If you truly know me, then you know my fascination with butterflies. It all began in 2008, at my Quinceañera inspired Sweet 16 that my mom put together to celebrate my transition into becoming a young woman. The entire theme and decor were butterflies. During the ceremony, I even had a special dance dedicated to me to the song, “Black Butterfly” sung by Deniece Williams. I was also gifted with a beautiful diamond butterfly necklace and ring as reminder to never limit myself, but instead always spread my wings and soar high to accomplish the unimaginable.
Little did I know, not only is the butterfly gifted with captivating wings, however there is an important stage that they all experience in life that is commonly overlooked. This phase is called, the caterpillar process, and sometimes it is not so pretty. Being a caterpillar, can often feel like everything around you is going extremely slow and there is nothing you can do to obtain the beautiful vision for your life (aka your wings) fast enough. We then become impatient with ourselves, versus embracing our own personal journey. According to The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, before the caterpillar becomes a butterfly, it must go through three metamorphosis stages: The Feeding Stage (Caterpillar), The Transition Stage (Pupa), and The Reproductive Stage (Adult). As you can see, becoming a butterfly isn’t easy and each stage has it’s own purpose that’s equally important during this life-changing transformation.
The Feeding Stage is all about staying fed, whether it’s mentally, physically, or spiritually. You want to prepare your temple with an abundance of knowledge, nutrients, and, positivity. As the caterpillar eats, they store their food to be used later as an adult. The unique part about this transition is that although the caterpillar is small, it can grow up to 100 times its size. Preparation is the key to success during this process, because when life feels stagnant, always remember to keep feeding yourself with all of the beneficial things that will guide you to your beautiful big dreams.
The Transition Stage is where most people feel like they’re stuck and/or experience a combination of both stress and depression because not a lot of action is required in this phase. Practicing patience is so critical during this stage, because it will help aleve most of the self-inflicted pressure and allow you to embrace the journey. There is no specific timeframe or due date to when a person is suppose to accomplish their dreams, some caterpillars are protected in their cocoon for few weeks, a month, or even years. Again, it takes time. “It may look like nothing is going on but big changes are happening inside” (Natural Sciences of Drexel University).
The Reproductive Stage, is certainly the most exciting experience throughout the entire lifecycle of a butterfly. This is the phase where we all receive our uniquely designed wings, which will guide us in the right direction towards our big dreams and aspirations. As we overcome our own personal challenges to become that beautiful butterfly, we also gain maturity and wisdom. Just like a butterfly, our wings are different from each other. Not everyone’s results will look the same, because our purpose is what makes us special in our own way.
9 years later, as type this post, I’ve finally grasped the true meaning of what it takes to become that beautiful butterfly. I have finally received my wings and I am soaring high in life. This year I was blessed with a rewarding opportunity to work for the City of Dallas as Communications Coordinator II in the Urban Planning and Design Department. It’s only been a few days since I’ve started my new career, but I finally feel like I’m walking in my purpose. I have never felt so empowered on a job until now and it almost feels unreal. My salary expectations exceeded what I was willing to negotiate for and the people I work with are amazing. I didn’t see this vision for myself, when I graduated college in 2013 and to be transparent I was slowly becoming discouraged. I’ve been rejected, terminated, led on, and undervalued, but I never gave up. I always knew I was destined for great things, but didn’t understand the process to obtain them. As I share my good news with you through this post, I pray that it inspires you to embrace all phases in life, especially the ugly caterpillar stage.