i need to be an equal opportunity decade offender, but somehow, the 1980s gave me a lot of fodder that makes it into this category. and howard jones, he of the fluffy cockatiel hair (which i ended up with circa 1986) (there are pictures, i’m mortified to state), fits the bill with things can only get better.
this is a great song when you’re on the elliptical, i must tell you — crank the resistance up to 12 and try to dance around. but back in the day, when my hair was well on its way to its biggest and scariest incarnation, i loved this song. why? well, in 1985/6, i felt like things were in a bit of a shambles. i was transferring back home to rutgers (motto: no one wants to call it new jersey university) because i missed the seasons and because i felt like a part of me was losing my mind living in a place where i really, really didn’t belong. (meaning miami. not the people i went to school with. i am still close with several people from UM, some of whom actually live in and around miami to this day.) i don’t regret my time in miami for a second — it was a world i don’t think i would have otherwise experienced, and i learned a lot while there about people, places, and things that wash up on the beach at night that smell funny.
in short, i traded a beach for a blizzard.
i also was knee-deep in a relationship with a person i would call hamlet. he’s really a good person; he just didn’t know what he wanted at the time, rendering me a bit of a wreck. i was hopeful i could figure out whether things would work from a closer distance, though that wasn’t the driving force of returning to NJ. i just missed the place; and the english department at RU was (and still is) top-notch.
so, i packed my teeny canary yellow toyota tercel (with black pleather interior and no A/C in miami — talk about a great car to have in the heat!) and shifted my way up to the auto train with my mom in tow. after my car was completely saturated with dead love bugs on the FL Turnpike, we boarded the auto train (the two youngest people on board, and she was a little older than 40 ;-), and i planned to start over again in the garden spot of new brunswick, nj.
yep. things. can. only. get. better.
only no one told me they’d get worse before they got better. i felt really alienated my first semester, though i thrived academically and was accepted into the honors english program. and hamlet? well, that didn’t work out, and i was a bit of a human disaster for a few months.
but things DID get better after that. a LOT better.
so every time i listen to howard jones, i always remember that things can always get better. you just have to wait some times. and other times, you have to hit a lower bottom before things are on the up-and-up. and other times…
well. you get the picture.