Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Best of 2014: This Blog

Looking back on this year, which posts of mine have gotten the most attention? Here are our top 10. Some of these surprise me... and others I forgot I wrote in the first place.

10. My Top 8 Disney Soundtracks (April 2)
Alan Menken in the eighties and nineties was freaking AWESOME. The Little Mermaid has not only some of the most iconic Disney songs, but also truly some of the best. "Poor Unfortunate Souls" is a really fantastic villain song, "Part of Your World" is probably the best I-want-more-out-of-life song Disney's ever produced, and "Les Poissons," although short, is hilarious.
9. Best of 2013: Facebook Posts (January 1)
Last night I dreamed I was at a church and they sang this bizarre and terrible hymn called "The Lord Thy God Demands Thy Soul." All the verses said things like, "God, take my eyesight, but not my soul!" and every chorus was God responding, "BUT THE LORD THY GOD DEMANDS THY SOUL!" The final verse revealed that your soul is literally a magnet inside you (yes, literally) keeping you stuck to the earth, so if God doesn't take your soul, you can't fly off the earth to go up to heaven. 
My subconscious has some *goofy* theology. Also, that's a terrible hymn. Nobody write it.
8. What Happens When You Remove a Syllable from a Movie Title? (October 8)
Dependence Day: When aliens attack earth, a computer genius and a fighter pilot team up to assist the aliens in their invasion. Events come to a head when the president gives a rousing speech about the joys of bending knee to the new overlords.
7. My Favorite Underrated Actors (March 10)
I used to think I didn't like Tom Cruise, but when he has a chance to do something really good, he nearly always delivers. Turns out he just also picks a lot of blah movies with one-note action star characters -- which, yes, he does phone in a lot. But just look at his work in Tropic Thunder, Magnolia, Rain Man, Vanilla Sky, Collateral, or even the awesomely ridiculous Rock of Ages (where he was easily the best part of the entire movie), and it's clear that he's capable of so much more.
6. The Worst Children's Book Series Ever (February 24)
Then, once upon another time, we thought it might be fun to come up with as many rhyming phrases as we could. Somehow this morphed into creating a series of children's books, representing it with a rhyming one-sentence pitch. (We tried to roughly keep the meter the same throughout.) Since Baby Wayney was our placeholder name, it only made sense to center this series of kids' books around him as well.
5. Depression, Guilt, and Giving Advice (August 27)
Walsh says in his post that he has dealt with depression. A lot of people have claimed that's a lie. I am not a fan of dismissing people's personal experiences, and I certainly don't know him in real life, so I don't really have any reason to think he is lying. Plenty of people struggle with depression that you wouldn't suspect. What I can emphatically say, though, is that his depression must have been drastically different from mine. 
Mine comes with a built-in layer of All The Guilt. 
For me, this is actually usually the first symptom of an upcoming depressive period and the last to leave. I begin to believe that everything I'm doing, I'm doing wrong. I'm dealing with my depression wrong. I'm talking to my friends wrong. I'm writing this blog wrong. And then that guilt converts into crippling anxiety -- if I move or breathe or think or speak I'll do something wrong -- and then I get paralyzed.
4. Walking With God in the Midst of Depression (November 10)
For me, "walking in victory" isn't about the depression going away. It's not about walking in my victory because I feel awesome and I've conquered depression -- it's about walking in God's victory. It's about trusting that he can get me through the day, the week, the year, and my life. It's about realizing that if I can't walk any further, he can carry me, and I'm still victorious because I'm trusting him.
Turns out when you're not constantly in a situation where you have to socialize with people, it's easy to withdraw until you've withdrawn yourself all the way out into hermitiness. 
Not every introvert spends all their time in public staring at their phone or reading a book. You may be meeting introverts all the time and you just don't know it. To find an introvert in a crowd, try striking up one-on-one conversations -- an introvert is more likely to direct all their attention to one person for a long period of time, while someone more extroverted will probably still love talking to you but will include others in the conversation or move on to mingle with someone else.
"Let It Go" speaks deeply to me of the moment when you're like, "I JUST FIGURED OUT I DON'T HAVE TO LIVE LIKE THIS ANYMORE" and even though there may be a downside to the new arrangement, even though you may not have healed yet, it's still an incredibly joyous moment to find freedom of any kind... It just honestly never occurred to me to see it as a sad song. It feels very... self-empowermenty.

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