Celebrity deaths always hurt just a little. Maybe it’s someone you like, maybe they made you feel great with their songs, maybe it’s like a distant friend of a friend, and it makes you face your own mortality, but they always make us feel…. something. I didn’t know much about Kate Spade, I knew she was married to David Spade’s brother, I knew she had a line of bags that many people loved, and now I know she struggled with depression and anxiety. My heart breaks for her family, and I’m more heartbroken to think of what someone’s life must be like, what the despair and loneliness that they must feel to think that taking their life is the best solution. Instead of letting others in to seek help, the stigma of mental illness is such that those who suffer the most with depression would rather die than seek help and admit they need it. They would rather die at their own hands than risk people finding out they need help.
If I could have any job, it would have been Anthony Bourdain’s. I doubt I would have been as good at it, or as compelling to watch, but his was a life I coveted. Or so I thought. Like him I am a chef, and I love to travel. Hell, this blog IS the traveling zipper head after all. I have a lot of the same beliefs about food and travel. I want to experience it all. I’ve always said my biggest regret in life is not learning all the languages I could so I could talk to more people. If you talk to others outside of your bubble, you share a meal, you share a history and you learn. The more you learn from others, the better person you become. Isn’t that why we’re all here? For the ride and to learn? Be good and do good?
I get why he loved to travel so much. There’s calm in the chaos. When you surrender to an adventure, your anxiety hushes, you get lost in the exploration and everything else falls away. Even if just for a bit. This one hurts just a little bit more for me because I feel like we would have “gotten” each other.
When adored celebrities die, we lose a piece of ourselves, we are forced to admit that maybe our childhood heroes got older, or that maybe their world wasn’t as perfect as it appeared. Maybe they struggled with prescription drugs, maybe they drank too much and destroyed their mind and body to the point of no return, or maybe they wrestled with demons every day that we couldn’t see. These all force us to look within ourselves and see the flaws we try to hide. Maybe we struggle with the same demons ourselves and the time has come to get help. Maybe, instead of hiding our anxiety and depression for fear of being discovered and ridiculed, we see the path, we see that we are not alone and we don’t have to suffer alone. We don’t have to try to “just cheer up” or “calm down” or fix it on our own. Maybe we can start getting help so we’re not next.