This could be a blog about how big corporations have ruined radio forever. It could be a blog about the loss of relationships when our favorite DJ’s are off the air waves. It could be a blog about mass layoffs that are just plain bad. But it’s really a blog about change.
Today, like every day of my life, I got into my car and started it up to run some errands and do a bit of work. The radio came to life and my favorite station was playing Closing Time by Supersonic. It’s not my favorite song, but it is my favorite station, so I left it only for the song to start up a second time.
Like any good Twitter user, I pulled out my phone at my next stop to tweet the station and demand whoever was hitting the repeat button be forced to make a public apology. Before I could do that a voice announced that KDGE The Edge was “moving” and that its listeners should head over to another Dallas station, The Eagle KEGL, for similar music. The Eagle is not The Edge.
I sat in my car panicked. This had to be a joke. I’ve been listening to KDGE out of Dallas since 1989. I went through two dial moves with them from 94.5 to 102.1. I went through morning show changes and managed to love the new DJs even though I missed the old ones. I was there when they realized that the new morning crew was a mistake and they brought back the old host.
I held on through the changes because of the music and because of the community. Stopped at a light in Dallas back in 2000, I was singing my heart out in my car when I looked over and saw a guy in his Mercedes doing the same. He noticed me at the same time and we kind of waved and went back to our singing. We were both jamming The Edge, he in his suit and Mercedes and me in my yoga pants and
super awful Plymouth Breeze. For a minute though our obvious difference in income and occupation didn’t matter. We were friends because we both understood we had to Give it Away to receive like the Red Hot Chili Peppers said.
I sat in the parking lot at Starbucks watching the leaves fly across the concrete and listening to Closing Time having my Edge memories. Some concert tickets I won once. The time I got wristbands to a pro-napster concert they had tickets to back in the day after standing outside for hours. Vacuuming my living room carpet in my very first big-girl apartment while listening to Jagger, Ryan, and Julie in the morning. Calling every two seconds trying to win Weezer tickets in 2001. When I had to leave the North Central Texas area I listened online long before iHeart Radio was even a thing. I was even listening from Michigan for a couple of years. When I was a teenager living a couple of hours away I lined my bedroom window with foil and duct taped a wire antenna to it so I could hear my alternative rock.
I googled and found that it was real. The Edge, my radio home of 27 years, has been retired. In less than 24 hours and with no notice The Edge was over after almost three decades of being on in my car, in my living room, and in my SkullCandies.
My heart sank. I jumped on social media to see what everyone was saying and share my grief. I wasn’t alone. The disappointment and shock was universal in the Dallas area.
The leaves kept blowing past my car at the ‘bucks and although I’d heard the song 50 times already I finally really listened to the lyrics in Closing Time.
So gather up your jackets, and move it to the exits
I hope you have found a friend
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end
Although the song was originally written to express feelings about fatherhood and the upcoming birth of the writer’s son it definitely fit with the end of KDGE.
Bob Dylan said it best when he said, “There’s nothing so stable as change.” Change is hard. I lost a piece of familiarity that has been with me since childhood. I looked at the leaves blowing around and noticed that the weather is starting to change. Fall is here in Texas.
The venti I’d just purchased was $5.63 and not $4.85. There are lines across my forehead that weren’t there last year. Coke doesn’t taste the same. I’m not in that Plymouth Breeze anymore (thank goodness). I’ve traded my yoga pants for skinny jeans and slacks. Tarzan has been remade. Star Wars is being retold and added to. Donald Trump is going to be president. My mom and dad are older. I worry about them both. I’m one of the few people my age I know with a living grandparent. There are interns asking me questions now.
Suddenly, I was sitting in my car with all of that in my head, Frappuccino in hand and nearly hyperventilating. An unmistakable urge to drive away struck me and I put my car in reverse and put it back in park. There is no place I can drive to where these things aren’t true. There is no way to escape the inevitability of change, growing up, progress, or even regression. These cycles are life. It doesn’t matter that I never imagined myself in these uncomfortable circumstances. They’re here.
The Princess Bride’s Wesley tells it simply: Life is pain. The grace with which we navigate the constant hurt of continual change, our appreciation for the beauty in what is often difficult and hurtful, is the only way to happiness. That’s best done through mindfulness, thinking neither forward or back, but appreciating each moment for whatever it is, because it’s the only moment we’re guaranteed to have.
As my thoughts sorted themselves into that graceful place I took a deep breath and cranked up my radio again. The leaves were pretty and still scattering in the wind. The Frappuccino was awesome, even if it was a “skinny”. The sun was out and the weather sweet. There was plenty of work to do at my office, helping others adapt and adjust to life’s constant curve balls. Closing Time is still not my favorite song, but it was on all day and as The Edge went out, I vowed to listen to the last and enjoy this weird moment for what it was without judgment. A moment of change, reflection, and growth.
That’s the magic of mindfulness, the oddity and beauty of change.
Happy (graceful) changing.
Thanks to The Edge for keeping me thinking, smiling, and hoping, right up until the finish.
Whitney White is a counselor working in Texas in multiple settings with diverse populations. Some of her areas of passion are anxiety, non-suicidal self-injury, and compassion fatigue. With an integrated approach utilizing client strengths, she supports others in achieving their best self. For more information please visit counselingbywhitney.wordpress.com. The thoughts expressed in Whitney’s blogs do not represent her employers.