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Talking to Myself in the Mirror

I think it's a pretty safe bet that a lot of aspiring actors/writers/directors/filmy people practice their future Oscar speech in the mirror as kids. I did. Who am I kidding? I still do. It comes with the territory. My mirror talks go, ahem, went (who am I kidding? go) further.

Sometimes, I do my makeup while talking to Barbara Walters. Other days, brushing my hair turns into a podcast interview. Most of the time, though, I rehearse what I'm going to say to my heroes. These hypothetical moments are incredibly important, and I can't afford to say anything stupid, so car rides, showers, and mornings getting ready are devoted to preparation.

This probably makes me sound crazy. The word "narcissist" may also come to mind. I think one of my heroes would have appreciated both the crazy and the narcissism in this bit of oversharing, though, but we lost her this morning.

One of my first posts on this blog was a tribute to Carrie Fisher. I read it over this afternoon after hearing the news of her passing and came to the conclusion that only my writing style had changed. I love Carrie Fisher. Sure, she's immortalized as Princess Leia (who I love, by the way), but to me and so many others, she is so much more.

A lot of what that original post is about is the honesty and humor in her writing. This is a woman who's been through enough to fill five lives, but she never stopped. Not only was she resilient, but she also possessed a bizarre sense of humor about it all. Nothing was off limits, nothing was without a light side, and nothing was shameful. She was open about her mental health, her relationships, her family, and her career. You don't have to read her books to get this. Looking up an interview or two will do the trick. What some will see as unhinged, I see as genius. She was my favorite writer.

Now, she's what I like to think of as a Starman (yes, like the David Bowie song). She's up there, watching, and she can't come back because, well, our minds will be blown. She's already done it once. Another time would be catastrophic. The legacy lives on, though. People are less ashamed to be broken, less ashamed to talk about what they've been through, and ready to see the humor in what went wrong. This particular instance of "what went wrong" is going to take a while to joke about, but we can try.

This may seem dramatic, and it's entirely possible that it is, but I think everyone has someone who they've never met who feels like a part of their life. When those people die, it feels like a death in the family. Even if the Carrie I knew was only the fictional version I occasionally rehearsed conversations with, she still matters.

Now, for those of us thinking that 2016 has been the worst year ever, I have some thoughts. A year didn't do something to us. The events that happened during the year did. Please stop ripping up calendars and cursing a number. Time is an illusion. We'll joke about all this one day (unless our freedoms of speech and press are taken away by a certain somebody). The good news is, the future exists for us. We have plenty of positive examples around us, even if they aren't with us anymore or won't be in the same place they have been. All we can do is be kind, patient, empathetic, and keep a sense of humor.

Now, think about the Starmen (and women):


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