1. Wham - Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go The first CASSETTE I ever bought with my own money. And I feel so old writing that sentence, I need a minute to recover.
  2. New Kids on the Block - The Right Stuff Oh, the sweet beginnings of puberty. I was all about Joey and his little baby face.
  3. U2 - Mysterious Ways I. Wore. This. Out. Achtung Baby was my cruising music, and this was my favorite.
  4. Smashing Pumpkins - Disarm My boyfriend loved hair bands and gangster rap. I bought him this album. He never looked back.
  5. US3 - Cantaloop This song is weirdly tied to one of the more miserable times of my life - going to college and feeling completely lost and alone. I dropped out before the end of first semester and moved back home. Hearing it still makes me slightly nauseated.
  6. Stevie Wonder - Isn't She Lovely Remember that boyfriend I introduced to Smashing Pumpkins? We had a baby together when I was 19. Best thing that ever happened to me. She was the first of our 5 children together, and the moment she was born was the moment my real life began.
  7. Oh Shenandoah My father died suddenly of a heart attack when I was 20. Although I was young when it happened, I was fortunate in so many ways. He was there to meet his first grandchild, my daughter. He walked me down the aisle. I was there in his last moments. He was an amazing man. This was his favorite song.
  8. Sleater Kinney - Lions & Tigers With 5 children in 7 years, so many years were a blur of bottles and diapers and 2 am feedings. "I'd like to show you a million things, I'd like to make the world for you a better place, but when it pours, it really rains". Indeed.
  9. The Civil Wars - Falling Was it my devotion to my children over my attention to our marriage? Was it his drinking? Was it my depression? Was it the emotional abuse he began to hurl at me? Was it me moving out of our bedroom? Was it his cheating? My marriage was fading away. And staying together for the kids is not real.
  10. Sia - Alive He left. 8 days before Christmas. 2 weeks before our 20th anniversary. 3 months after I turned 40. I couldn't see my way through yet. But I was still there.
  11. The Wombats - Let's Dance to Joy Division I was learning to be happy in the chaos and ruins. Shedding my mourning clothes. Remembering I existed.
  12. Bat For Lashes - Oh Yeah After being told for so long that nobody else would want me... Guess who was wrong.
  13. Temper Tantrum - Sweet Disposition The beginning. I didn't know it then. It was just supposed to be fun. It was just supposed to be casual.
  14. Hozier - Like Real People Do He played this for me as we drove. And our conversation fell silent. That's when I knew I was letting it happen, even though I'd tried so hard not to. And so was he. And it was terrifying.
  15. Frank Turner - Longing For The Day There is a man I know. He is my person. I love him and he loves me. But because this is real life and not a movie and schedules and work and kids and distance and other relationships exist, we'll probably never end up together. So even though it will break my heart, I will be his friend.
  16. Bishop Briggs - River Is it right? Am I settling? Can I trust it? Who knows. It will be what it will be. And I will be enough in the end.
  17. Beach Boys - God Only Knows When I asked him to send me a song that makes him think of me, this is what he chose. That's a good sign, right?