An inspired journey of transformation always starts somewhere. The courage to take the steps we need in our own life’s changes often comes from the support of those around us, especially our Moms. I hope and pray every day that I will be a source of courage, inspiration, and strength for my son. To show him that he can make life’s challenges into triumphs.
This piece came about in a bit of a rush this last December. I was finishing up my first formal class with Adobe Illustrator and needed something to hand in for my big final assignment. Keep in mind this was a beginner course (like pre 101) level class and I was freaking out last minute. Then it hit me, why not bring in something I’m crazy proud of already? My little man, I already had to have a butterfly in it (requirement for the class), but my little man is my biggest inspiration. He is my biggest push to finally be true to myself, so HECK YEAH, I wanted to incorporate him somehow. I also wanted to include something that spoke to who I have become. You know make it inspiring for me in the future on who I choose to be.
My Transformation – The Stages to Becoming a Butterfly
I am inspired by the transformation that butterflies go through in life. They have four (4) stages that can be applied to our own life changes, big and small.
The Egg / Little Girl
In this stage I was but a little girl, happy and content with the life I had. Not knowing what was ahead and really not caring too much. Until it became time to hatch. I did not know I was at the start of an inspired journey of transformation. Many people are in this “ready stage” open and able to make a change or move in a new direction. All we need is that inspiration to crack that egg and break free of the bonds holding us.
The Caterpillar / A Teen Restricted
In my life the transformation from egg to caterpillar was my change from young girl to teenager. Most changes in life do not go as smoothly as we would like, and this one was no exception. There were some aspects I wasn’t prepared for and some that I was excited to get into. The surprise I had was that while I had more mobility I didn’t necessarily have the freedom I thought I would. Caterpillars too are restricted in mobility. Many eat the leaf they are hatched on because they don’t have the mobility to go looking for another plant. I often felt tethered when I wanted to act on my dreams.
I was still encouraged and pushed to explore life, to be more then my restrictions permitted me to be at that time and I made many plans for where I was headed and how life would look when I got there. The problem occurred when I started to feel attacked by those around me, my hopes and dreams were so big others couldn’t see how I would get there. They slammed me with with innuendos, insults, and pessimistic attitudes.
The Chrysalis / Hidden, Broken yet Protected as a Young Adult
In my chrysalis stage, I shut down, hid, and covered myself in a protective layer that was meant to keep people and disappointment out. I felt broken and battered. To the outside world I pretended I was uninspiring. I intentionally gave the impression that I had given up, that I had left the “foolish dreams behind”. The choices I made at that time reflected the expectations of those around me. At this stage, everything was happening internally. I sought inspiration and motivation to follow my dreams, I collected success stories and worked to re-train my brain. I was shedding the restrictions of the Teen mentality and building a new framework within myself to bring out my strength, my hopes and my dreams. Just like the Chrysalis does between Caterpillar and Butterfly.
The Butterfly Emerges / Standing Up and Revealing the Change
A few years ago I started to fight my way out of the protective shell I had hidden in. I am sick of being confined and want to show my transformation to the world. Yet like a butterflies wings still raw, still fragile, I still need to be protected. Some people have tried to keep me restricted, but my transformation is complete and my wings are ready to fly.
Now and Again
Now this image and poem are just one of the inspirations I hold on to. I hold this inspiration because there are those who stood by me in my transformation. Who encouraged me to grow and develop even as I struggled with the process. And while this is a tribute to them, it is also a tribute to my Son. It is my call to show him that he can be anything he chooses. And I will be there to encourage, and hopefully occasionally inspire the changes he wants to make in the world.