Even though it has now been a month after we lost our beloved Princess in this world, it doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking.
When I heard the news of Carrie Fisher being hospitalized after suffering a cardiac episode on a plane from London to Los Angeles, just days before Christmas, I was shocked – yet very hopeful that all would be well…because how could it not be? How could we lose this amazing icon right now? We had already lost so many phenomenal humans in 2016. David Bowie. Alan Rickman. Gene Wilder. Prince. We couldn’t lose one more…
I have been a Star Wars fan ever since I remember seeing episodes IV, V and VI when I was a kid. Some of my favorite scenes were with Princess Leia Organa (and the Ewoks, of course). I loved the fact that Leia wasn’t a typical “princess” who wore a crown, a pink dress and jewels – an image I associated with princesses often at the time. She was tough. She was outspoken. She was badass. She didn’t let all the men around her tell her what to do. She stood up for herself and for what she believed in. And I loved being inspired by that. I even remember my favorite outfit she ever wore in the films: the green camo poncho-thing on Endor. It was so simple and I loved that it wasn’t super girly.
She inspires me to live a life that isn’t held back by fear.
Fisher, who struggled with depression and bi-polar disorder most of her life, was criticized often throughout her career due to being open and honest with the public about her drug-addicted past. “Drugs made me feel more normal,” she explained to Psychology Today in 2001. “They contained me.” Although some look down on Fisher for her openness, I find it inspiring for someone to be so honest when they know they have so many eyes watching them from afar. Judging them.
I had planned on reading Fisher’s newest book right away, “The Princess Diarist” but time slipped by me. After her death, I immediately went searching online for her newly-written memoir, of course coming up short on Amazon (my normal go-to with Prime shipping), so for the first time in years, I actually went to Target to seek out a book. And when I was there, I got the second-to-last one in the store. At checkout, the lady behind me asked where I found the book. I told her and she dashed off to find it for herself. A sign that made me feel lucky and happy, and made me appreciate the book that much more since I had to search for it.
I sat down to read, “The Princess Diarist” and could not put the book down. Partially due to my fascination with the Star Wars universe, but more so because Fisher was a phenomenal writer. She pulled me into her world instantly and wrote in such a fascinating, addictive way. Almost hypnotizing you into her stories. Into her past. Into her life.
Word had spread as Fisher’s book released, on her opening up about her affair with Harrison Ford during Star Wars: A New Hope. Some people judged her on social media channels and in the press. They said she was awful for doing something like that, being so dishonest. But honestly? It’s none of our business. It’s not our place to judge. To criticize. Nor to understand.
This amazing woman opened up herself and her life to show us a glimpse of it. A glimpse of her past that so many of us are curious of. Her successes. Her struggles. We should be grateful that she trusted a deep, dark secret of hers with the world.
In my eyes – the eyes of someone who was inspired by this Princess a long, long time ago… Carrie Fisher was brave. She was strong. She was quirky. She was genuine. And she will always be there to bring you Hope.
Jessie was the Editor-in-Chief of the University Chronicle during the 2017-2018 academic year. She graduated in May 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Geography, and a minor in British Studies. Jessie’s social media channels are a mix of film and video game goodness, along with gender equality and inspiration vibes. Follow her on twitter @jessieannwade to connect.