Remember in second grade when everyone had to draw out their family tree and bring it to class? Well, I never had much of a family. Growing up, it was always just my mother and I. Rosemary and Spice – the mother daughter pair that, despite our herb-related names, could not have been any more opposite. We were the Virgo and the Aquarius. The yin and the yang.
My mom dyed her hair pink, told me to skip school at least once a week, and owned a cookie company on the Sunset Strip. I hid my face in embarrassment as she would flaunt her latest tattoos, or blast Nina Hagen in the car as we drove down Hollywood Blvd. (Deep down, I always knew she was the “cool” mom.)
When I would come home after school with the instructions for my family tree assignment, I had many questions to ask: What is my great-aunt’s name? Who is married to who? Is my cousin’s name Jessica or Jenna?
“Spice, just make it up,” she insisted. “Be creative.”
And with those words, I froze. She tore down all barriers that I strictly obeyed in school and shined light on a new set of rules for me. I had the power to do things a bit differently. I learnt at a young age to never limit myself to the same box as everyone else. If everyone did exactly what they were told, the world would grow lifeless and dull. Variety is the spice of life, isn’t it?
As I approach my 22nd year of life and actively pursue a creative career, I am always thankful for the lessons and experiences my mother provided me while growing up. I could not have done any of it without her.