There is this Sylvia Plath quote from her book; The Bell Jar, that has resonated with me ever since I read The Bell Jar in high school. I adore Sylvia Plath, I feel it is the most tortured women that have the courage to reach deep down inside of themselves and transform real pain into true genius. Sylvia was one of them, along with Virginia Woolf, Francesca Woodman, perhaps even Nan Goldin and Cindy Sherman, yet they remain among the living. Having that said, the quote that I have carried around with me in my pocket, as my mantra and philosophy for so many years goes like this.
“The last thing I wanted was infinite security and to be the place an arrow shoots off from. I wanted change and excitement and to shoot off in all directions myself, like the colored arrows from a Forth of July rocket.”
I have sprung from all directions in life, some have been treacherous and some have been magnificent. Not a single experience would I trade in hindsight. If it were not for all the living I have done, who would I be? If one event in my life were altered, who would I be? I believe so faithfully that every experience we encounter makes us who we are. If one were different, our entire being, along with our destiny could be drastically different. Therefore, I don’t believe in regret. I think regret is a waste of time. I prefer to learn from my mistakes, not regret them. In regret, there is no growth, no room to become something more. If I had a dollar for every time I was the Phoenix rising up from the ashes, covered with soot and sweat, blood and tears. Crying and laughing as I fly by… I’d be a wealthy woman.
My father always told me that, I preferred learning things the hard way. He was right. I don’t remember many things my father told me, our living relationship was not the strongest. I do, however, remember that. Simply because it remains true. I need visceral life experience in order to get anything out of it. I am easily bored, so I make a mess or run carelessly into the eye of the storm bashing around for a bit, only to be reborn sometime later on. Its exhausting, and I shed a lot of pain at times, but I become strong where I was once broken. It’s a beautiful thing.
This is my rocket. This is me exploding.