On 22 February 1998 – exactly twenty years ago – I was driving to my day job and happily looking forward to the release of Madonna’s new album. It was called Ray of Light, and the radio was playing songs from it throughout the morning. Since my journey to work only took about ten minutes, there was only time for me to hear one song, but that happened to be the title track – Ray of Light.
I remember listening to what was considered quite a different style for Madonna, and I instantly felt a connection with it. The song was all about that joy you feel when something goes right in your life. When your dreams come true and you are filled with sparkle and excitement. I loved it from the moment I heard it, and from then on it became my anthem; words to listen to when I was feeling depressed about my lack of success, and needing to be picked up again.
I think it’s safe to say that I became rather obsessed with the song and album. At work I changed my screensaver to the Ray of Light lyrics and because the album was so spiritual, I took up yoga and even attempted (and failed) to draw henna tattoos on my arm! (Tip: Never, ever try henna on your own. I am no artist and it looked as though a snail had walked all around my wrist by the time I’d finished. I had to wear long sleeves until it finally faded, some weeks later!).
The point is, Ray of Light changed my life because it was a beacon of hope that something great could happen in the future. I would imagine that when I finally left the day job, the song would be playing as I joyously marched out of the building. I even used it as inspiration when I entered a competition to win Madonna concert tickets, and I won!!
Two decades later, the Ray of Light song continues to be a great inspiration to me, and the album still gets played far more than any other in my house. Even the yoga that I began during this era became beneficial. I later qualified as an instructor and it enabled me to leave my day job. Funny how things turn out…
One last thing – on 22 February 1998, I drove to my day job with Ray of Light in my ears and hope in my heart. Twenty years later I am looking forward to two books coming out this year and others are in the pipeline. This is proof if ever you need it that dreams really do come true. So find your anthem, listen to the words and take inspiration from them. You never know where they might lead.
Until next time,