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The Butterfly

Yesterday was a difficult day. My whole psyche just wasn't having it. Everything hurt physically. My head felt as if were about to explode. I was under-motivated. Every day is a precious gift and I wanted nothing to do with it.

The ink has dried on my Masters Degree and I've reluctantly applied for jobs all over the country. With every "send" I hope "this could be it." I start researching apartment prices in Wyoming, see if the condo in South Carolina accepts dogs. I calculate preliminary moving costs. I make a mental checklist of everything I would need to do from getting a car to changing my address on everything.

Then I go to work and do the same exact work I've been doing for the past 5 years. Thank you paycheck. Thank you health insurance. Thank you cluster of co-workers that have become like family. However, I'm wasting my potential. I'm worried with each passing day my journalistic skills are going to fade as I carry out daily social worker activities with this horribly jaded mindset.

Friendships, meaningful people in my life, have left abruptly. Not through death, but just through their own personal changes. Friendships are disintegrating and I'm always wondering why the comings and goings of friendships and interpersonal relationships lack solid closure. Why can't we be like "I'm sorry this friendship is over due to x, y z. Have a nice life?" Why do we just stop talking to people?

I made a web of my life goals. They include getting a Kia Soul, a Boxer dog, a larger apartment with more closet space and an oven, and some form of media job. The key to many of my goals is actually an increased salary. A little more money could help me get the dog and the car and the larger apartment. Not saying money will solve all of my problems, in fact...I think a dog would solve all of my problems. I'd have a dog now if a) I could afford one b) I had an apartment that allowed dogs and c) I had enough space for a dog to live with me in comfort.

Yesterday I sat out at Rittenhouse Square in the early evening in an attempt to enjoy the unseasonably cool weather we're having. I touched up my toenail polish and listened to music. During my time at the park, something kept happening. A butterfly kept landing on my blanket. Turns out I had parked myself right outside a butterfly bush so there were butterflies fluttering about. Yet this one little guy kept visiting me.

At first, I'm not going to lie, I thought maybe he was a deceased family member paying a visit. I'm not big on reincarnation but you never know. Then I thought he might be trying to tell me something. Then I figured my blanket was bright so he was naturally attracted to it. I wanted him to land on my arm but he cautiously refused. He did however land on my knee for a bit and sat there slowing flapping his wings while staring at me.

While searching on Pinterest for quotes about change...something my life inevitably needs...I found a little poster that read: "We delight in the beauty of the butterfly. But rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty." - Maya Angelou.

I got thinking about my new friend.

He...or she...I honestly don't know if butterflies have genders. We'll call it a he. He built a cocoon all by himself. He spun it until he could encase himself in it. He stayed inside, all by himself as the world changed around him. Then he struggled to break free of the bonds he built around himself. He overcame his self-brought challenges and flew out of that cocoon and became this beautiful little butterfly. In fact, his left wing looks like it has a hole in it. So either he was flawed from the start or survived some sort of attack.

Beauty is born out of struggle. People may look at me and think "girl you got a job and a roof over your head. You don't have to worry what you're going to eat next and you have a few good friends. What the hell are you struggling with?"

I struggle with myself. With my expectations. With disappointment. With the revolving door of people in my life. With knowing exactly what I want to do for the rest of my life and struggling to get there.

Butterflies do it every day. Maybe that is why he kept landing on my blanket. To remind me of this.

Until next time...


  1. Amendment: My butterfly friend is a Red Admiral Butterfly and yes...butterflies can be male or female. We're still calling it a he. ;-)


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