To laugh is to risk appearing the fool. To weep is to risk appearing sentimental. To reach out to another is to risk involvement. To place our ideas, our dreams, before a crowd is to risk ridicule. To love is to risk not being loved in return. To live is to risk dying. To hope is to risk despair. To try is to risk failure. But Risks must be taken because the greatest risk in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, is nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love . . . live. Chained by his certitude, he is a slave; he has forfeited freedom. Only he who risks is truly free
'...what I call "my life", it is not one life that I look back upon; I am not one person; I am many people; I do not know altogether who I am - Jinny, Susan, Neville, Rhoda, or Louis: or how to distinguish my life from theirs.'
'And now I ask, "Who am I?" ... Am I all of them? Am I one and distinct? I do not know.'
Excerpts from 'The Waves' by Virginia Woolf