to visit family in North Carolina, and two of my best friends drove across the country to visit me at separate times.

We made plans and Spotify mixes and stared at the stars and talked about “Remember when?”

12 Months of Manda, Act II. #bestof2015

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In 2016, I want to go places. I want to see the world, I want to meet new people. I want to forge new friendships and come up with new “Remember when?” stories.

I want to dress up in fancy clothes, do my makeup all the way, and take stupid selfies before we’re allowed to leave the house. And I want to slouch around in a hoodie and a snapback while I work at Starbucks, headphones on and music filling my ears.

In 2016, I want to make my time count. I want to help people, I want to create things, I want to feel like I’m making the most of my time. I want to remind others that they can be creative too, they can do what they want, they can make room for art in their lives, whatever form that art takes.

This past year had a lot of shit in it. There were bad days, there was loss. But all in all, it was also really great. I made some fantastic new friends, I had great new experiences, and I listened to so much great music. And if 2016 is anything like 2015, I will be perfectly okay with that.

There’s this song by a North Carolina favorite band, The Mountain Goats. You should listen to it.

We are going to make it through this year, if it kills us. You and me both.

Happy New Year, La Multi Ani, and I’ll be seeing you soon.

If you’d like more New Year’s Eve music, check out my Spotify Playlist of my favorites that I tend to listen to every year…more or less. Sometimes there’s new additions. I’ve still got time this year.

If you’d like to read some of my favorite posts from the past year, please feel free to check out this interview with Serban Cazan, this rant about Cutthroat Kitchen, this recounting of a weird Starbucks experience, or this spoilerific post about Star Wars.

If you enjoyed this post and want to help me make 2016 as awesome as possible, please consider contributing to my Patreon.  You can contribute as little as $1/month to help cover site expenses and projects, or contribute more to help decide on upcoming reviews or get your own personalized playlist.