★ ♥ ★ Happy Birthday, Darling David ★ ♥ ★

I think everyone can pretty clearly remember their "first love." In my case, it was two - David Bowie and Cary Elwes - due to the fact that my friend Becky and I watched Labyrinth and The Princess Bride dozens and dozens of times when we were young girls. Although Elwes turned out to be so-so, my love for Bowie has persisted and grown exponentially over the years. 

Today is David Bowie's 69th birthday, and he just released his latest album, ★, pronounced "Black Star." I've been listening to the title track and watching the video over and over again, and it has inspired me to get to better know the musicians I've loved for so long. Besides celebrating their birthdays on the blog (which I'm not promising will happen for all of them!), I think I'll spend time reading books, watching documentaries, and soaking in all the information I can about the artists that helped raise me in my musical tastes, stood by me through growing pains, and so much more.

Because my first introduction to David Bowie was through Labyrinth, I feel as though I came into knowing him under rather bizarre pretenses - his character, Jareth, is a intensely malicious yet hapless king who is hard to decipher. Does he love Jennifer Connelly's character? Is he out to kill her? What in the grand hell is going on? And why is he so attractive while being so confusing?

A Buzzfeed author generally summed up how many of us felt while watching Labyrinth, and that was even before my later years of learning about all of Bowie's personas, storylines, and seemingly subversive sexuality. I'm fascinated by artists who become someone else in their performances, which often causes media to latch on and magnify their individual grapplings with the concept of "self." I'm also intrigued by people who don't keep themselves confined to society's standards, and honestly, genuinely express themselves in whatever way feels right at the time.

So many of us struggle to feel comfortable or fulfilled in our appearances, relationships, and presentations of "self." We seek to be seen as "cool" while at the same time hoping to be accepted. And then there's David Bowie, who has run rampantly through his life with an unadulterated air of "IDGAF." I constantly feel as if I'm just steps away from the edge that I could leap off into the waters of full self-expression. And I've always found Bowie to be a reminder that if I really wanted to shake off everyone's opinions of who I am and be whoever I want, I could.

Because I'm not making "resolutions" this year, I've been paying more attention to personal goals and aspirations that come to mind. One that has occurred to me, especially because I am single and able to be 100% myself, is to aim to truly be 100% myself. I have no one but myself to please and represent at this time. And the more myself I am, the more whole I am. And when I am whole, it is easier to open up to others. 

So thanks, David Bowie, for music to dance to and a life to inspire me. I'm glad you're here.