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Carrie Fisher: tell me your story, I’ll tell you mine

In a new column, the Star Wars actor, writer and comedian recalls a life filled with pratfalls and accidents and invites young readers to send her their problems

Who do you go to when you need advice? Your mother or father? Grandmother? Some relative who you know well, and who you can, for all intents and purposes, trust? Their lives may not be the lives you imagine for yourself and their tone a little condescending, but what the hell, right? It cant hurt to go to the people you love, whose blood type courses through your veins and whose DNA, from a certain angle, contains many of the same markings as yours. You dont have to take their advice, but let them share their version of solutions to lifes difficulties. Good or bad it could be interesting.

Many times (unfortunately) you dont even have to solicit the opinions of those closest to you. I waited for my daughter, Billie, to come to me with her troubles but Im glad I didnt hold my breath. I believe my best advice to herwas when we came to a curb that needed to be addressed in an up or down manner, and I would caution her with my caring cow eyes careful uh oh wait baby careful.She came to believe that curbs and cars and other obstacles were actually called carefuls.

Now, I want you all to consider calling upon me with your carefuls and I will provide solicited advice, based on a life filled with pratfalls and accidents (both in traffic and out). But and I say this with a thing like love let the questions come from the younger members of our congested world.

No, really. I cant help you with your homework; but I can tell you what I did if Ive had an experience like yours. Throw it at my wall and see what sticks. What you do with that info is up to you.

Hilariously after all the drug addiction and celebration marriage and mental illness and divorce and shock treatment and heartbreak and motherhood and childhood and neighborhood and hood in general Ive turned out to be (at close to 70) a kind of happy person (go figure!). A human whos had her fair share ofchallenging and unhappy experiences. Over time, Ive paid attention, taken notes and forgotten easily half of everything Ive gone through. But Ill rifle through the half I recall and lay it at your feet.

So then either judge me, or disagree with me, or tell me Im fat and dont look good for my age (your words not mine) or find some solace and inspiration. If my life wasnt funny it would just be true and thats unacceptable. Tell me your story, Ill tell you mine. Well meet at the pub and get back into the swing. What have you got to lose? Time mostly (which is a human construct), but youll have an anecdote and advice in exchange who could ask for anything more?

Most people could, and do. The rest of you young folk ask me your questions and Ill tell you no lies. Just maybe not the whole, horrid truth. Fun, huh?

Want to ask Carrie Fisher for advice? Send your problem to carrie.fisher.advice@theguardian.com

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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