How Prince Made My Life Better

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?

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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.

sony walkmanSo we sat on the computer editing OCLC records for hours on end. Luckily we were allowed to listen to our walkmans while 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?

I belong where I feel free...