A Song For Every Year, Part 2: 1988-1997

This is part two of a series chronicling each year of my life as viewed through the lens of a song that was meaningful to me in some way that represents a significant aspect of my life experience in that year. This segment covers the second decade of my life. Be sure to catch up on Part 1 first.

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Divad’s Soundtrack #17: August-September 1998

This is the music I was into at the beginning of my senior year of college, which was a crossroads if my life had ever seen one. Part of me was all but ready to go to a young woman who had been waiting all summer for me to make up my mind about her, and tell her that I wanted to be all hers and experience all the joys that such a relationship had to offer with her. The other part of me took a “wait and see” attitude, because, among other things, I still had this stupid little crush on someone else lingering from last year, plus I had the funny feeling I might meet someone new at the beginning of the school year. I definitely had come face-to-face with the “typical guy” desire to keep my options open, despite how I thought I’d jump at any chance to have a relationship regardless of how it came about. Maybe it was better that way, even though it frustrated Sharon. It meant that I really had to think through my motivations before finally making a commitment to a “steady” relationship.

In with the New:
Five Iron Frenzy
The W’s
Ceili Rain
Human
The Normals

Out with the Old:
Considering Lily
Model Engine
Erin O’Donnell

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Divad’s Soundtrack #12: July-September 1997

First semester of junior year… man, what a strange semester that was. The sun was out, the days were long, and I felt like I was actually doing something worthwhile with my life instead of moping around… life was good. But at the same time, even though I could easily meet tons of new people (mostly freshmen) and endear myself to them, my lack of ability to attract any of the ladies (and I had romantic interest in several that year) still frustrated me, causing me to find solace in Sharon, one of the female friends I didn’t feel awkward around, due to her already having a boyfriend and us being “just friends”. She was a freshman living downstairs in Chilcott that year, and she listened to so much of my crap that year as we stayed up late and talked about random stuff – about my job, about why I thought math was fascinating, about the latest crush on the girl over in that other dorm clear across campus, about music, about my failure at tutoring high schoolers, etc. Tim put up with a lot of it, too. Thank God for friends like the ones I had at Oxy!

In with the New:
Christine Glass
Reality Check
Switchfoot
U2
The Waiting

Out with the Old:
Carolyn Arends
Nouveaux

It Was Worth a Try:
Say-So
Kent Henry

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Divad’s Soundtrack #11: April-June 1997

These few months are best characterized by two words: “hard summer”. It was Nate, who prayed with me one night at the end of the semester when I was despondent over having to live at home again and be away from everybody and work a retail job I didn’t really want for several months, who didn’t beat around the bush in order to console me. He said point blank, “I think this is gonna be a hard summer for you, Divad.” But he didn’t say it to be cruel. Something in his voice seemed to affirm that the sheer difficulty of it would be a growing experience for me. And he was right. This period of my life was a lot like flowers pushing their way up through concrete – a frustrating struggle that eventually led me to some beautiful realizations.

In with the New:
Avalon
Plumb
Caedmon’s Call
All Star United

Out with the Old:
Tony Vincent

It Was Worth a Try:
MxPx
The Walter Eugenes

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Divad’s Soundtrack #10: January-March 1997

1997 would prove to be a tough year for me. There was a disappointing failed attempt to return to Joshua Tree for Spring Break (a trip which I helped to plan and didn’t even get to go on), further distance between me and a close friend due a crush that just wouldn’t go away, and just a lot of tough questions I would ask myself as I sat in my philosophy and creative writing classes and played metaphysical mind games with myself. Not that it was the classes’ fault – they were just exploring the thoughts of different writers, not trying to tell us definitively that any of their writings were true. It was another way to get to questions that I needed to ask, I guess. And while the weather got lighter and summer approached again, the darkest times were, in many ways, still to come in the months ahead.

In with the New:
Sarah Jahn
Bleach

Out with the Old:
Crystal Lewis
Rich Mullins
Anointed

It Was Worth a Try:
Blues Traveler

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Divad’s Soundtrack #9: November-December 1996

This collection covers a relatively short period of time – just two months as I wrapped up first semester of sophomore year. It was an important time, though – the promise of a new beginning as I prepared to finally get baptized collided with ghosts that wouldn’t stop haunting me as I spent certain cold days feeling a bit of despair about whether anyone could truly love the grungy, socially awkward kid that I knew I was. I started getting pretty down on myself during those days. You might not have noticed it if you were around me then, just due to my ever-present sense of humor and my restless need to be a social butterfly. But I could be rather melancholy when left to my own devices. (Probably still true in some ways, but I think I’m a little better about not falling into the whole “I hate myself” thing as often.)

In with the New:
Erin O’Donnell
No Doubt

Out with the Old:
Pam Thum
Sierra

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