Today has been a hard day.
This morning we all got the news that Carrie Fisher passed away, and it seemed like a little bit of the light had gone out of everything. I admit, I cried for a while before I could pull myself together long enough to function.
Then I wiped my face, put on the makeup I rarely wear, foundation and eyeliner, eyeshadow, lipstick, I did everything. I put on my favorite clothes and my best perfume, and my most comfortable shoes, and I went to work. Carrie, I felt, would have appreciated it. I put it on with the intention of forcing myself to not cry while I was at work, but it felt a little bit like celebrating her life.
I did it because, like a lot of little girls who were into Star Wars and other ‘nerdy boy’ things, she was my hero. She was the space princess I looked up to as a little girl, the one who taught me I could be badass and pretty, and still wear a dress, and the one who taught me that just because you need help doesn’t make you weak. She taught me that I could be a leader, and kind, and strong, and independent, all at the same time.
She carried that over from her character. Her advocacy and tenacity for everything she stood for helped so many people who needed it, me least of all, and her humor and intelligence was something to aspire to.
She was a phenomenal person, and a personal hero.
So when I put on my makeup and my perfume and clothes, I wasn’t thinking of mourning her. I was thinking of celebrating her, and what she would have wanted. I tried to be kinder today, to laugh louder, and enjoy what I have. I wanted her to be proud of the legacy that she left with me. Maybe she wouldn’t have chosen what I did, maybe she would have forgone the makeup, maybe this, maybe that, but she was part of who shaped me into a confident woman, and I hope I made her proud.
So tonight I’m having a drink. Just one. I don’t need to numb anything or get drunk to handle the news. But this is my toast to Carrie. For everything she was to me. I hope she knew that she was loved, and that she was an inspiration. I hope she knew that she made us all laugh, and she made us better. Whatever turns her life took, she inspired me as a little girl with her hair in buns, and she inspired me now, with everything she stood for and everything she went through to be standing where she was.
I’ll miss you, Carrie. Rest in peace.