Prince came into my life at a very painful and confusing time. At 14, we’re somewhat obsessed with finding out who we are and where we fit in. My pedigree is not the best and thought it would forever define me. I self-identified as a misfit…still do…and believed that it put limits on me. Inside I was weird and dark and retreated into ink on pages, whether the words i wrote myself or ones i read written by others while listening to music.
I my adolescent self felt instantly connected with Prince when Purple Rain came out. Not only was the album filled with funktastic tunes with a sound i never heard before but the lyrics…they were trippy and poignant and raw. And Prince, the artist himself, was among the first to show me that a person is more than his/her pedigree. That the only limits on me were the ones I put on myself. That it’s okay to be quirky if that’s who you are. That retreating into your creativity can emblazon your mark on this world. That being diminutive in stature doesn’t mean you can’t be larger than life when you find your passion.
Most of all, Prince showed me that you can and should fly your freak flag freely.
It’s been a really long time since I’ve listened to Purple Rain or any Prince songs. But I think the most enduring artists leave you with more than just their artistic creations. They resonate with you at the core of your being.