Take me with you

This will probably sound insane but I met my 20-year-old self on a Sunday night, at a Prince concert of all places.

I wasn’t going to blog this. Gah. But here goes. This has been sitting in my drafts box all week because, well…how do I even begin to explain what happened?

I first saw Prince at Wembley Arena, in London, in 1988. I’m spiritual but not religious, but I will never forget the performance of Purple Rain that night.  I’d been listening to that song – that album – for years, and it felt like religion to me.

Purple Rain was the half of it. When Doves Cry was my teenage years. My family.

I saw that particular concert with my work colleagues. I was a cub reporter on a local evening newspaper. I joined when I was just 18, and for the first time ever, felt like I was a real person with real potential.

So that night in London, that wide-eyed 20-year-old swayed with thousands of others, lost in the moment. She had it all to play for. So young and innocent. So optimistic and fresh-faced. So happy not to be at school, or living at home.

I fucking miss that girl.

But last Sunday night – a week ago – I met her again, at the Forum.

I swear to god/Prince, that this 42-year-old turned her head and saw her 22-years-younger self standing next to her. She looked at me, and I saw that hope and freedom in her eyes.

And as Prince poured his soul into Purple Rain, I had to catch my breath because that girl took my breath away. She was RIGHT THERE and I wanted to hug her, tell her to be brave and love herself. Tell her that she was gorgeous and funny and had the right to love and be loved.

Instead, I sang along to the song and shed an invisible tear.

And as the lights went down in the arena, my 20-year-old self disappeared from my side.

But not from my soul. That young girl is still in me. Thank you, thank you, thank you Prince Nelson Rogers for showing me that she still exists.

Spinny, 42, thanks you.

Spinny, 20, doesn’t know any better but she thanks you too.

You sexy motherfucker.


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