This picture of me and my dad was taken in during Fall 1989. It is yet another picture rediscovered during our move this summer. It is true that a picture -- and the memories it contains and inspires -- is worth more than a thousand words.
So much happened that year...a lot of firsts.
- My first love...and yes, it was an interracial relationship. She was Black, four years older than me, introduced me to the music of Sade (who is biracial btw, Nigerian and British) and had issues that I will not go into. I had issues, too, plus I was 19 and very naive.
This was my first test of what lengths I was willing to go to in order to make an interracial relationship work. Note to readers: sneaking around and lying to family is not a good recipe for the success of a relationship. (It took me years and some serious problems before I learned that.)
- My first time living away from home (see picture above). Like most teens, I got sick of living at home and wanted "my own place." I had a steady job, so, I made a deal with a friend of mine to rent the upstairs bedroom of his dad's house. At first, it was great! I was indeed away from my parents, I could microwave or heat up my food (cooking? what is this?), listen to music or just chill out. I even recorded some music on a four-track portable recorder during that time.
I ended up moving out after about two months, though. Like many roommate scenarios, personality differences and miscommunications led to a mutual desire to end the arrangement.
- My first time in therapy (see #1). After my first love relationship crashed and burned after nearly six months, I was in sorry shape, mentally and emotionally. I really didn't know what to do. I was never suicidal but I was depressed and angry and confused (the makings of a great album, right?). Fortunately, I had a friend who referred me to a local counselor who didn't charge too much and had a flexible schedule. She happened to be gay and a little more New Age than I was accustomed to, but she was a tremendous help at a time when I needed it. After less than a year, I was stable and focused enough to no longer need her services, which I think should be the goal of every mental health professional.
By 1990, I had finished recording a studio album titled "Dreams & Wishes," which included a couple of songs recorded during 1989. In the Spring of 1990, I recorded a song about my first love and even titled it after her. It was the only country song I've ever recorded and it was pretty-sounding while lyrically a song of regret and a little bitterness. But it served it's purpose. You might even call it therapeutic.