Ode to a Leader

I put off watching The Last Jedi as long as I could.  I am outnumbered in my house.  First, a husband, who is a “man of a certain age”  and Star Wars is very important to this group of men.  Then I have 3 boys.  My oldest is 9 years old and is definitely in love with the movies.

I put it off for many reasons.  I knew I would never be able to tolerate seeing it in the theaters.  Way too much noise and sensory info there.  This really isn’t much of a loss for me as I tend to rank my needing to see a movie based on how long the movie is.  152 minutes?? Dear God, I don’t think I would ever make it through that.  I knew I could wait until it came out on DVD and could take breaks when watching it at home.

These are all good reasons but the real reason I put it off is that I knew as soon as I saw her on screen I would start sobbing.  I knew I would end up looking like a drowned cat by the end of the movie.  And I was right.

My husband quietly sat by; there if I needed him.  My oldest child was showing signs of concern.  Why was Mommy crying so much?  No one was dying.  It wasn’t even a heartstrings-pulling-score-driven part of the movie.  How could I explain to him what Carrie Fisher meant to “women of a certain age?

Growing up with two older brothers and mostly boy playmates I was entrenched in Star Wars everything.  Movies, toys, pretend play.  Everything.  Being the only girl around I was Princess Leia.  A daring young girl skirting across the galaxy, a part of the rebellion, and flitting around love stories.

Carrie Fisher personified this character.  You can feel it in the score John Williams wrote for her.  She was a princess, but she was a leader.  She put herself out there and led a rebellion.  She didn’t back down from change or tyranny.  She stood for something.  She was strong.  She had a clear vision for what is right.  She led with confidence.

Is she stubborn?  Maybe.  But the good kind of stubborn.  She doesn’t take no for an answer.  When things look bleak for the rebellion she soldiers on.  Nothing could stop her.

She was a female leader in the movie industry.  I revered her.  She was someone that made a difference.  I didn’t really incorporate these ideas into my brain injury recovery until recently.  To be strong, to not back down from change.  To feel fear but to not be afraid.  This is everything that I felt watching her last night.

It follows the lyrics from one of my favorite bands The Dirty Heads:

I got this feeling that I can’t be stopped and I won’t until I find myself on top.  And I know that I will be there someday until then I might be just being on my way.”

For my own journey, I need the positivity, the optimism.  I find the motivation in song and the parallels in movies/tv, and try to use them to drive me forward.

Maybe it’s a connection to your own life.  You may start out first as a princess.  Growing through life you face challenges.  Moving through barriers you don’t look back.  Then you grow into a general.


Peace and Love

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