What do David Bowie, Alexander Hamilton, and Lin-Manuel Miranda have in common with a girl like me? Apparently, our birthdays are all on the same week. Alexander Hamilton was born on January 11th, 1755. 261 years later, David Bowie passed away and entered into a rebirth that we call the afterlife. I don’t know where he is, but I pray for the repose of his soul. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s birthday is this Saturday. And me? I’m caught in the middle, with my birthday being January 13th.
I’m not as familiar with David Bowie as everyone else. I know some of his songs and I understood his legacy as a rock star. I never watched Labyrinth (mea culpa, fellow 90s kids), but I know genius when I see it. And David Bowie was a genius. The moment that keeps coming to mind for me isn’t any of his movies or albums, but a moment when one of his songs was used in a movie:
Perks of Being a Wallflower holds a special place in my heart because it was the first movie that I watched when I began my recovery from the constant anxieties I’ve been suffering. I identified with Charlie because I was uncertain of myself. And yet, I understood that joy from the tunnel scene, hearing that perfect song on the radio and wanting to relish the moment while it lasted. That little moment wasn’t much, but I felt a bit of happiness that, before that point, eluded me.
There’s a song in Hamilton called “Wait For It,” one of Aaron Burr’s signature songs in the musical. It establishes that while Hamilton chases his ambitions, Burr is waiting for the right opportunity to come his way. Lin-Manuel Miranda said this about the song:
I think we’ve all had moments where we’ve seen friends and colleagues zoom past us, either to success, or to marriage, or to homeownership, while we lingered where we were—broke, single, jobless. And you tell yourself, “Wait for it.”
Like Aaron Burr, I’m still waiting for my time to shine. I wish that I could be like Hamilton, brave enough to make my own opportunities, or like David Bowie, who always pushed the boundaries when it came to music, or like Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose hard work can be seen in the musicals he worked on.
But as this particular performance shows, sometimes, you have to just wait for it.