Princess Leia taught me that girls can kick ass right alongside the boys. In fact, she taught me that women can be the knights in shining armor, and rescue their dude in distress counterparts.
Princess Leia taught me that I can cry when things are hard, and that crying doesn’t make me less strong. She taught me that I can be hopeful and scared at the same time, and that fear is not the opposite bravery. She showed me how to create a family out of my friends, and how to rebel. Leia taught me how to be real, loving, stern, demanding, and generous. She taught me to keep fighting. Because, despite setbacks, or age, and against all odds, no matter who dropped out of the battle, or left her behind, she kept going. She kept pressing for better. She didn’t quit.
Princess Leia taught me how to fight.
Carrie Fisher taught me how to live.
She showed me that my mental illness doesn’t have to be something I am ashamed of. That it is something I can embrace. She taught me that it doesn’t make me broken or less, but that it is a part of me, and that I am enough. Because it’s how she lived her life. She didn’t hide her problems, she talked about them openly. She honestly didn’t care what we thought, she was unapologetically herself.
Carrie Fisher refused to disappear when the people who ran her business tried to force her out. She refused to be quiet. She was loud, immensely talented, and funny. She didn’t care that she didn’t fit into the box the world wanted to put her in. She was too much to be contained. Carrie taught me how to burn the patriarchy down when it stands in my way, and she proved that pushing back against the status quo is a thing women can do successfully. She’s why I believe that I have power even when I feel like I don’t. She’s why I know I can fight, and win.
Leia may have given younger me the framework for how to grow up brave and strong, but Carrie showed me how it is something I can actually accomplish. Both the woman, and the character she embodied, have meant the world to me, and I will be forever grateful for them.
Thank you for everything, Space Mom. For giving me hope, and showing me how to thrive in a world that doesn’t want me to. You will be so missed.