Last weekend I went to see Spice Girls in Manchester. (The pic’s not great, but I was too busy singing and dancing to care about trying to get the camera to focus!)
Oh, what a night it was!
Now, for a lit of people who know me, it seems a strange choice. In fact, several people were shocked when I told them.
“Wwhhyyy are you going to see Spice Girls?! I never thought they’d be your thing”
Why? Because most of the gigs/concerts I go to are rock/metal bands, in 2 weeks I’ll be going to see Metallica.. They’re my jam I love em.
But in 1996, I loved the Spice Girls!
I mentioned it in my counselling session this week that I’d been, and how bemused I was about people’s reactions, and, as always, my counsellor asked what it meant for me to go see them…
Here’s what I came up with;
- revisiting my childhood
- Some fun throwback tunes that I never saw live back in the day (concerts weren’t even on my radar back then)
- It’s a bit of fun
- Reminds me of the freedom and joy I had back then.
One of my greatest and fondest memories is laying on my stomach on the living room floor with my mum after school. She’d just bought me the Spice album, and we’d put it on to listen to for the first time and I was learning the lyrics from the book in the front of the CD case.
“Girl Power!!” Was the entire theme. Stepping up for yourself, getting what you want (what you really, really want) and claiming who you are.
Obviously, back then I didn’t interpret half of the songs for what they were… but understood that it was freedom to stand up as a woman (a girl) and shout out loud that “this is what I want, and this is what I’m gonna have”
I decided to explore what it means to me a little more…
Why did it feel so good to go back to 1996?
Feel that freedom?
Because back then even the sky wasn’t the limit.
There were no constraints.
Time, money, energy, responsibilities, all the “grown-up” stuff didn’t matter.
Not one little bit.
I could dream, sing, dance, shout out loud that when I grew up I was going to be… whatever the hell I wanted, and no one would tell me no.
No one would question how.
No one would go “but really, is that even possible for people like us?”
No… when I was 10, people said: “that’s great sweetheart, go for it, you can be/do/have whatever you want!”
No one made me think “practically” about any of it. They didn’t want to spoil the fun I was having.
If I told someone “when I grow up, I’m gonna have a huuuge house, and 3 cars, have a dog and spend all my days locked away reading books” no one asked me how I was gonna do it.
If I told them I wanted to be a ballerina even though I spent a grand total of 10 minutes in a ballet class and refused to go back, no one said it would be impossible.
When I declared (in all certainty) that I’d have a castle and buy one for my mum and no one would have to work long hours, we’d just get to do whatever we wanted all day long, everyone said “great! I can’t wait to see it”
They never shot me down with “what job are you going to do?” “How are you going to afford it?” “How are you going to get the money for that?” “is that really practical?”
Never. Not once.
“Debbie’s a dreamer,” said every teacher and adult I came across in one way or another.
Debbie also got what she set out to. (there’s a list I’ll share)
Until she didn’t.
When practical thoughts of “how can I..” “How will this…” and other (boring) grown-up “responsible” thoughts came into play, my dreams slowly died away…
The fancy cars became a cheap runaround.
The “giant house” became a 2 bedroom flat, then a decent sized end terrace.
The doing whatever I want became doing what I thought was best.
My wild ideas all became “sensible and safe” (boring)
It sucks. It sucked the joy out of life and it sucked the life out of me.
So here’s what I learned from going to see the Spice Girls;
Living life as a carefree 10-year-old, switching off the “sensible” part of your brain, decided what you want, and trusting it will happen if you just do what you want, that will all work in your favour.
The practical stuff will take care of itself.
And as much as I love to let my future self decide what happens from time to time, I’ve learned that actually, she’s a lot like the girl I left behind when I packed up the CDs and the skate shoes, took the posters off the walls, and decided it was time to “grow up”
Let’s face it, the Spice Girls were doing their thing AS grown-ups, so does it really make sense that I ever saw it as childish?
No, not really.
So, do me a favour, revisit your inner child. See how she lines up with the woman of your future, then start going about your life with the tenacity of a kid singing and dancing to their favourite music, without a care in the world, and the future vision? That’ll probably turn up a lot faster than it’s gonna if you do it “the grown-up way”
Now, I’m off to brush up on my Backstreet Boys songs (I’m off to see them on Monday) because I’ve decided “I want it that way!”
Speak to you soon