I don’t remember how I first heard about Prince. In the early 80s I had recently returned to Boulder Colorado, lost in severe depression. Imagine sitting in Taipei, Taiwan, certain that I needed to leave or lose my mind. But where to go next?
After a disillusioning and devastating seven months studying Chinese at the Stanford Center in Taipei, I felt like I knew how miserable some missionaries to China in the late 1800s had felt. There was nothing I liked about my life, and I had previously come to the conclusion that my future included a PhD in Chinese history.
What next, as I turned 30?
I returned to Boulder because it was the closest I had ever felt to home. Luckily I had friends there who put me up for a year or so. I wasn’t even sure if I had enough mental health left to work, but I got a half-time job in the Personnel Office at CU-Boulder Library. There I met a few welcoming positive and supportive women, most notably Cathie. (Thank you for your special kind of love and understanding Cathie!)
After a while, I got a perfectly mindless job in the Cataloging Department. Does anyone out there know about working as a “Retro Jet”? The job is simply editing OCLC records online as quickly as possible to match the book we have in our collection.
So we sat on the computer editing OCLC records for hours on end. Luckily we were allowed to listen to our walkmanswhile we did it! Somewhere in the great camaraderie of retro jets, I was introduced to Prince, the perfect music to listen to for this particularly boring job! Yes, the people I met through my retro jet job, and the music I was introduced to made me feel great for the first time in years!
There is something about Prince’s music that took me out of my busy, worried mind and freed my soul for some sort of positive future. At the time I had no idea what that might be, I just knew I needed to find my bright side again SOON!
I’ve always been one of those Boomers who was searching for where I belonged in society. I went on to complete an M.A. in Third World History, and then turned to my first love, psychology around age 35. But as it turns out, my real love is NOT LIVING IN CITIES.
My life has taken such a circuitous path, partially because I had certain goals stuck in my head early, that I would eventually need to let go of. My most recent discovery about myself came from moving away from all cities and building solar.
Come to find out, I don’t “belong in society” at all! Who knew?
12 thoughts on “How Prince Made My Life Better”
Ah, the good old walkman…I forgot about them…great post Laura! And Chinese History???
Yes, I was stuck in that idea of myself for over a decade, until I realized I never wanted to see China again!
My walkman changed my life more than once!
Great post! Great story. Brings back memories for me for both the Walkman and Prince’s music ..Thank you… Dave 🙂
Thanks you guys! Who knew our trusty Sony Walkmans could bring back such great memories?
It is funny how powerful music is in our lives. Certain artists and songs take me back to some of the most powerful memories in my life.
Your life has certainly been filled with interesting forays into places I’ve never even thought of! I understand how an artist can make such a difference in one’s life. I have some, too. 🙂
Yes Ellen, music has actually moved my life. That’s why I LOVED that line from the TV show, where Ally McBeal said we need a theme song for each chapter of our lives. The song at the end of this post came to me my first summer down here. So lovely and so true for me…
DJan, as far as I’m concerned my life has been one interesting foray after another, many in other countries, most living on my own in my own way. That is why I’m enjoying this ‘settling down’ chapter so much. I feel like I deserve it!
Prince had such a beautiful spirit. What an incredible legacy – to have touched and transformed so many lives. I slept in front of the local record store to score tickets to see the Purple Rain tour. I’ll never forget the petite man with such a powerful stage presence. He will truly be missed.
“I had certain goals stuck in my head early,” YES!! I often say I had certain goals because I thought I should want them…and Prince? He was a bright shining example of someone who did his own thing for the sheer joy and pleasure of it!
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