You should know I haven’t always been a fan. I never paid much attention to you when I was a child. When I became a teenager I felt the only music that mattered was dark and moody, I despised the artificial and soulless nature of pop music and I thought that was what you stood for. But I had no idea what you stood for.
I found you just when I needed to. I lost myself in a bad relationship. Had little self worth and that’s when you took over my life. Your confidence, your strength and your ability to begin again was inspiring. I’m not sure anything else changed me as much as you did in that moment. But I continued to stay in a bad situation, I didn’t quite embrace this change, I couldn’t quite make myself as strong as you.
My Madonna journey began. I paid a few hundred to travel to Paris to see you for the very first time during your Confessions Tour (not to stalk you, I have never done that, I promise). Everything else faded away that night and I danced harder and sang louder than I had ever done before. Probably one of the first nights I’d ever been able to just let go.
I was pretty much obsessed with all that you are from that point on. Your music completely dominated all sources of media, I travelled across the country to see you four more times and bought every album you’d ever made. But I still didn’t practice what you preached. You promoted so much confidence and self-belief, the ability to not care what people think, to wear what you want, say what you want, and stand up for what is right, I was still struggling with most of this. And after your last album, MDNA, I lost interest.
I’m not sure if you lost interest too, but something didn’t feel right on that record. I think I’d lost who you were, became misguided with your intentions, and, I’m sorry to say, I didn’t care that much anymore. But now, here you are again and your presence is palpable.
Rebel Heart has unveiled everything I felt for you years ago, but couldn’t quite grasp. ‘Joan of Arc’ tells me that you’re human, not a superhero and for all the times I’ve felt weak and needy, you, this strong pillar of independence, have felt that also. The song ‘Rebel Heart’ tells me you haven’t always known your place, you haven’t always felt like you fit in and for all the times I’ve felt like an outsider, like I didn’t belong, so have you. And what’s more, your most recent ‘fall’ at the Brits proved to me that you’re not perfect, not everything is effortless for you and for all the times I’ve tried hard to succeed and have failed, I too can pick myself back up and ‘carry on’.
I’m not sure why I hadn’t noticed before now, just how much you’ve influenced my life. I guess you can’t reflect on a time as it’s passing, but once its passed you see it all so clearly. I can say, with confidence, that you, along with my mother, have been the two most influential women in my life. And I want to thank you, Madonna, for everything that you have instilled in me. To be a brave, outspoken woman, a woman who tries to use her voice to make the world a better place, a woman who wants to love herself for who she is and support other women to do the same, a woman who can carry on after she falls, a woman who wants to enjoy life while she can and a woman who inspires others to do and be all of this as well. I’m not sure who I would be without you.
Thank you for always trying to be just who you are and never making excuses. Keep doing what you’re doing.
P.S I’ll see you in Manchester at the end of the year (again, for the tour, not for stalking).