my heart breaks today.

I had it all planned out before I even went to sleep last night. I had picked my favorite dresses, my favorite moments, and my top picks from The Golden Globes and was ready to write a long and fabulous post all about them…but then I woke up to the news.

Now, was I a huge, mega-devoted Bowie fan? No. Did I love his music and admire him very much for the icon and inspiration he was to so many people the world-over? You bet I did.

Some might say it is ridiculous for individuals to mourn the lives of celebrities whom they do not know on a personal level and to those I say: How does it feel to be as lucky as you are?

The point of this post is not to talk about myself, but I’ll use me as an example to drive this home for you:

You’re lucky because you’ve never been in a situation where those on the radio or those on the television screen or those on the stage are all that you have. Had it not been for my stellar celebrity/entertainment-centered role models during my early years of high school, I would have had to have been medicated– that’s a promise. Without explanation, friends I’d known since elementary school quit talking to me. They’d make plans right in front of me and not even bother inviting me. Anytime I’d invite them to go somewhere there would be excuses and reasons-why that didn’t seem very likely (even on my birthday). I have never felt more alone than I did my freshman year of high school and my options were to deal with it or let it destroy me. I decided to deal with it because ultimately, I sensed there were far better things ahead of me. I dealt by asking myself: “Well, what did Elphaba do in Wicked when everyone turned on her and was treating her like shit?” “Would Stevie Nicks ever let a boy make her feel like she is worthless?” “What would have happened had Rachel Berry allowed herself to become discouraged by those around her who were constantly trying to put her down?”

Are any of these specifically applicable to my situation? No, but they were necessary in my efforts to get through that rough patch in my life. Without those sources of inspiration and motivation, I would have resorted to a very dark place. They really were all I had and I clung to them and don’t you dare tell me that I am not allowed to mourn them when they go because when they go, a part of me will go with them– the part of me that they each had a hand in developing. Usually the role of helping a person become the person they strive to be is filled by that person’s immediate friends and family, but I didn’t have the luxury of those kinds of friends and I believe I am better because of that. I am better because of those who I called upon for strength–my family and my celebrity role models.

I know that sounds cliche and pathetic– Judge me all you want to, but know that this is only my experience. There are thousands upon thousands of “me”s out there who have similar stories. Don’t believe me? Scroll through any celebrity’s tag on Tumblr and you won’t get halfway down the page before you encounter a sentence along the lines of “He/She saved my life.” It is perfectly acceptable to mourn the loss of any important figure in your life. Just as it is expected of you to mourn the loss of your dear great-grandmother who taught you to make delicious apple pies, it too is expected of you to mourn the loss of a celebrity who taught you that being different is a thing to be celebrated.

How lucky we were to be spinning on this ball of rock at the same time as the incredible David Bowie. His impact here will live on through his many artistic projects. May we smile incredibly big each time we hear one of his classic hits or scroll past Labrynth on our TV guides. Rest in peace, Starman. Thank you for the music.

“My death waits to allow my friends
A few good times before it ends
So let’s drink to that and the passing time

For whatever lies behind the door
There is nothing much to do
Angel or devil, I don’t care
For in front of that door there is you.”

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