I’m really about done with 2016.
I was just innocently reading through Facebook when I found that Carrie Fisher died. She was only 60 years old.
Yes, I say only. Mostly because women in my family tend to live into their 90s.
Carrie Fisher played Leia in Star Wars. I’m sure all of you know that. You probably also know that she suffered from mental illness and a past drug addiction. The reason that you know this is because she was open and upfront about it. And that’s why she’s my hero.
Yes, she was an amazing icon for women. She played a tough, brave character that I loved as a child. She was a princess that kicked ass. I loved her, and always insisted on being her when I played Star Wars with my friends. That wasn’t hard, I was the only girl. Leia was a politician, a diplomat, a rebel. Most recently, Leia was a general. But Princess Leia was a fictional character.
Carrie Fisher was a real human woman. Really human. She didn’t lie about who she was, even when who she was wasn’t nice. She didn’t sugarcoat, nip, tuck or shy away from. She was a real human being.
Let me tell you the lessons I learned from Carrie Fisher. The lessons I want to give to my daughters.
- Be honest about your weaknesses. You might be inspiring someone who suffers like you do, and is ashamed. Admitting an addiction is the first step to healing.
- Mental illnesses are nothing to be ashamed of.
- Politics are for girls!
- Don’t feel shame about what time and life do to your body. Smiling and sunshine will wrinkle your face. Children will cause weight gain, even if you didn’t carry them in your womb. (Diets and exercise are hilarious jokes to most parents.) But your sags and curves are yours. You owe no one a damn apology for your body.
- Finally, don’t forget that women can suffer from heart conditions just as much as men. Ladies and gentlemen, pay attention to your heart health. Keep your yearly checkups and tell your doctor about anything strange.
My prayers are with Ms. Fisher’s family and friends today. I lost a hero I never met, they lost a loved one.
Thank you for inspiring me, Ms. Fisher. May the Force be with you.