Be the Butterfly


While as humans, we do not officially go through a metamorphosis, we do grow and change. Forces around us cross our path and we get to decide who we will become once we get to the other side.

I first chose the butterfly as a symbol for my changes when I found myself as a single mother, navigating the waters of a marriage ended. This change was not in my plan, was not my goal, and yet, there I was. My introverted self needed to wrap up in a cocoon at the end of every day in order to have the energy to be the extroverted teacher and mom I was needed to be. This process did transform me. I do feel I came out of this like a butterfly that could float in the air and enjoy the world around me.

As we near the sixth month of the pandemic, I have thought about how I am transforming during this phase of life. The transformation needs to be a deliberate action now. I cannot sit passively by and survive like when things were “good”.

There are 4 stages to Metamorphosis.

  1. Egg – the beginning. I can probably skip this step as I was “hatched” a few decades ago.
  2. Larva – this is the feeding stage. Did you know the primary job of a caterpillar is to eat? This food is stored for the energy needed in the next stage. What are you “consuming” and saving for the next phase? Have you limited your spending? Are you cooking more at home? Are you taking this time to learn a new skill? Further hone old skills? Are you looking at how you can be more efficient? I find myself consuming knowledge and storing it for future implementation.
  3. Pupa – this is the transition stage. A beautiful chrysalis is created. The beauty on the outside does not show all that is happening on this inside. I wrote an earlier article entitled: Fake It Until You Make It – My Motto in Times of Grief and Exhaustion. I have found this to hold VERY true. After a derecho raged through my state of Iowa, leaving us without power for over 100 hours at home, I did not bring my beauty supplies to the office to get “ready”. My hair went undone, my make-up not applied. The first couple of days, I wore shorts and a t-shirt to work. My outside was matching how I felt on the inside. This is not good for me. I need my outside to look professional, especially when my insides are a mess. I wonder if the caterpillar knows just how beautiful the chrysalis is as they go through their transformation? Maybe they do, and that sustains them. 
  4. Adult – this is the reproductive stage. The adult butterfly’s main job is to reproduce and perpetuate the species. It is in this stage that I will take the knowledge I gained during the larva stage and reproduce my skills to perpetuate my family, my business, myself. What will you do to perpetuate your life?

Sometimes your metamorphosis occurs in the little things, and does not leave a stage. Perfect example for me is my hair. I have basically had the same style for 18 years with slight variations. I liked it, it was me. When my every four week cut was canceled due to salons being closed, I could do a couple of things. Cut my hair myself – not advised – or let it grow. I let it grow. I was forced to change and grow. I am happy with the results. I am glad I was forced into this transition. While it won’t perpetuate my life, it did teach me a lesson that will. Change can have positive effects.

Many changes are forced upon us. I hope you choose to consume as much as possible and transition into a beautiful, thriving person. May you choose changes that perpetuate your life so you can float on the wind and enjoy the beauty around you. Be the butterfly.

Kim Grzywacz, CTIS

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