Book Review: The Princess Diarist

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Stars: 3.5 out of 5.

Reading autobiography type books is9780399173592_custom-4ad32be0078bbd96523707c7a34fe7041a170269-s400-c85 usually not my repertoire of reading. It has to be a certain person or a specific topic to really pull me in to make the purchase and then commit to reading the book. I’ve only read a few other autobiography books: RENT’s Anthony Rapp memoir Without You and some of Hope Solo’s book entitle Solo. With the recent passing of Star Wars icon, Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher. I found myself mesmerized by the sudden life of a woman who became a motivation for women and later a champion for mental health. I was most interested in reading about her time on the Star Wars set and, of course, her affair with Harrison Ford aka Han Solo. If you’ve seen Wishful Drinking or any kind of interview with Carrie, there is one thing that I’ve noticed about her. She was a chatty yet sarcastic writer. Her thoughts jumped all over the place. The one thing that I really love about Carrie’s writing is you really get a sense of how complicated she truly was.

Carrie was honest in her writing about her 19-year-old self and what she went through adapting to the fame from being the only woman on a male-dominated set to adapting to the crazy Comic Con life of signing autographs for fans. The one thing that this book went into detail about, rather vaguely, was the affair with co-star Harrison Ford. The story of their affair is just tragic. Carrie writes that Harrison was a quiet man. He seemed to not say much while Carrie’s thoughts were wild with love and devotion for him. It was evident in her rambling thoughts that she wanted to know if he loved her the way she obviously loved him. I did not come into this book expecting a grandiose fairytale love story. However, what I was met with was just a sad, tragic affair.

Her diary entries are presented in the book, however, they do not really offer any major details to the affair. It was a slow climb to the meat of the story and just dropped off. I think Carrie wrote it this way because 1) this affair happened 40 years ago, and 2) I do not think Carried published this narrative in an effort to hurt Harrison. Some  of the diary entries hint a little that she was filming Star Wars while some of them were just poems and ramblings of a 19-year-old in love having an affair with a married man. I found myself flipping rather quickly through the entries. It was evident in this book that Carried did not know how to handle the success of Star Wars.

Once she is finished talking about the affair, Carrie writes about the fans she meets at conventions, outings, and how she felt about them as well as her character Princess Leia. This section of the book just fell flat for me. While, a huge part of being a celebrity is pleasing the fan base, Carrie details that some of the interactions really took a toll on her.

The Princess Diarest is a decent but quick read. It is not the best written book. Yet, it is a sad read, especially knowing this is the last book Carrie Fisher wrote. This book immortalizes a legend and her thoughts.

Rest in Peace, Carrie Fisher.

-Elizabeth R. Webb

New Year, New healthy Me?

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December of 2011, a campus visit to the University of North Texas

About six years ago, I made the decision to lose weight. I dropped a total of 70 pounds. I was at my thinnest I had been in a long time. I was that annoying person that would post on Social Media that I was going to the gym to work out. I loved to go to Zumba and swim at the local 24 Hour Fitness. I counted my calories. It feels like so long ago that I was that person. 2011-2012. This was just before I graduated from Eastfield College and made the move to the University of North Texas. I don’t know what happened to me but over the three years that I was there, the weight came back and more. I was in a relationship that was causing me more stress than happiness. I was also balancing classes and two jobs. My life took on a ‘eat-on-the-go’ mentality. Then I graduated and came to Texas A&M University-Commerce, the weight continued to come back because I now lived in a small town and struggled to remain busy. I was so accustomed to going from classes to one job to an 8 hour shift at the hospital that everything came to a screeching halt.

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-11-44-36-pmLooking back over the past few years, I’ve realized that depression has been my constant companion. Then, add in a dose of anxiety. I had gone to the counseling centers to talk to people but in that moment, it only felt like a 1-minute fix. I was fine when I left but being at home, I was back to wanting to just sleep, eat, and ignore the world. At one point, I was given antidepressants because my anxiety was giving me chest pain that would hurt so bad I thought something was wrong. My EKG was fine. The antidepressants helped balance me out for the period of time I had them. Even now, 2017, no medicine, I still struggle with depression. I’ve tried to get them back but a few counseling sessions later and I’m back feeling depressed. However, I realize that I am allowing my depression to enable my weight gain.

I never make resolutions because I never seem to stick to them. I actually do not know one person that does. However, I think my mind has decided I will do something different. With my Masters graduation day creeping closer, (130 days,YIKES!) I know that I will be starting a full time job and making a move. When I think about that, I ask myself if I really want to be on the continuous weight gain track. It’s time for me to stop, even if I go back to the baby steps that I originally took on my first journey: cutting out soda and sugar. The next step was being cautious about what I actually put in my mouth. Living alone, I don’t exactly enjoy cooking for myself. I need to get out of that mindset.

Everyone is using the phrase, New Year, New Me. I’m choosing 2017 to be my new me. It’s already off to a great start. January 1st was my last soda. I came back to Commerce to go grocery shopping and filled my cart with fruit, salad, and turkey meat. Today, I had a banana, made a salad, had a spaghetti dinner with no meat, and ended my night with an apple and caramel. My drink of choice all day has been water with propel. You’re probably wondering at this point why I am including my meal of the day. The answer is simple, because normally, I would be the person going to Sonic or McDonalds for dinner. This is a momentum, I really hope that I can continue once work really starts and I am back on the study grind, preparing for comps.

It’s time to get back to the thin person that lives inside of me. I’m making 2017 my year to make it happen!

-Elizabeth R. Webb