All the Feels


Growth Equals Pain

Growth equals pain. There is no getting around it, and the older I get.... the further away I get from things that used to numb that pain.... well.....

The more I grow.

But damn. The more it hurts to do so.

I used to think change had to do with willingness, but this last cycle of gut-wrenching growing pains felt more like a surrender to the process of evolution.

Like the caterpillar. And the scariest thing of all.... the need to spin myself into a chrysalis is the part I tend to resist.

For one thing, it's freaking DARK in there. It's also lonely and so gat damn quiet that it hurts my ears. Did you know that when a caterpillar is evolving into a butterfly it actually digests itself? In the middle of the (very private) process it is a puddle of liquid.

That's insane to me. Unfathomable. And exactly how I've felt for months now.

So, this caterpillar is ya know, just walkin' around on branches and stuff, eating leaves and inching its way around its world, when all of the sudden, it is COMPELLED... literally FORCED to dangle upside down and spin itself into privacy. Nature really gives the poor little thing no option... it had already sprouted teeny tiny wings under its fuzzy little body.

The question is not IF it will change, but when.

I know that feeling now.... and had no intention of growing as of late. I'm freaking tired. I want to lean back on my elbows on a blanket in the park and watch a cloud float past my line of vision as I bask in the sun. And, as a matter of fact, I thought I'd hit butterfly status long ago.

Nope. Not even close.

Damn it.

It's all still kinds of soupy in my head, what has happened lately. I can't quite figure out what tripped the "time to evolve" button in my caterpillar body, and I'm not even sure I'm flying around yet, but I KNOW I'm different. And I also know that saying yes to scary things I would have said hell no to a year ago has played a role in what's happening to me.

Drinking no longer makes me feel okay.
Shopping doesn't help.
Gossiping about other people feels empty and gross.
Being angry at the world's current state of affairs does me no good.
Never tried drugs but I'm confident they wouldn't work, either.

Because this: I cannot stay drunk or shop or talk shit 24/7. And I can no longer tolerate a me that doesn't feel right.

And THAT is why I had no choice but to grow. Decompose.... and as nature (God) puts me back together, leave the parts out that no longer fit with who I say I am.

It sounds crazy. But it's what's happening. And I take no credit for it.... I won't even say I found myself spun into private darkness because I was willing to go.

I was dragged. Compelled. God said it was time and next thing I knew, it was dark. And quiet. And noisy and scary....

And so breathtakingly miraculous and beautiful that I'm still in wide-eyed awe.

I've had people by my side through this process, thank God. But ya know, there's only so much another human can do. Real change and growth is an inside job. My people can love me and tell me I'm gonna be okay, but the work and the pain and the growth are mine. And, like the newly formed butterfly still inside the chrysalis, it is ME that has to claw and scratch my way out.

It's what will make me strong.

If you watch a butterfly as she makes her way out of her dark and quiet and noisy post-soupy home, the struggle is so difficult that at times, you'd think she died. Or that she will never find herself flying.

There's digging and stopping. Digging some more. Long pauses of stillness and silence.

She's not dead, though. She's taking three breaths so she can dig again. She's getting stronger with every scratch. And it's something she has to do alone.

Dig. Scratch. Pause. Breathe. Go again.

It's ten rounds of that madness, until one day, she's free.

It's all I want. Because butterflies who flutter from flower to flower are not only pretty to look at, they are productive. Their beauty falls second to what they are DOING:

First: Pollinating. Literally making the world BLOOM.

Second: If you pay attention to their behavior: They are an indicator species. And that means when they sense poisons, they remove themselves from the area.

I want a yard full of butterflies. And a city full of them, too. And that means I have work to do.