Every day from now until Spring, I will play a song from each year from 1940-2020. I’ll also write a little bit about the song and why I chose it to represent that year.

1987 was a year of transitions. I graduated from Fort Hays State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and started working two jobs to save money to go to Europe. I wasn’t aware of the term “gap year” so I took my year abroad after finishing school. But that wouldn’t happen until 1988. First I had to save money. I took two jobs and saved money as much as I could. My parents let me live with them although they were really keen on the idea.  My mother gave a firm ‘one year and your out’ rule.  I had until July of the next year and then I had t leave regardless of how much or little I saved. But I’m grateful they let me stay with them. If I hadn’t I might not ever would have been able to go.

My graduation from college. I am flanked by both my grandmothers.

1987 was also an important year in my evolution as a person. I began to realize that I was solely responsible for my own happiness. I slowly let go of some of the anger and hurt from my childhood. It wasn’t an instantaneous thing and I still deal with some anger into this day, but this is the first year I began to have a sense of daylight.

I had been reading a book about Freud who said that depression was “anger turned inward.”  I had never thought of depression that way. I was depressed often back then but I had no idea the feeling was suppressed anger.  So I began to ask myself when I felt a dark mood coming on “Alright, what are you angry about?” I began to realize I was angry a whole lot. This was a breakthrough for me because I thought I was never angry. My mother was a rageaholic and I found her lack of self-control very distasteful.  I vowed never to be her and I associated anger with intemperance. Come to find out I was angry all the time I just imploded instead of exploding. The more I came to own my anger, the less depressed I became.  I’m still dealing with depression to this day but the frequency seems to have diminished.

My song for this year is “Don’t dream it’s over” by Crowded House. I love this band. The lead singer Niel Finn was a member of one of my favorite bands in high school “Split Enz”. They never really caught on in the US but were very popular during the early days of MTV. Since the band was very visual they were one of the first bands to experiment with the burgeoning media called the music video and since MTV didn’t have a lot of content at the very beginning Split Enz videos were played often. My brother and I were huge fans and had several of their albums.

Much like 1983’s selection “Back on the chain gang” this song reminds me to be strong and to never give up.


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