San Francisco Museum of Fine Arts – & It’s Only Bad if You Think it’s Bad

San Francisco, December, 2022

My daughter decided to spend her last day of break with me at the Legion of Honor Museum of Fine Arts. We had lunch at home because the cafe there is closed on Wednesdays and drove over and parked overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. We sat in the warm car as the rain fell on this beautiful foggy scene. It was a perfect moment. When I look back on my life there is nothing that compares to having two amazing daughters and all of the special memories we are constantly creating together. When the girls were little I took them to all the museums. I took them when they were babies, toddlers in strollers, and all through elementary school. As small children they loved going. They had their favorite paintings that we visited each time, and now that they are older they still love going.

Legion of Honor, San Francisco

On this visit we spent an unusually long time in the Rodin Gallery. I didn’t realize that Rodin was rejected three time by the Ecole des Beaux-Arts where he sought to study sculpture. He was NEVER admitted there and attended a lesser school instead. We see this time and time again with people who have triumphed in their field. He persisted even though he was deemed not good enough by the people he most wanted acceptance from. He went on to become the most famous sculptor of his time. He thought of it as good luck because he escaped their indoctrination which is the killer of creativity. Because of this rejection he was able to modernize the art form for his generation and beyond. I like how he took this rejection as a stroke of good luck.

It’s only bad if you think it’s bad.

How we see the world and view what happens to us matters greatly. As we were driving to the museum I mentioned to my daughter, now 21, that I feel very at peace right now in my life. I never thought I would say this, but I am thankful for the hardships I’ve experienced and I am able to accept my fate instead of feeling like a victim. There are so many things I will never have, but I am grateful for what I do have. My husband and I were married in December and every year I think of him and that hopeful elopement in South Lake Tahoe with the snow falling as we exchanged vows. At the time I thought that would last forever, but it didn’t. However, the close and loving relationship that I have with my two daughters has made up for any adversity I have experienced in life. Being on my own has had its own form of blessings as well. I am able to truly be myself and I have grown a lot since the day I buried my husband six years ago. I would never have become this person without that experience. So, I can’t regret any of it.

Amor fati is a Latin phrase that is translated as “love of fate” or “love of one’s fate”. It is used to describe an attitude in which one sees everything that happens in one’s life, including suffering and loss, as good or, at the very least, necessary.

The philosopher Nietzsches believed the formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not to simply bear what is necessary—but love it.

It’s only bad if you think it’s bad.

Love and blessings to all.

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