So I haven't posted on here in quite some time. But I was recently inspired by my wife's recent idea to blog about the last 10 years of her life in music form. She summarized that span of time and the important moments in her life by way of song -- songs that she listened to during the moments or otherwise were relevant to the situations. I decided to do the same, but since some pretty memorable moments happened prior to the 10-year-ago mark, I decided to expand mine to 2002, covering the last 12 years. So without any further adieu, the last dozen years of my life in song:
(Mid-2002) Most of you know (some don't) that I was very unstable emotionally in early 2002 and became despondent and suicidal after a particularly bad breakup with my then-ex fiance, Tina. I actually came close to taking my life one night. I fixed a rope to the vent in my room and proceeded to try and hang myself. As I was choking to death, the internet radio I had left running on my computer played this song. It was a band I had never heard before. As the first verse hit, the vent broke and I fell to the ground. Pretty badly injured from the fall and with rope burns on my neck, I remained motionless listening to the end of this song before breaking down in tears. I decided then and there that A) this was my favorite band in the world, B) that they had spoken to me and saved my life and that C) I would never ever attempt to take my own life again (this had been my fourth attempt). Since that day, I have never attempted suicide and have worked hard to get my depression under control.
(Late 2002- early 2003) I had been dating Regina, my new fiance for a few months and already our relationship had hit some rocky patches. I had fallen in love with her, but she was more unstable emotionally than me and had special needs that I thought I could handle. I had convinced myself that love would prevail over rough patches, though inside, I was loaded with uncertainty. While I was never hesitant to do what I could to please her, I never really felt comfortable with the relationship and inside always waited for the other shoe to drop. Seven years later, the inevitable would finally happen. I was six and a half years too late to realize my gut instincts were probably right.
(Mid-2004) During good times between myself and Reg, there were other issues we had to contend with. One of them was both of us being accused of seducing and later raping someone. The accusations were bald-faced lies coaxed from a former friend who was under the romantic spell of a complete fucktard, conniving religious freak who was convinced that his new love's former "promiscuity" was the devil's work. We just happened to be among the first friends of hers he met and took us to task as an "open" couple. The friend in question has since removed herself from that situation and made amends with both Regina and I.
(Mid 2005) During another good moment in my otherwise troubled relationship with Regina, I purchased my first house. It was not quite what I was looking for in a house and was in a less desirable neighborhood than I had wanted. But nevertheless, I felt an enormous sense of accomplishment upon closing. Little did I know this would come back to haunt me greatly years later.
(Late 2005) Shortly after purchasing the house, I wanted to get a pup of my own. Sparky was technically Reg's dog (even though she would later abandon him). I brought home a Beagle puppy we named Onion. Sadly, Onion had Parvo and died after I had spent only a handful of hours with her. I was deeply depressed for days on end and listened to this song repeatedly. Weeks later, we took home Onion's sister, the only survivor of the litter. We named her Pepper. A few years later, Regina would force me to give Pepper away. Another mistake I never quite recovered from. Again, I played this song.
(Late 2006) My beloved New York Mets were a team to be reckoned with and made it all the way to the NL Championship Series. But a series of bad breaks forced the series to go to seven games and I watched live as the Mets were beaten by the St. Louis Cardinals. It seemed all Mets fans agreed that 2006 was supposed to be OUR year. Instead, we were left battered and depressed. This song was shared on a Mets message board by another fan and it immediately became my depressing marching music for the next several months.
(Late 2007) I had an ongoing feud with a former best friend of mine dating back to actions both of us took in the wake of my relationship with Tina falling apart. We were both to blame, but I held a strong grudge against her for her part. After years of avoiding each other and stewing privately and publicly, I heard this song one night and it brought me to tears. It wasn't too long after that that I mustered the courage to speak to her, apologize for holding things against her for so long and attempt to mend the friendship. Though we are not quite as close as we once were (partly due to geography), we remain friends to this day and she has continued to be there for me when I need her (and I hope I have for her as well).
(2007 and 2008) After years of working for newspapers and trade magazines, I was at the top of my game as Editor in Chief at Casino Journal. However, the magazine and its sister publications and events had been bought and sold over the years by various companies. Each time, staff and resources were cut in order to "improve the bottom line." However, with the last company, a dreadful operation called BNP Media, those cuts were the worst. The staff that survived were demanded to do more with less. Where we once were working with a staff/resources of around 35 people, it was cut to just three (one of them myself), responsible for churning out multiple magazines, custom publications and events. By the end, I was literally working 90- and 100-hour weeks, getting as little as an hour of sleep a night and working weekends. I decided it wasn't worth it, quit, wound up working for a small marketing company that my skills did not fit with and I was ultimately laid off. But quitting the magazine was the best worst decision I ever made. It probably saved my life.
