When I was a teenager, the depth of my worries was enormous to me – boys, family problems, health issues, average grades. Despite all that, I never seriously considered that I or anyone I loved could die. I was perfectly invincible all the way into my twenties.
Sometime in late 2016, I was getting ready for the Taylor Swift concert, my husband said to me before I left, “Be careful, it’s crowded. Check for your exits.” I laughed at him at the time, but when I got to the stadium, I dutifully checked for doors and places to run.
My mum often asks me over the phone, if I’m going to this or that event – if I reply yes, she’ll say in her most sternest of voices, “you shouldn’t go, it’s crowded.” Crowded is the new euphemism.
In your thirties, the world and your place in it is a completely different story. For one reason or another, people in other countries/ counties/ next door want to disrupt your way of life. It’s sad but it’s true, everyone wants a say on how you live.
But there were kids and no kid would or should have ever expected this to happen at a concert.
Tonight, many children learnt the most adult of lessons. Some adult you don’t know wants to hurt you or at least drive that wedge of fear into your heart where it can never be dislodged. You’ll never be the same, because there are no safe spaces anymore, not even at an Ariana concert. It’s fucking heartbreaking because this is an ideological war between adults, the children are easy casualties.
My heart goes out to everyone affected in Manchester tonight, hug your kids tighter.