Cultural icons

The news broke on Monday about the death of David Bowie. Much of my social media feed has turned into remembrances from people who grew up listening to Bowie. I was never that much into his music, which is to say I never bought any of his albums. However, I was familiar with most of his popular songs. Something I commented about on my Facebook post was that despite not being a Bowie music fan, I still had tons of memories of him from growing up.

Bowie was a cultural phenomenon who played across film, music and art. I went to a high school where a lot of people expressed their differences through punk or grunge style. People like Bowie made it OK for them to express themselves. I still remember one woman I knew in high school that was a HUGE Bowie fan, and her love of Bowie was apparent whenever you talked to her.

Bowie was a symbol of what it meant to be cool, yet weird at the same time. Even nerdy kids like myself respected how people like him helped us just be ourselves. I know that Bowie wasn’t the only icon of my youth, and in the coming years I’m sure I’ll be reading more and more obituaries of incredible people who had a major influence on my generation. But as I write this tonight I’m feeling fondness for those days, when amazing people did what they could to be true to themselves, and share that beauty with the world. Many people have shaped us in ways that we don’t know or understand, by simply being who they are.

I’ll share a tweet from a David Podesta (as far as I could trace it) which could easily apply to any of the major figures that influenced my generation.

If you’re ever sad, just remember the world is 4.543 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie.

I’m thankful that I existed at the same time as so many amazing people, and I’m grateful for the wonderful things they’ve added to the world.

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