I admire Carrie Fisher. Last year, I thanked her for being my General. I still thank her.
I admire her for being a woman in a man’s world.
I admire her for being a woman who stood up for mental health rights.
I admire her for being a woman who fought body shamers and ageists.
I admire her for being a woman who shared the lessons she learned.
I admire her for being an author, script doctor, and so much more.
I admire Carrie Fisher for having been a celebrity who took her time to make sure that her fans felt appreciated. I admire her for talking to each person she met like they mattered to her, even for just one moment.
I admire Carrie Fisher for her interpretations. I admire her for having been forced to wear a metal bikini and then for making sure she redeemed her objectified character. I admire her for telling girls that she was nervous wearing that thing. I admire her for explaining that then she used it to kill the alien who objectified her.
I admire Carrie Fisher for talking straight. I admire her for not hiding her imperfections but rather for embracing them. I admire that she paved the way for other people to be equally honest about their imperfections.
I admire Carrie Fisher for her humor. I admire her for using humor as a shield and a weapon. Her cutting wit helped protect her against others but also showed her strength.
I admire Carrie Fisher. I cannot use the past tense. The past tense implies that this admiration will cease simply because her heart has ceased to beat. That is not the case. We carry the people we have lost with us. We carry them with us in how we continue to live our lives when they are not with us.
I will continue to be a woman in a man’s world. I will continue to use the chains placed upon me to slay the evil.
I will continue to support mental health rights. I have spoken out about my mental health issues in the past to show people that they can talk about them. I will continue to tell people about my anxiety and my obsessive compulsive tendencies so that they can know they are not alone.
I will continue to fight those who body shame and those who are ageist. I will continue to fight for those of us who are older and who are not perfect. I will continue to stand up against traditional norms of beauty.
I will continue to write. I will continue to share what I write. I will continue to learn.
I will do these because the best way to honor Carrie Fisher is to continue her missions. She may have been Princess Leia to a generation, but she was General Leia to me. She fought against the misogynist, ablist, ageist Empire. She was a general leading battle upon battle.
There is a disturbance in The Force. However, I am one with The Force; The Force is with me. I like to think that Carrie Fisher is now part of The Force. She has not left us. She has become one with us. Let us all be one with The Force so that we may all continue Carrie Fisher’s legacy of work.