I am exhausted and sad and thinking about Robin Williams, and here are my ramblings:
I was a very happy, very crazy kid. I would run around the family room, which we called the breezeway, making absurd voices and faces and pretending to be a thousand different characters. I’d laugh until it hurt with my brother, and we’d fight and wrestle, and then I’d run around some more acting like an idiot. I drove my parents insane, but they liked it. My dad would make stuff up with me too. They thought it was funny.
Robin Williams is the person who inspired me more than anybody else when I was a kid. He was an adult who had that same energy I did as an eight year old, and I could imagine making up dances with him and trying on weird costumes and talking in fake accents. Aladdin, Hook, Jumanji, Flubber, Jack, Mrs. Doubtfire. He captured a specific and vivid part of my childhood, and I wanted to see everything he did.
As I grew up, I learned to hide some of my weirdness, because growing up sucks. I learned to doubt myself. To feel embarrassed. I felt all the shame and confusion of any other girl going through puberty. In High School I tried acting but I wasn’t comfortable being characters anymore, really. I was afraid to put myself out there. I didn’t really know who I was, let alone how to be somebody else. But I was obsessed with comedy. I religiously watched SNL. I fell in love with a different era of Robin Williams — Good Will Hunting became one of my favorite movies. Later on, World’s Greatest Dad felt like a niche hit I got in on.
Robin Williams was the funniest man in the world. And although I’m sure he hid a lot — he clearly had demons — what he didn’t hide is what made him so incredible to me. His madness, his absurdity, his absolute inability to be anybody else than the great, genius of a weirdo that he was. I feel like his death is a reminder that we should all work harder to let out our craziness. To create everything we want to create. To live our madness to the fullest. To never lose the childhood wonder and the ability to really dream that made people like him so fully unique. It also reminds me that we should just be fucking kind to each other. That we should fight for one another, and support each other, and do whatever we can to help others achieve their goals and happiness. Because what else is there, really?
Tonight I sat in bed and I listened to the Aladdin soundtrack because the movie wasn’t on Netflix, and I cried. I have never cried over a celebrity’s death, ever, and it felt so dumb. But fuck that. Pop culture is such a real part of our lives. I believe in TV and movies. I believe in comedy. I believe in the characters we write and bring to life on screen, those that seep their way into our minds and hearts, that ultimately change who we are and how we see the world. And when there’s a person who brought so much joy and happiness into our lives, it’s okay to grieve for them. It’s normal to feel sad, because even though I didn’t know Robin Wiliams, I did love him. I was inspired by him. He made my life better.
I wish he was able to see that his life was worth living. That it would get better. That so many people loved him so much. I can’t even imagine what his family is going through. I hope they have all the support and love in the world. Okay okay, enough. Good night.