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It’s Carrie Fisher’s birthday on October 21 and we still can’t believe she’s gone. She was everything we could ever want in a modern-day hero – bold and brash and unapologetically honest. To honor our dearly departed space mom on her special day, we’re sharing our favorite pieces of Carrie Fisher advice.

 

“Never shrink away.”

After Carrie Fisher’s death, Star Wars costar Daisy Ridley shared a piece of advice that she strives to incorporate every day: never shrink away. In her Vanity Fair cover story, Daisy Ridley shared the way her humble demeanor slowly turned into something more destructive. “Carrie lived her life the way she wanted to, never apologizing for anything, which is something I’m still learning,” Ridley said. “‘Embarrassed’ is the wrong word, but there were times through it all when I felt like I was…shrinking. And she told me never to shrink away from it – that it should be enjoyed.”

 

“It’s important to find a community.”

Shortly before her death in 2016, Carrie Fisher wrote an advice column for The Guardian, inviting young people to share their stories with her. A letter writer named Alex shared that they, like Fisher, were bipolar and asked if she had any advice for feeling at peace even when their brain tells them otherwise. Her advice, published one month before her death, is among some of the most beautiful and quintessentially Carrie Fisher words ever written. “We have been given a challenging illness, and there is no other option than to meet those challenges,” Fisher said. “Think of it as an opportunity to be heroic – not ‘I survived living in Mosul during an attack’ heroic, but an emotional survival. An opportunity to be a good example to others who might share our disorder. That’s why it’s important to find a community – however small – of other bipolar people to share experiences and find comfort in the similarities.”

 

“Figure out how to live.”

When writer Nicole Spector found herself at a party at Carrie Fisher’s house, she did what any 22-year-old young woman would do: she drank too much, fell asleep on Carrie Fisher’s bed, and woke up with an offer of breakfast from the space mom herself. Spector was struggling with the (completely false) societal myth that if you’re not successful in your early 20s, you’ll never be successful. But Carrie Fisher straightened that hogwash out right away. “So you think writing a successful book will change it all,” Fisher said. “You think if you become a famous writer everything will be okay. But then what? You’ve still got all the same problems, except now you’re famous on top of everything else. […] I didn’t publish my first book until I was 30 or 29. So you don’t have to rush that. What you need to do now is figure out how to live.”

 

“Look out for your partner.”

Shortly after Carrie Fisher’s death, her Catastrophe co-star Sharon Horgan shared some of the best advice she’s ever received – take care of your loved ones, especially when fame comes knocking. “I suppose one specific thing she said to me was, when success happens to you — and my success is so miniature and on a completely different plane than her success — look out for your [romantic] partner,” Horgan shared with Vulture. “You have all these people telling you, ‘You’re great!’ and it’s ridiculous. We have a lovely life doing jobs we love. It’s a privilege. And she was like, ‘But keep an eye on your partner. When everyone’s telling you you’re great, what about them?’”


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Danielle Mohlman

Danielle Mohlman is a playwright, bookworm, and library connoisseur. You can find her on Twitter and Tumblr. (She has a lot to say.) And on Instagram. (She never foodstagrams.) When she grows up, she wants to be Leslie Knope.