On the 27th July 2012 I stood in a stadium in East London and danced in front of the world as part of the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 Olympics. It was an honour to be there and a moment in my life that I’ll never forget. On the 11th January 2016 I was immediately transported back to that moment as I listened to one of the iconic songs that was played through the stadium that night. Its one of my favorite things about music, the power it has to transport us back to pivotal moments in our life. As you listen to those familiar melodies, the memories come back so vividly you can almost taste them. So for a moment this January I was back in July three and a half years earlier. The song that took me back there was Starman by David Bowie and no doubt we’ve all heard it a lot this week.
The news that David Bowie had passed away was met with sadness throughout the Nation and tributes and condolences could be heard on most radio stations. But whilst those around me expressed their heartbreak, I didn’t find my self feeling sad. Instead, as I listened to his music that day I felt inspired. Inspired by a man who was brought up in one of the poorest areas of South London and yet who rose to fame, not just because of his talent, but because of his willingness to succeed. There was no XFactor in the 1960s and so Bowie had to work. And he worked hard. I’m pretty sure that in the space of his career he was told no more than once. Yet he was a man who didn’t shy away from boundaries, nor was he scared to make waves or tread new paths. I stand in awe at the way he defied convention and continually sought to reinvent himself.
As we began the New Year over two weeks ago, I looked at the blank pages of 2016 and wondered what I wanted to achieve. I’m not big on resolutions as such as I always break them. Instead, I look at what I CAN do and I always aim to try something new. Last year one of my ‘new things’ was pole dancing, this year its a blog. For different reasons, both have seemed terrifying as I’ve approached them. But I’ve learnt that the scariest things are usually the things most worth doing and it’s definitely always worth the risk. Failure only comes when we don’t try. Imagine what the world would be like if icons such as Bowie didn’t break the mould and try something new.
And so here I am, trying once again to make the best of myself, striving to achieve that little bit more. I want to look back at this year and know that fear hasn’t held me back. I want to be strong in who I am and brave enough to achieve everything I set out to. I’m not going to influence a generation like Bowie, but he has influenced me and because of that influence I’m going to spend 2016 being a little bit more ‘me’.