once a princess, always a general

stay afraid...
“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.” ― Carrie Fisher

She’s gone. Sorta still weird right? 

Yesterday I was inundated with images of Carrie Fisher in honor of May the Fourth. I was thrilled, at first, but I found myself growing sadder as the day went on. While there were #maythefourth posts featuring others character, it seemed that my world was flooded with quotes from Carrie Fisher and images of her as Princess Leia.

And while she was Princess Leia, her role in the actual universe was bigger than that. She was fierce, and fragile. She was warm and brave. She was broken, and raw, but she was still there. She spoke words of wisdom – sometime through tears of laughter, sometimes tears of rage – but she felt things and shared things and hoped fervently for a world that she believed in. She fought for women’s rights, and artists’ rights, and for the rights of those affected by mental illness.

Her battles were public, all of them, and while that can be a tiring way to live, Carrie carried that burden with great aplomb – and a tremendous helping of wit. Her battle with mental illness was played on in front of us, but in that she was unafraid. Without her (and others like her), life for those who struggle with mental illness could be darker and less hopeful. She was a staunch advocate for the acceptance and treatment of those suffering from mental illness.

“One of the things that baffles me (and there are quite a few) is how there can be so much lingering stigma with regards to mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder. In my opinion, living with manic depression takes a tremendous amount of balls. Not unlike a tour of Afghanistan (though the bombs and bullets, in this case, come from the inside). At times, being bipolar can be an all-consuming challenge, requiring a lot of stamina and even more courage, so if you’re living with this illness and functioning at all, it’s something to be proud of, not ashamed of.
They should issue medals along with the steady stream of medication.”
Carrie Fisher, Wishful Drinking

Plus, that voice. That smoky, dark, and brash voice. Lord that voice – and that sass! Shit, that sass.  I remember the flood of power that washed over me when I saw Princess Leia, leader of the mothaf*$^#@g rebellion, tell the rakish Han Solo off with “Why, you stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerfherder!” Yaaassssss!

Because of her, and women like her, I am here. Unafraid to stand up to nerfherders (scruffy or otherwise) and ready to fight.

But I want a glass of scotch.

And to spend time listening to her spill truth. As she said:

“If my life wasn’t funny it would just be true, and that is unacceptable.”

May the Force be with you, General Organa.

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