This is the kind of blog post that everyone dreads writing.
I remember my Dad telling me once that there are certain moments in history where you just remember where you were and what you were doing - the assassination of JFK, the Moon Landing, 9/11, and so on and so forth. I didn't really understand what he meant until the day that Robin Williams died, and I can still recall every part of that day, where I checked my phone to find one of my inspirations gone. I remember the way the sun was setting, I remember the way my room was arranged, and I certainly remember the way I felt.
Today will be another one of those days.
I was in the middle of getting my haircut, barely a minute or two into it actually, when Frank texted me. I didn't check my phone, despite the fact that it was absolutely blowing up and vibrating every two seconds. When I did finally check my phone on my way out the door, happily sporting a new hairstyle, I was hit with the news and my face fell.
It's taken me a good portion of the rest of the day to figure out what I really want to say about this. As I walked around the mall, filled with people taking advantage of post-Christmas sales, I couldn't help but wonder if anyone around me felt the same way I did. One glance at Twitter and it was almost like Alderaan blew up all over again, but for the most part, those around me seemed alright. They didn't seem sad, they didn't seem heartbroken, they seemed fine, and thus the shoppers became an instant reminder that, even in the face of death, life does go on.
Carrie Fisher was, without a doubt, my first female idol. Previous to watching Star Wars, I honestly can't recall any other icon having such an impact on me. I remember just having to read her book, and actively searching it out from the library. I remember reading everything I possibly could about her life, and being pretty astonished to realize somewhere along the line that Debbie Reynolds, another of my favorite actresses, was her mother. She was, in every way, one of the most incredible, strong women in Hollywood and the world, and she taught me so much about strength and, quite literally, not taking crap from anyone. Through the pages of her book, she taught me about the seriousness of mental illness, and supplied the foundation for me to reach out to my friends struggling with it. Carrie helped me to understand that I can't resent the people who have hurt me over the years, because, and this is one of my favorite quotes, "Resentment is like drinking a poison and waiting for the other person to die." And above all else, for years, I wanted to be Princess Leia. I wanted to be strong and confident and sassy all at the same time, and you know, I think a part of me has gotten there thanks to her.
Which is why this hurts so much. I never met Carrie, and I probably wouldn't have even if she lived past today, but that doesn't diminish what she's inspired me to do. I'm a better person because of Carrie. I'm more sure of myself, more confident in what I want, and absolutely positive that nothing in this world will ever hold me back, even if some mysterious space station comes and blows up my planet.
My thoughts and prayers are with Billie, Debbie, and all of Carrie's family and friends.
And to Carrie - We'll Miss You.
Have a magical day!