How often do you let yourself be reborn anew? How often do you challenge your comfort zone, truly – not for show but because you feel that you are ready to stretch, or you need to grow, or you cannot fit in the body that contains you any longer? How often do you attempt the impossible? How often do you let yourself die to be renewed?
Rebirth. It is always on my mind. I want to be a thousand people in this lifetime, not just one. I want to learn everything about the things I love so that I can find more things to love and more things to learn. I want to shed the veil that drips off my face as life goes by so that I can find something new to hide behind, and a new way of shedding it.
When I create I am reborn. Most artists are, I think. You make something that defines who you are, and then it is outside of you, gone, taken by others who would view it or love it or hate it. That is the catharsis of creating: knowing that a piece of yourself is released. You can move on to a different piece while someone else digests what you have just lost, or given away, or gladly seen go.
Perhaps the saddest, or most distressing thing that I talk to people about is the danger of growth. We may not use those exact words, but everywhere I travel to I have conversations with new friends and old who tell me that the thing they want most is out of reach. They tell me all of the reasons why. They tell me how badly they want it. I tell them to get it. And a year goes by and I talk to that person again, and those fears have crept back in, and that dream is still dreaming.
Because, as I have witnessed too many times, one day you will wake up and realize you are the same person you were ten years ago. And that person might have been nice ten years ago, but that person is old and stale and boring. That person should have died long ago. And you regret that you didn’t take chances, and you regret that you have let too much time build up, and you regret not being an example to those around you of what it looks like to chase what you want.
I believe that our best moments are in the suffering of change and the beauty of it. Those moments show us who we are, who we might become, and if we look closely – our brilliance. My lessons in rebirth will never end. I will never stop visualizing that theme in my images, because I will never stop exploring what makes me alive. My greatest hope is that you explore your ability to change, too. We won’t always do so to great success, but doing so at all is quite the point.