The phoenix had the right idea.

Travel is by no means about “finding yourself”. That would imply that a perfectly formed version of yourself already exists somewhere that only needed to be adopted to become “you”. No, there is far more truth in creating yourself…seeing parts of others and the world around you that you find beautiful and want to incorporate into yourself and share with others. It is frightening at how many opportunities for us to better ourselves passes us by without even our notice…every experience is one to learn from. It is never too late to change yourself to be exactly how you want to be – besides, phoenixes are pretty.

This brings to mind a pertinent quote:

I have learnt silence from the talkative,
toleration from the intolerant,
and kindness from the unkind;
yet strange,
I am ungrateful to these teachers.
– Kahlil Gibran

We should thank all those who put us through hardship, because they are the fires who forge us into the people we are.