Carrie Fisher as Role Model

The Princess died today. Usually I find celebrity grief off-putting; as though people are diminishing their own lives and people they actually know. This is different. Carrie Fisher seemed to live without fear. She went big and today she went home.

Most of us live smaller lives. Humbler origins. Safer choices. Carrie Fisher’s life was BIG. Her successes were huge. Everything was. She and her body chemistry fucked up big. She owned it big. She embraced reinvention bigger than anyone.

Done acting? Write. Tapped out? Sing. Have a baby. Tell the world you’re bipolar. Try electro shock. Advocate for mental illness. Start performing again. Do a one-woman show. Remind people why they loved you in the first place.

Live by example.

Be honest.

Shampoo. Rinse, lather & repeat those cinnamon bun braids while wearing a metal bikini. Live your life as though art – The Best Awful There Is.

Carrie Fisher was floating on the horizon nearly my entire life. I saw Star Wars at 14 years old at the Big Sky Drive-in. I was with Tim Teasdale. I had to see the movie again because I was kind of thinking about trying to kiss Tim instead of worrying about the rebellion.

I didn’t kiss Tim that night. You know who would have? Carrie Fisher.

To me Postcards from the Edge implied the failure of her acting career - the work of a lucky dilettante. What did I know? It’s a incredible book. Like most good writers, she was the sum not only of her words but also of her actions.

We all deserve second, third or tenth chances. Be a space princess, a rock star’s ex-spouse, a brilliant writer, a loving child, a devoted parent, funny, sexy, unconventional, whatever you want. Each of us is a work in progress and today one ended too soon.

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