(Late 2007) Despite all the woes and seemingly constant trouble in my relationship, I did have plenty of moments of happiness and silliness. I discovered the Polysics one night and was floored. Their music became my anthems whenever I was in a good mood!
(Late 2007-2009) Among the many troubles in my relationship was trying to deal with the peak of Regina's mental illness and the issues it created. At the same time, I was battling my own growing mental illness and trying to stave off strong recurrences of my depression and emotional problems. I was at the point where I was contemplating suicide again and one night came very close to acting on it -- a fact I never really told anyone about until after I left Vegas. This is a song that illustrates that hot mess brilliantly.
(Early 2009) At the peak of a nervous breakdown, I decided to return to therapy since it had helped me in the past. I tried to get Regina to re-enter therapy as well and while she momentarily embraced the idea, she quickly decided she was not in need, but that I was. I chose to stick with my therapist and thankfully, he helped me through some very troubling times. I wish he was available up here as I would go every week!
(Mid 2009) These two songs were among a handful that became the essence of me after Regina broke up with me for good. We had broken up something like seven or eight times before, but had always gotten back together. This time, she meant it -- of course, she had also been secretly engaging with a British guy online who had convinced her to dump me and move across the pond to be with him. And since the "meal ticket" had run out with me losing my job and the house in jeopardy, I suppose it made sense to kick me to the curb in favor of both fantasy and security. While I was devastated at the time (as evidenced by these songs), in the long run, being rid of her and her baggage was perhaps the best thing that has ever happened to me. It took me another half year or so and a big move of my own to fully realize that.
(Mid 2009) Speaking of that big move, my friend Dan decided to get me out of Vegas for a week or so during the aforementioned crisis. Having the big three happen to you (loss of significant other, loss of job and loss of house as the bank was foreclosing) is enough to make anyone crazy. Dan brought be to Seattle to escape and reconnect with friends that cared about me. When I realized how much I loved Seattle and the people up here and with nothing else to lose, I decided to move here. Easily one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life!
(Late 2009) On my last day in Vegas, as I was driving my truck and small U-haul trailer away from my house to get on the road to Seattle, I played this song as a fitting ode to leaving my past behind. The song doesn't necessarily speak to that lyrically, but my personal interpretation of it was "letting go for good."
(Late 2009) I met Miranda just weeks after arriving in Seattle at a party. Though I was SO not looking for anyone and honestly wanted to remain single for a long time, I was nonetheless floored by her at first sight. We had an interesting connection that first night and despite some awkwardness, I was hooked. I pursued her for days and was about to give up thinking there was not interest on her part when she finally got back to me and we agreed to go on an official date. Happy as I could be, I blasted this song!
(2010) Of course, nothing is easy and though Miranda and I had fallen madly in love with each other, there was another element to contend with -- she was going to London for a year to study. Neither one of us were sure if a long distance relationship would work or survive, but we both were completely committed to each other. As the time neared for her to begin her journey, I played, and replayed this song over and over. It had been a key piece of a loving collection of Valentine's Day love songs I compiled for her, but took new meaning when I realized I was going to be without her for so long.
(Late 2010) After Miranda left for London, this was one of my go-to-songs to keep me sane and reminded me that the wait would be over soon enough. It also helped me get through a prolonged period of unemployment, which was starting to wear thin on my ability to survive, let alone plan for a future.
(2010 through 2011) Miranda made me listen to this song before she left and we had a good cry together. Whenever I was really sad or really missed her, I would play this song. It still makes me cry today.
(Mid 2011) Despite all of my best efforts, missing Miranda and being unemployed finally did catch up to me during the summer of 2011. I lost my mind a bit, reverted to some bad habits and let the depression take hold of me completely again. This song is a great perspective into what I was feeling. Thankfully, I had a loving fiance and great friends to pull be back from the brink.
(Early 2012) After Miranda returned, I had a full-time, good job again and things were starting to really look up, I realized I had been too hard on myself all these past years in shitty relationships with shittier women who always tried to change me – then realizing I was finally going to get married – to the best woman in the world. This is when I woke up one day and realized I am a real man and worthy of love and respect.
(2013) Our wedding song. It fits Miranda and I to a tee, and exemplifies just how happy we are with each other and how lucky we both are.
(Present Day) Just one more to show how happy I am today, knowing I am loved, that my depression is at bay, that there is hope for a stable future life and that I am loving married life with Miranda!
That's it! Hope you enjoyed! And I really hope you actually listed to these songs to get into my moments.
- The last 12 years in song